Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd. When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity.
They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.
For anyone that’s a fisherman, they know that the best time to fish is at night, because all of the fish are near the top of the water because it is the coolest time of day. When the sun it out, the fish swim to deeper water to stay cool.
Simon Peter was a fisherman through and through. It was his specialty. He knew everything there was to know about fishing. Therefore, he knew that the best time to catch fish was at night, which is why he tells Jesus that they had been fishing all night. They were in the process of cleaning their nets, which was a time consuming process, especially when you are tired and frustrated from catching nothing all night, when Jesus approached Simon Peter.