Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Does the Moon Affect Hunting and Fishing?

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Lateral Line
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

August 07, 2012

Does the Moon Affect Hunting and Fishing?

By John Merwin

By at least one definition, this month--August--is a “blue moon” month. The moon was full last week on the 1st and will be full again on the 31st. If two full moons occur within a calendar month, the second is sometimes called a blue moon. No, it’s not actually blue, and no, I don’t know why.

But that brings me to moon phases and their effect on fishing. Some anglers study this obsessively and wouldn’t dream of fishing (or hunting) without first consulting the Solunar Tables. I don’t, at least not usually, because I think the best time to go fishing is whenever you’re able to go. Period.

Then again, sometimes I pay attention. I know that the spring spawning activity of various freshwater bass and sunfish tends to peak around a full moon. And the moon, of course, affects the ocean tides. So when I’m going surfcasting, I’ll look for the dates of a new moon when tides will be highest and the nights will be darkest. The bright light of a full moon, on the other hand, has often seemed to kill my night-fishing luck despite the corollary high tides.

In the tropics, I’ve had numerous old-time Bahamian bonefish guides tell me to avoid the interval of 4 days on either side of a full moon when scheduling a trip. When I’ve fished the flats within that interval, the daytime bonefish have seemed unusually skittish, maybe because they’ve been feeding by moonlight on the night before. I just plain don’t know.

There are no end to various indicators of “best times” to hunt and/or fish based partly on moon phase. From the famous Solunar Tables, to Doug Hannon’s moon-based fishing calendar, to the “best time” notations that even appear on some of my hand-held GPS units...

So maybe I should pay more attention to all this than I usually do. Mostly though, I just go fishing. I’ll check the weather forecast ahead of time, and that’s about it.

But what about you--do you think the moon phase or its sky position affect your fishing? Do you live by the Solunar Tables or any other such forecaster? Am I really missing out on something here, or what?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

i know some people love to use the solunar tables as an excuse to sleep in ("the prime fishing period is from 9 am-11am)

i'm with you john. i go fishing whenever i have time to go

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I agree and I do think that you should hunt and fish when you can. However, I have started paying attention to this about 5 years ago and the largest effect I have seen has been on elk. I cant fully explain it but my theory is this: since elk are nomadic during the times of year that that breed and migrate (same time as some hunting seasons in colorado) they usually like to move when the pressure is lowest. We hav actually seen herds moving in moonlight. Weather they feed in moonlight is another topic. I think they do but I cant prove it. But I have seen them migrate in moonlight and no, we werent hunting illegally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

When fishing at night, I will take the moon into consideration for my lure color choice, no moon, bone white, full moon, all else. I pay more attention to the barometric pressure, if it's changing, the fish will be biting more than if it's flat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I have an old garmin gps that I use to find the "best times / good times" in the celestial feature. I call it the oracle because it works for me. I have seen "best times" for hunting at mid day, gone to the woods, and found deer on the move. Don't know why, but I have learned to trust it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dances with Deer wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

For Great Lakes salmon, fishing under the light of a high near-full or full moon can be dynamite. Same with inland lake largemouths, walleyes, crappies and muskies, or river catfish. Otherwise I believe the best fishing for most species is almost always found at dawn or dusk, not matter what the tables say.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

John, I fish mostly tidewaters along the gulf coast, so... the moon is the most important thing because it controls incoming and out going water in my local creeks, streams, rivers, and bays.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LostLure wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I once went on a fully guided elk hunt. A huge snowstorm moved in a day prior to the hunt and there was also a full moon. We did not see a single elk for the whole trip. We found plenty of tracks in the morning, but no elk. Needless to say, I was pretty ticked that I did not see any elk, but I do truly believe that the moon does effect the time that animals move.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hopeful1 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

When I first moved to MI some 25 hyears ago and started fishing the Detroit River and Lake Erie, I kept a fishing log of every fish, by species, hooked and boated. From late March through October, I fished at least 3 days a week. Did this for 4 years. Fished the same areas using the same techniques for those 4 years.

One time I plotted the total number of fish caught by date. A very nice sine type wave was the result. Peaks were at the full moon and valleys with the new moon.

Wish I had kept the data when I switched from Lotus123 to Xcell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Sure does, Makes the whitetails go downright nocturnal. Very hard to find them during the day when a full, to near full moon was out the night before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

I go hunting and fishing whenever can or want to

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Dances with Deer wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

For Great Lakes salmon, fishing under the light of a high near-full or full moon can be dynamite. Same with inland lake largemouths, walleyes, crappies and muskies, or river catfish. Otherwise I believe the best fishing for most species is almost always found at dawn or dusk, not matter what the tables say.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

i know some people love to use the solunar tables as an excuse to sleep in ("the prime fishing period is from 9 am-11am)

i'm with you john. i go fishing whenever i have time to go

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I agree and I do think that you should hunt and fish when you can. However, I have started paying attention to this about 5 years ago and the largest effect I have seen has been on elk. I cant fully explain it but my theory is this: since elk are nomadic during the times of year that that breed and migrate (same time as some hunting seasons in colorado) they usually like to move when the pressure is lowest. We hav actually seen herds moving in moonlight. Weather they feed in moonlight is another topic. I think they do but I cant prove it. But I have seen them migrate in moonlight and no, we werent hunting illegally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

When fishing at night, I will take the moon into consideration for my lure color choice, no moon, bone white, full moon, all else. I pay more attention to the barometric pressure, if it's changing, the fish will be biting more than if it's flat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I have an old garmin gps that I use to find the "best times / good times" in the celestial feature. I call it the oracle because it works for me. I have seen "best times" for hunting at mid day, gone to the woods, and found deer on the move. Don't know why, but I have learned to trust it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

John, I fish mostly tidewaters along the gulf coast, so... the moon is the most important thing because it controls incoming and out going water in my local creeks, streams, rivers, and bays.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LostLure wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

I once went on a fully guided elk hunt. A huge snowstorm moved in a day prior to the hunt and there was also a full moon. We did not see a single elk for the whole trip. We found plenty of tracks in the morning, but no elk. Needless to say, I was pretty ticked that I did not see any elk, but I do truly believe that the moon does effect the time that animals move.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hopeful1 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

When I first moved to MI some 25 hyears ago and started fishing the Detroit River and Lake Erie, I kept a fishing log of every fish, by species, hooked and boated. From late March through October, I fished at least 3 days a week. Did this for 4 years. Fished the same areas using the same techniques for those 4 years.

One time I plotted the total number of fish caught by date. A very nice sine type wave was the result. Peaks were at the full moon and valleys with the new moon.

Wish I had kept the data when I switched from Lotus123 to Xcell.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Sure does, Makes the whitetails go downright nocturnal. Very hard to find them during the day when a full, to near full moon was out the night before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

I go hunting and fishing whenever can or want to

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment