CC image from Wikipedia
Muskellunge have a notorious reputation for being one of the toughest freshwater fish for anglers to catch, and have earned the nickname "the fish of 10,000 casts."
Now some researchers believe they've pinpointed the best days and times to catch this elusive fish, TIME magazine reports.
EPA fisheries scientist Ted Angradi worked with fellow scientist and fishing buddy Mark Vinson to see if they could bring some scientific backing to the notion that fishing is best during a full or new moon--a theory started by Native American anglers from the Great Lakes region that some angling circles still track today.
Mining data from Muskies Inc., a muskie conservation organization, Angradi and Vinson examined 342,959 muskie catch records from as far back as 1970. Data included location, date, time of catch, and fish size.
They concluded that anglers fishing during the day increase their chances of catching a muskie by 5 percent if they fish during a new or full moon. Those fishing for muskie only at night also increase their chances by 5 percent, but only during a full moon.
"The effect is at the margin," says Angradi. "At best it improves your chances by five percent. But any little edge makes a difference."
They published the results in a paper titled Muskie Lunacy but noted their research doesn't answer the question of why the moon affects muskie behavior. One theory is the fish muskie prey upon are more abundant during a full or new moon--a hypothesis the two men plan to explore next.