Every fisherman dreams of a bigger catch! Is it possible to know beforehand when you should plan a trip to enjoy some fishing, catch more than usual, and come home feeling 100% satisfied? Based on my own personal research around the best fishing times, I think it is.
When I first started fishing, the best fishing time for me was whatever time happened to suit me. I tried different lures, baits and techniques until I’d spent a small fortune in my quest to improve my fishing catch. When I finally heard about the “Solunar Theory”–or fishing by moon phase–like most anglers, I was skeptical.
What I’d read sounded too complicated. All sorts of factors needed to be checked and the determined angler needed to be at the water’s edge at exactly the right time, TO THE MINUTE, in order to improve on his average catch. Was I really willing to take my hobby that seriously? Let’s just say that curiosity got the better of me.
To help me determine whether there was any truth in the moon’s effect on the best fishing times, I kept a record of every trip I made over a period of 18 months. All information related to the moon’s phases, the weather conditions and the catches I made were carefully logged. What I discovered convinced me that moon phase fishing works. BUT, I also found that it isn’t anywhere near as complicated as many would have us believe.
How Does Fishing By Moon Phase Work?
Every fisherman knows that the best fishing times are when the fish are feeding. This tends to be during dawn and dusk, but what often goes unnoticed are the two periods elsewhere in the day–moonrise and moonset. Because the moon has an effect on a variety of factors surrounding the fish–including the live fodder they hunt–these periods, combined with the moon’s phase, are what trigger feeding.
By understanding this, and choosing times when sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset coincide with new or full moon phase, you’ll increase you chance of a good fishing catch. Assuming there are fish in the area, of course.
Choosing The Best Fishing Times
There really is nothing complicated about this at all; it’s just a matter of knowing ahead of time exactly when the sun and moon will rise and set. Fish are most active during 90-minute windows surrounding each of these four daily events; that’s 45 minutes before and after these four daily points.
Fishing during these four periods will help increase your fishing catch, but if you plan wisely so as to ensure you’re at the water’s edge on the days of new or full moon, you can use these ‘windows’ to reel in a catch like you’ve never done before. If you have to choose between sunrise/set and moonrise/set, always go with the moon as the moon is the stronger influence.
Hunters have always known that fish and game are most active at dawn and dusk–sunrise and sunset–but their activity surrounding moonrise and moonset is less noticeable because these events are likely to occur without effecting any change in the perceived light. The rise and set of a new moon is invisible anyway, and overcast weather often hides the moon. Without prior knowledge of setting and rising times, two of the best fishing times will be missed every day!
When planning your fishing by moon phase, there are certain other factors that should also be considered.
Weather – Severe weather changes have an impact on the way fish feed. When a storm’s brewing, or just after one has passed, is a good time. If this happens while you’re in place, you’ll be in for a treat! However, if there’s a cold front approaching, the fish are likely to move deeper into the water and become inactive.
Season – Most fish are more likely to bite willingly during seasonal transitions with the transition from winter to spring and summer to fall being the two best fishing times.