Fishing by Moon and Sun
There will be many factors that play into how freshwater fish behave and their feeding pattern. Fishing anglers would plan their fishing expedition when they feel like the chances are greater for success in catching fish.
One thing to note is that fish will feed during four periods in a 24 hour day, 1) Dawn, 2) Dusk and 3) Moonrise and 4) Moonset.
During my years of fishing, I have had more success within 90 minutes surrounding each of these periods. For example, 45 minutes before dawn and 45 minutes after sunset would be an optimal time for fishing.
In addition, paying attention to the moon phases is important for fishing anglers. It is more favorable to fish right before, after and during a full or new moon.
Each phase of the moon will last technically 3 days. This should allow enough days to plan your fishing trip. Taken into consideration should also be how frequent, each moon phase occurs a year. The short answer is once a month, since the moon phase takes about 29 days to complete.
If possible, go in the late afternoon or evening, before the start of a Full or New Moon for best chances and also note the daily feeding periods.
Short Science Explanation of the Moon and affects for Fishing
The moon AND sun creates a gravitational pull when lined up on the same side of Earth. As a result, there will be higher high tides and lower low tides since the pull is from both the moon and sun. This occurs during full moons, AKA “Spring Tide“.
During this time, the moon rotates around Earth, the gravity pull of the moon pulls the water creating a bulge on the side where Earth is. At the same time, since Earth is spinning, the opposite side of the moon responds the same way creating bulges on both sides of Earth. The bulges are high tides.
However, when the moon is waxing or waning, we get the opposite which results in lower high tides and higher low tides, AKA “Neap Tide“.
Tidal movement is affected where tides are present (ocean).
Best time to fish is during high and low tides for Saltwater.
Tides flush out bait fish and other crustaceans from the marshes and banks. Fish will react to this and move to those areas and be in feeding mode. This will also mean larger fish will be much closer to land increasing your chance of landing one.
During low tides, that will mean the water levels can drop dangerously low, but at the same time easier to catch smaller bait fish and larger fish may be trapped in pockets in the water making them easier to catch. This would be a great time to notice and deep holes for future catches.
Unlike the ocean, rivers & lakes aren’t generally influenced by gravitational pull since there is not enough water area to cover. Fish like trout will spawn around the moon cycles and larger fish would move to deeper waters when the moon appears larger, and closer to the bank when the moon is smaller. Part of it has to do with how much light is illuminating through the waters. Fish often find comfort when they aren’t as visible.
My Personal Experience
I have exceptional success when fishing during days where its the peak of the full or new moon and within the setting of the sun or moon times.
Though, it’s never that cut-and-dry. If it’s a day where the prior day was a storm and it happens to be a full moon, I have not had great luck on those days.
Obviously, there are many other elements to consider aside from the moon phases. Including:
- Barometric Readings
- Type of fish you’re going for
- Water conditions (murky? clear? etc.,)
- Low or high water levels
- Bait presentation
- Wind and water temp
At the end, it’s all part of the sport and hobby. Learn as much as you can by reading, talking to other fishing anglers and most important enjoy it. Find out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s just another reason to hit the waters to test out your theories and techniques.
At the end of it all, try not to over think it. You don’t want to take the joy out of the fun! 🙂