• Moon phase vs fish activity.

    A request was sent to me and I was asked to discuss the effect that moon phases have on crappie activity or any other species for that matter.

    Rule number one. There are exceptions to every rule or observations that I have made in over 50 years of fishing and keeping records of fish activity.

    Rule number two. Iím no expert but have opinions just like everyone else does concerning this subject matter. It doesnít offend me when others have strong differing opinions. We all are right in our own minds. Grin.

    Three things must be in place in order to have a successful catching trip. Location, presentation, and confidence. You canít have one without the other.

    50 years ago when I was first beginning to learn how to catch fish, I had the best mentor that a man can have in a man, who today is still the best fisherman that I have ever fished with. The man won several bass tournaments with some well known bass circuits. He fished BASS for one year finishing second in the lake Seminole tournament.

    The second best source of my fishing knowledge came from the study of Buck Perryís writings. Although I never did fish spoon plugs or troll, his book on Spoonplugging was and is a treasure chest of knowledge.

    As Larry, my mentor and I were learning to fish better with more success, we had some ideas that needed to be checked out to prove or disprove whether or if our assumptions were correct. We suspected that the different moon phases were the reasons that the fish moved differently during a months time. The lunar phase is 28 days.

    So we decided that I would hole sit on a spot and fish for bass with the intent to monitor the times when the fish would get active. The spot that I chose to fish was an offshore spot on a migration route that the fish used to travel from deep water to the shallows. It was an old roadbed that did not have ditches on it so it was a very hard place to find. It was never a community hole. I found it on a map of Watts Bar lake and using markers and a flasher graph located the edge on both sides of the roadbed.

    The only solunar tables that we had back in those days was the tables that came in the Field and Stream magazine. The fish were never stacked up on this roadbed but we could catch them as they passed through on their way to the shallows.

    Collecting two months of data, and I realize that this is a very short set, we determined that when we had stabilized weather, we could predict within 5 minutes, when the fish would become active. We had to make a 20 minute correction from the magazine tables to fit WB lake. When we fished local tournaments, we never asked other anglers what lure, what area or how they caught the majority of their fish, but we always asked what time did you catch the most. Almost without exception, it fit the solunar tables for fish activity.

    I refer to rule number one at this point in this post.

    A look at bar graphs from anglers that have caught big fish and you will see that most of, but not all of, the big fish are caught during full or new moon phases. The fish act differently during these phases of the moon. During the half moon phases, I like to describe the bite as tentative at best and not aggressive at all. You can still catch fish during these phases, but most of the time, they wonít be your better fishing trips.

    The fish donít feed as much during a half moon phase. An examination of their stomachs will reveal that they havenít been feeding for several days. The thought or statement that the fish must feed everyday is in error in my opinion. But you examine a fish stomach during full or new moon phases and they will be stuffed with Shad and other things that they eat. The bite is much more aggressive too.

    Half moon phases and the fish will barely be hooked in the lips and many pull off during the fight. Full and new moon phases and the lures will be choked by the fish with most hookups deep in the mouth and in the roof of the mouth.

    Iíll end this rather lengthy post by referring you to rule number one again, because I have had a very few rare days when the fish will just kill a lure during half moon phases.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Moon phase vs fish activity. 6/24/22 started by drumking View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. SuperDave336's Avatar
      SuperDave336 -
      Great article. I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
    1. DockShootinJack's Avatar
      DockShootinJack -
      Very informative. Thanks for taking the time
    1. hdhntr's Avatar
      hdhntr -
      good information based on experience and recording catches and when. Thanks.
    1. hdhntr's Avatar
      hdhntr -
      Any further details on how the moon phase effects the spawn?
    1. BuckeyeCrappie's Avatar
      BuckeyeCrappie -
      Good stuff.
    1. Barnacle Bill's Avatar
      Barnacle Bill -
      Very interesting! But you left out rule #3. There must be a moon.
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      Great info DK. My trip this morning proved that solunar tables and fish activity are worth paying attention to. TJ Stallings Dad, Tim, spoke with me about their importance in my early twenties and I’ve watched them ever since.
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