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Fish and the Moon

Expert fishermen understand the influence of the moon on fish.  Scientifically speaking, it is a fact that the gravitational pull from the moon is the greatest influence on tidal activity that can be found in the oceans.  Since the water fluxuates on a daily basis, saltwater fish will be influenced by the tides. The bigger the body of water, the bigger the tidal influence.  What does that mean for fish in smaller bodies of water? Is there tidal influence in our lakes – enough to affect bass feeding and spawning?  Many reputable outdoor publications include some sort of table that lists “peak times” according to the moon phases. Writers of these tables claim that wildlife activity is at a higher potential during these peak times.

Anglers have long believed that lunar phases affect fishing results, but there has been little catch data to test that assumption. There is some supporting data however, that shows bass catches have a tendency to rise when they are near spawning areas. The  large adult bass tend to spawn earlier than the smaller adults. Biologists have concluded that moonlight illuminates shallow nests and allows bass to easily lay eggs and later to guard the nest against raiders. Consequently spawning on the full moon with a clear sky may aid fry survival. Once the temperature has exceeded about 65F at nest depth, the light of the full moon doesn’t appear to be as important, since subsequent spawns were scattered around the intervening new moons (dark nights) and next full moon.

The best time of day for wildlife is based on solar and lunar influences that cycle during each day.  A lunar event that affects the intensity of the feeding activity periods is the distance that the moon is from the earth. The point at which the moon is nearest the earth and exerts its greatest influence is called “perigee” and the point it is furthest away is “apogee”. Weather is a critical factor that will independently affect wildlife feeding activity. Feeding activities are critical to fishing because that’s when they are most likely to “take the bait”

Successful hunters and anglers know that feeding time—the hours around sunrise and sunset—give you more action. And experienced anglers and hunters know the secret to bringing home trophies instead of stories lies in knowing the specific monthly phases of the moon.

 

“Weather and Wildlife – Best Times to Hunt and Fish plus Desktop Weather.” Weather and Wildlife – Best Times to

        Hunt and Fish plus Desktop WeatherWeb. 07 Nov. 2012.

 

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