It’s true what you may have already heard – there are fishing moon phases. Tides and moon phases impact inshore and offshore fishing. How exactly do moon phases affect fishing success and is there a way to increase the chances of catching fish depending on the moon phase? All these and more will be tackled in this post.
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How Do Tides Affect Fishing
Fish don’t actually respond to a specific moon phase. This means there’s no specific moon phase that’s going to elicit a strike.
Instead, fish react to heavy tidal movements that the moon influences. Full moons and new moons are the moon phases that cause high tidal fluctuations and they increase the fish feeding levels significantly.
During spring and fall, this is when there are heavy tidal flows so fish spawn in order to disperse eggs widely. As a result, the majority of spawning occurs around full and new moons.
Take note: fish don’t know the exact phases of the moon. Instead, they respond to the tidal flow. It’s important to look at the tide charts and check for heavier slopes in terms of outgoing and incoming tides.
If you’re able to line the outgoing or incoming tide on a full moon or new moon phase early in the morning or late in the evening, then you can bet on fish to be feeding aggressively. Striking action will increase. Fish will even strike any lure that’s nearby, most especially if they’re spawning.
How Does the Tidal Flow Affect Spawning Patterns?
Most fish spawn during the spring and fall seasons, specifically the full and new moon phases. Trout, in particular, is among the few species that spawn in spring. Trout will be active and aggressively feeding during this time.
When water temperatures hover around 70 degrees, the activity of trout will increase. Whenever fish spawn, they consume lots of energy. Heavy tidal movement allows them to feed and stock up on food.
If you’re still confused on the answer of how do moon phases affect fishing, simply put, fish rely on extreme tides that are a result of full moons and new moons in getting access to the feeding and spawning habitats that they prefer.
For instance, surf smelt only spawns on the sand when there’s a high tide and certain beach levels are reached. Other species also use tidal movements as a dispersal mechanism.
For bonefish, they migrate offshore in order to spawn during a high tide around a full moon so stronger currents are able to disperse eggs more widely, offering more chances for larvae to access abundant food resources.
In addition, spawning at night can help increase survival within coral reef ecosystems which often have relatively high predator densities.
Is Fishing Success Guaranteed During New and Full Moons?
Research shows that catch rates of fishing boats significantly improve during new moons and full moons.
But, the complexity of how fish respond to a lunar cycle can make predicting fishing success difficult. Planning a fishing trip that’s based solely on the lunar calendar isn’t the best idea.
You also have to understand the ecology and behavior of the species that you’re targeting as this will give you a better shot at landing fish.
Tips for Moon Phase Fishing
You now know how moon phases affect fishing. Let’s move on to theories that can be incredibly helpful when determining the best time for you to get out on the water and be at your favorite fishing spots.
We suggest you keep an open mind and try these fishing theories yourself. They’ve worked for us and a lot of other seasoned anglers, so we hope you’ll have luck as well.
- When looking at the monthly solunar calendar, plan your fishing trip during a minor or major feeding period that occurs near the time of sunrise and the time of sunset, which also coincides with the new or full moon.
- As you’ll be going saltwater fishing, remember that a full or new moon causes more pronounced or stronger tidal movements. This is due to gravitational pull. When there’s more water movement, there’s also more bait movement. There will be more feeding activity from fish.
- When the water conditions and the weather are stable, fish during the time when the moon will be rising or setting. See if fish are active during moonrise and moonset.
Potential Problems with Moon Phase Fishing
It’s not only important to know the answer to how do moon phases affect fishing as you should also know the potential problems associated with moon phase fishing.
Regardless of how great the bite is, remember that you need to be careful whenever you’re fishing during new and full moons. This is especially more crucial with night fishing and you’re fishing from jetties or rocks.
In some places across the globe, the tides can reach up to 60 ft. Water levels also rise incredibly fast. You should never put yourself in grave danger just to get the chance of getting more hookups.
Whether or not you’re a solunar believer, there’s a chance of a fishing trip going awry. There are other factors that can have a stronger effect on your fishing success like the air pressure and the weather.
If you know there’s a cold front that’s approaching, you won’t have much success. Fish will be seeking shelter deep into the ocean and become inactive.
Now that you know the science behind moon phases and how they affect fishing, you can plan your next fishing trip accordingly.
Just remember that the best time to fish is whenever you are able to and the conditions are safe for you to go out into the water.
If you can, test the aforementioned moon phase fishing theories and let us know if you have captured the most species!