Fishing by the Moon Phase

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by chad69dart, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama
    Hey guys I have always been told that the phase of the moon impacts the bite but no one has ever been able to really explain it to me.

    So being bored this afternoon I decide to do a little research online and see if I can find out anything. There is a a lot of articles out there written on the subject but they all seem to point in the same direction.

    That being that along with sunrise and sunset that particular attention should be paid to Moon set and rise. 45 min before and after moon set and rise are supposed to be the hot times. The moon supposedly has a greater impact on the bite than the sun and if you can catch the sun and moon rising and setting in conjunction along with a seasonal change IE winter to spring or summer to fall then that's the prime time to catch a big boy. The absolute best time is in conjunction with the full moon or the new moon and the circumstances above. It was also said that if you can put these together with specific weather conditions such as on the edge of a storm front that has the highest probability of trophy fish feeding.


    That all being said and lord knows it was a mouth full. Has or does anyone apply these rules to there fishing plans? If so do they work?

    I have always been the guy that goes fishing when ever I can. I never paid much attention to any of that crap but Im starting to wonder.I will fish early in the morning and most of the night . But after looking at the lunar schedule I noticed that the moon set was 1:28 PM. I'm not usually fishing at this time as the heat is baking me and I'm looking for some shade. Am I missing out on something??

    I would like to hear what yall have to say on the subject.

    Thanks guys.

    Here is a link that will help out finding moon rise and set if anyone is interested.

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  2. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    Havent really went and fished thoses specific times but yes i hear thats the best time. Usually if you buy a local fishing mag for whats up with fishing and tips for your area the first page will list best fishing times..:wink:
     

  3. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    Around the time of the month of the new moon I pay attention to this and try to make sure Im fishing it if possible.
     
  4. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama
    Hey AJ your right about the mags but I did a little research on that. Im not sure where your at but here our local mag doesn't give moon rise or set and after comparing the mag to the lunar table the times don't seem to corospond. Ive tryed fishign by those charts more times than i can count and as far as i can tell they are crap. Seems more like somebody is sitting around just makeing thos time up rather than actually putting some research in it.

    I will deffinately be paying more attention around the new moon time as its kinda hard to tell where its at during that phase. I might actually have to start keeping a fishing log on this subject.
     
  5. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    I believe it, but I tried to simplify it instead of buying charts.
    For example, I know that the less moon showing the easier it is to get onto the bites... there's no doubt about this in my mind.
    The more moon you see the more work ya gotta go through to find the fish. I don't/rarely fish a whole moon.... those are most definately the best nights to get skunked. Though lots of guys have caught their PBs on bright whole moon or full moon nights.
     
  6. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    Well when i first came across the section in a magazine i bought maybe 3 months ago i went a day at the best time and the bite was pretty consistant.. faded off after the settime. So idk.. but i bet that was probably just a good day to be out on the water.. More than not the weathers gonna have to be up to par as well.:wink:
     
  7. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Messages:
    456
    State:
    Snowville, Va
    I have a Timex "Pathfinder" watch I wear all the time and it gives me the moon phases and major and minor feeding periods, I have found it to be pretty accurate more times than not.
    I know other factors effect the bite but the moon phases seem to be an important one.
     
  8. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama

    I with you on that and I was a firm believer until recently I got stuck on the sand bar with my kids this summer during the full moon.Having nothing better to do I fished it. The funny thing was as long as the moon was out and shining the fish were biting but as soon as it went behind the clouds the stopped. When it came back out the started hitting again. I though it was just coincidence but this went on all the way through the night until moon set and then they shut down. So I might be crazy but who knows.
     
  9. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama
    Hey Steve i might have to get me one of those. might be worth a try.
     
  10. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Were they channels/blues or flatties?
    I can't hardly hang a flattie under a bright moon to save my life. I don't pay channels any attention, and blues are a couple hours away.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  11. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    sweet! Whered ya buy it at?:big_smile:
     
  12. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama
    They were all blues so that may have been the difference. Some decent ones to. I think the smallest was 8lbs biggest close to 20. that particular bar rarely produces any flatties.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  13. RonSki

    RonSki New Member

    Messages:
    380
    State:
    Indiana
    I haven't paid very much attention to moontimes when catfishing. I don't think it matters too much if I'm going to be anchored at one spot for most of the night, because I'll actually BE in the spot. That said, in my experiences with moontimes and muskie fishing, it definitely is a time to be aware of. I can't tell you how many times I've fished all day without even seeing a fish and then moonset comes and almost to the minute, there's a fish on. There's actually four moon periods each day that matter: moonrise and moonset are the most important. Moon Overhead and Moon Underfoot usually have less effect on the fish. I don't specifically go fishing because of the moon times, for any species. Moon times are an accentuator or a detractor, they don't make fish bite just by themselves. Weather ALWAYS trumps the moon. A moonrise just after sunset on a full moon means nothing if the weather isn't cooperative. I don't like full moons either. Your chances for a really big fish are better on a full moon (set or rise), but it hasn't been good for catching numbers. It's either one big one, or nothing most of the time. This may be different with catfish, but the moon's effect touches all living things in one way or another, whether we understand it or not. The moons effect is one of those unmeasureable factors that may never be fully understood, but there is a definite effect on fish when all the other factors are right.

    As it pertains to muskie fishing, I always make a point to be on a spot with known big fish, or back on a spot where I had seen a big one earlier. Applying that to catfishing only means one thing really, don't be motoring to a spot during moonriset or moonset. I let the weather determine when I go fishing, once I'm there, I will try to make sure I'm in a good spot and setup when the moon rises or sets. Sometimes it's like a light switch, most times it's not. I don't pay much attention to it while catfishing because I'd like to believe that I'm always in a good spot.:wink:

    Also, try http://www.sunrisesunset.com/ for moontimes. It does give exact times for your city, adjusted for daylight savings time in a calendar format.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  14. saros2500

    saros2500 New Member

    Messages:
    224
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    I fully agree that the moon phase probably affects the catfish bite. However, don't we have enough to worry about already? I mean, sure you might get a more steady bite during a new moon, but there is ALWAYS the chance for that big boy to bite even if there's a full moon. My PB came within a few days of a full moon on a clear night. You just never know! So if you only have one day a month that you can get out fishin, pick a dark night. But if you have the chance to go whenever, just ignore the moon and go! You never know what's going to happen. I've picked up some hefty flathead during a very bright night.
     
  15. nanookofthenish

    nanookofthenish New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    sw iowa
    The moon to be or not to be, that is the question...oh the years me and my main fishin buddy have debated this issue. I used to keep a fairly accurate log of all of our ventures, and if I ever had the time to go back and match up the moon phases against our results, then maybe I'd have a descent opinion to pass along to everyone. That won't happen soon, I assure you. That being said, I can remember more nights of still, motionless poles under the bright light of the full(er) moon than nights with darkness, or little moon. I kinda remember some great nights with a full moon, but with heavy cloud cover, i.e. a front coming in, but I would really need to sit down and devote some time to looking it all up again.
    Like one of the guys said earlier, it's all good- just go out and fish. Just hate it when we get skunked. Go on- you can say it... it happens once in a while. :angry:
     
  16. Swampfox.

    Swampfox. New Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    State:
    Louisiana
    i follow the moon phase everytime i plan a tripp,
     
  17. ambassadeur

    ambassadeur New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Ohio
    I've never planned trips by the solunar calendar, but I've noticed that when I catch flatheads it's usually on the days listed as the "better" days to go fishing. In-Fisherman has an article on moon phases once, I don't really feel like looking for it. Basically they said that if conditions are perfect that the moon phases can have an affect on the fishing.
    Here's a link to the solunar calendar http://www.in-fisherman.com/solunar-calendar
     
  18. CatHunterSteve

    CatHunterSteve New Member

    Messages:
    456
    State:
    Snowville, Va
    Wallie World
     
  19. chad69dart

    chad69dart New Member

    Messages:
    93
    State:
    Alabama
    Thanks guys for all the input.

    Im still trying to figure out if this a viable resource. Its not going to impact anything other than how long I sit on spot. For the most part I will fish sunrise and sunset but now looking at this I may consider sitting longer. Such as when sun set is 8:00 PM I will normally sit until 10 pm and if there is no bite i usually roll up and try again in the morning. But looking at the moon rise if its at 11:30 Pm I may have to stay until closer to 1:00 AM just to see if it has an impact.

    Im not into fishing all night unless the bite is on. I will generally fish 2 hrs after sunset and then make the call as weather its worth the sit or should I pack up and try it again in the morning.

    Ive been skunked just as many times on a new moon as I have on a full moon. We all agree Im sure that fishing for a big boy with large baits and big hooks is a waiting game. That if you put enough time on the river it will happen. Heck even a blind hog gets a nut sometime:wink: im not going to let this impact so much when I fish as how long I fish.

    Hey Matt I would sure like to hear what you consider about the moon when you plan a trip.

    Thanks again.
     
  20. LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN

    LOWCOUNTRY CATMAN New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    sc
    I cant tell you how many times my father pointed out to me how much better the fishing was after trips where we had fished the new moon phase.Fish are gonna eat when they want to eat,but I am a firm believer with any kind of fishing that more often than not the new moon is the time for fishing any predator fish.Someone once said to me....."if you were a fish wouldnt you want it to be darker so your prey might not see you until its too late?" some nights the water is lit up on the full moon so
    well I remember that.Just food for thought.