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OCdockskipper

Lunar Calendar question *UPDATED 5/25*

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OCdockskipper    1,079

I have written in the past how the lunar calendars posted in Bassmaster magazine & the like drive me crazy.  I want them to be a tool to use but at the same time, don't want to put doubt in my mind prior to going out for the day.  Like many on this site, I view them casually and only have anecdotal evidence of them working or not working.  However, I do know that some on this site like WRB & Paul Roberts have spent time studying and analyzing these tables and have input that is based much more on science than on personal experience.  It is that group that I have a question for.

 

I noticed that the lunar calendar in Bassmaster has Thursday, May 25th rated as a 95 (out of 100) and Friday, June 23rd at a near perfect 99.  I fish in Southern California, the bass in my lake are post spawn moving towards summer patterns and the weather will most likely be pretty stable (typical SoCal).  Although it is a little bit of an inconvenience, I have the flexibility to switch my work schedule around so that I could fish on those days instead of on Saturday as I typically do.  Fishing pressure on my lake does not differ on weekdays versus weekends, I usually am the only one there no matter the day of the week.

 

So the question, is it worth the little inconvenience to make sure I am on the water those two days or will it probably not make much of a difference if I go out a day or two later on the following Saturday?

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Raul    3,852

Go whenever you can, you ain't gonna catch them if you ain't there.

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OCdockskipper    1,079

Raul, thanks for the reply, but that is the kind of casual comment myself and others make that doesn't apply to the question I asked.  I stated that I am going, so that isn't part of the discussion. 

 

I am looking for some insight form those few who have spent the time & effort to really delve into how the lunar tables affect wildlife.  I haven't, I am not qualified to really know if it is worthwhile to choose one day over another, so hence the post.

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Team9nine    2,689

I've spent a decent amount of time researching them, and about the best I can find are hints of correlation that can not be statistically validated as "significant." Personally, I would look at the long term weather forecast and lean more toward the best local conditions on the days in question over the lunar calendar. If all is equal in that regard, then perhaps it would be worth making the work switch to the "best" day, but I'd caution against letting the calendars drive your decisions about which days to go or not too much. 

 

@Paul Robertsalluded to having some thoughts in this regard on his spawn video, so perhaps he'll chime in.

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WRB    7,059

It's my personal observation that active bass are easier to catch then inactive bass and that is the foundation my Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar was based on. Seasonal periods are well established today and generally accepted. Now we get to how the sun and moon phases affect bass activity independently from weather, it's not possible to predict weather in advance and obviously affects bass behavior. 

Solunar tables were developed by Doug Hannon and continue to be published. The sun position in regards to the horizon changes light penetration into water, more light the higher the sun gets over head, less the closer it is to the horizon. Bass being predators use low light to their hunting advantage as they are primarily sight feeders not scent feeders.

The moons gravitational affect on bass is debatable however there is observed evidence a full and new moon affects the spawn cycle and the full moons added light affects summer night fishing by increasing nocturnal terrestrial critter and insect activity that bass feed on.

I try to time my pre spawn fishing around the full and new moon periods and every giant bass that I have caught was during that time period. 

Confidence may have more to do with catch rate success, If you believe the bass will be active you tend to focus your efforts on catching them. Pre spawn through summer the lunar phase may have a positive affect, fall and winter the sun tends to have more affect do to warming the water.

You can disregard solunar affects on animals or accept it, no science to prove it other than observation. 

Tom

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RoLo    4,265

 

17 minutes ago, WRB said:

Solunar tables were developed by Doug Hannon and continue to be published.      

 

 

I believe John Alden Knight devised the Solunar Tables,

and Doug Hannon introduced the "Moon Clock".

 

Roger

 

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drew4779    96

I use lunar tables only when planning out of town fishing trips.  I can't say for certain that it works, but since I've started doing this (about 10 years), I've only had one poor out of town trip.  On that weekend, the temperature dropped 35' from when i left to when i arrived.  So based on that, i would say weather supersedes the moon.  

If it were me, I'd fish the days indicated on your calendar if possible...why not give yourself your best chance?

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reason    718
1 hour ago, WRB said:

It's my personal observation that active bass are easier to catch then inactive bass

 

I don't even know what to type here...

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WRB    7,059
1 hour ago, RoLo said:

 

 

I believe John Alden Knight devised the Solunar Tables,

and Doug Hannon introduced the "Moon Clock".

 

Roger

 

You are correct.

41 minutes ago, reason said:

 

I don't even know what to type here...

You would be surprised how many bass anglers believe bass are always actively feeding and can be teased into striking a lure, no concept in what an inactive bass is.

Tom

 

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RoLo    4,265

 

When still living in New Jersey, I went through a period when I logged all my catches

as they correlated with lunar phases, moonrise and moonset.

I confess that I really wanted to discover a compelling connection, and found myself

giving lunar connections the benefit of every doubt (wishful thinking).

Right around the time I thought I found a valid connection with moonrise and moonset,

the wheels fell off! In non-tidal waters, I pay no attention today to lunar phase,

moonrise or mindset, not even during the bedding season.

 

Roger

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toni63    65

I used to look into that kind of thing and would occasionally take days off work around "prime" Solunar days, when the moon is rising as the sun is setting or the sun is rising as the moon sets, or when the sun is directly overhead when the moon is directly opposite, hoping that might lead to improving my success rates when using time off to fish.

 

My conclusion? Never saw any difference. Now I don't even bother to look. Either you find em and they biting or they ain't. I would agree with the poster above who said weather conditions are going to be a huge factor. Where the moon is at in relation to the Sun is so insignificant in comparison, to me its not worth planning anything around.

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Paul Roberts    1,398

I think that local conditions and circumstances are the most important. They would likely mask any "celestial" events. Statistically, such events just don't hold up. I suspect that the search for one big factor -and thereby make things easier to grasp- underlies this. That's just a supposition.

 

That's my current belief. However, I'm still holding out that there might be a lunar effect influencing the spawn. But I'm still not convinced either way. I just don't have the data, nor have seen any that is convincing.

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Catt    10,189
On 5/19/2017 at 1:29 PM, RoLo said:

 

When still living in New Jersey, I went through a period when I logged all my catches

as they correlated with lunar phases, moonrise and moonset.

I confess that I really wanted to discover a compelling connection, and found myself

giving lunar connections the benefit of every doubt (wishful thinking).

Right around the time I thought I found a valid connection with moonrise and moonset,

the wheels fell off! In non-tidal waters, I pay no attention today to lunar phase,

moonrise or mindset, not even during the bedding season.

 

Roger

 

I've logged over 50 years of detailed information with most of that being night fishing. When night fishing I tended to pay attention to the New & Full moon, believing these to be peak times. Night tournaments were even scheduled around both major moon phases.

 

About 20 something years ago I started night fishing every possible moon phase & the only constance I've noticed is there aint one!

 

Tidal waters are affected only because of tides which has an direct collation to moon phase.

 

Roger, I do show an upswing in activities round moonrise & moonset very similar to sunrise & sunset.

 

Does it hurt to schedule trips around these charts/calendars?

 

Nope! Did it for years until I realized the supposed off days were as good as any.

 

As for activity feeding bass

 

A bass's metabolism is finely tuned to its circulatory system temperature which is the same as the surrounding water temperature. In warmer water bass digest their food fast requiring them to eat more. Being a predator they will not pass up an easy meal!

 

How's that for rambling ;)

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RoLo    4,265
1 hour ago, Catt said:

 

Roger, I do show an upswing in activities round moonrise & moonset very similar to sunrise & sunset.

Does it hurt to schedule trips around these charts/calendars?

Nope! Did it for years until I realized the supposed off days were as good as any.

 

Doesn't surprise me that we both notice a perceptible upswing in activity

correlative to moonrise & moonset. In the grand scheme, it all tends to point to "light level",

not unlike warm fronts and cold fronts.

 

We've both paid our dues, so there ain't no ramblin here, buddy   :wink7:

 

Roger

 

 

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OCdockskipper    1,079

**UPDATE**

 

So I went ahead & flipped my schedule to go fishing today.  Conditions seemed really good, we had overcast skies and a 3-6 mph wind all day to put a mild chop on the water.  Air temperature was in the 60's all day and water surface temps stayed steady at 76 degrees thru most of the lake.  The previous 3 days had been warm & sunny, and with the bass in post spawn, my expectations were for some active fish.

 

The results, not so much...Statistically, I had a slightly below average day (for this lake), catching 15 bass, with the best five being in the 14 lb range.  However, the fish were not chasing and I never really put together much of a pattern.  The only lure/technique that resulted in multiple fish was a 1/15 oz TRD fished in 6-7 feet of water out beyond some of the main lake docks.  I used a hop/swim/stop technique & most of the strikes came when the lure was not being moved.  11 of the bass, including the 5 largest all came from this Ned rig, the rest were all just one-offs, caught on other slow moving lures in other locations.

 

As a reminder, today was rated as a 95 (out of 100) on the Bassmaster astro tables, with the primary time being 11:30 am until 2:30 pm.  Only 2 of my fish came at that time, most were caught from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  The first few hours be fore 9:00 am were extremely slow.

 

Now here is the plot twist.  As I was at my dock cleaning my boat, the lake maintenance supervisor cruised by.  He asked how my day went and when I replied it was a little slower, he dropped a scenario changer.  He told me that yesterday (Wednesday morning), he had done a crawdad stocking around the lake, splitting up the 4 full gunnysacks of crayfish at 16 locations around the 100 acre lake.  A light bulb went off in my head, the color of the TRD I was using was California Craw, with crawdad scent and most of the fish had full bellies.  Further, most of the other methods I was using that didn't work were ones imitating the small fry and baitfish that are currently up shallow.  It is indeed possible that the crawdad stocking 1) keyed the fish to this suddenly abundant food source and 2) left many of them satiated to the point that while they would still eat, they weren't aggressively chasing down the mudbugs.

 

So once again, I am in limbo in regards to these tables, albeit like most of you who responded, I am leaning towards them not making a huge difference.  As a double check, I am going to go out again Saturday, which is still rated as an excellent day (75).  However, this time I am rigging up a half dozen different type of crawdad imitations to see if that is indeed their focus.

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WRB    7,059

Just a reminder that published solunar tables are time zone specific.

Tom

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RichPenNY    195
On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 5:35 PM, Paul Roberts said:

I suspect that the search for one big factor -and thereby make things easier to grasp- underlies this. That's just a supposition.

 

This ^

 

There was an upstate NY deer expert that tried to differentiate his expert advice (make a name for himself) by claiming that deer breeding behavior was tied in with a specific moon phase.  He did speeches and wrote a book on this.  

He's a nice guy, however, actual data never really supported his theory.   Deer breeding behavior happens at the same time every year in our area, give or take a few days, and is impacted by a number of seasonal factors - length of day, temperature, etc.

 

For bass fishing, there is probably the same type of hoped for simple theory so that fisherman with limited  time available can maximize their productivity.  Again, as with deer hunting, if you're not out there your chances are zero; and some of the biggest deer are taken outside the non peak rut activity period.

 

With all of the above being said, if you are fishing in waters that are affected by ocean tides - primarily saltwater fishing, then the timing of the moon's pull each day will come into play.

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OCdockskipper    1,079

On the Bassmaster tables, the moon rise & moon set times are about 20 minutes off for my location (each occurred 20 minutes earlier than listed on the table).  I though the variance was based on the exact location of my lake as opposed to the general listing for a time zone (i.e., the sun/moon rise is later the further west you are within a time zone, so Las Vegas & Los Angeles will have different rise & set times even though they are both PST or PDT).

 

Being that the times were that close, do the predictions apply to my time zone or does it kind of wash them out?

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WRB    7,059

I don't look at those charts and prefer using the 4 days of full and new moon phase and sun position within 30 degrees of the horizon and watching animal activity while on the water. Broader time frames and have settled into this frame of thinking. The daily and hourly cycle of activity rythym usually starts within the low light period repeating about every 3 to 4 hours. Determining what the lakes rythym is requires time on the water. I believe it's good to have some idea what to look for instead blindly going fishing and hoping to catch fish. There isn't any panaceas to bass fishing but you can put some of the odds in your favor.

Tom

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scaleface    4,002

Aug 21 , 2017 . A total solar eclipse . I live 100 mile away from the epicenter . I wonder how good the fishing will be for those two and a half minutes .

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OCdockskipper    1,079
On 5/26/2017 at 1:25 PM, scaleface said:

Aug 21 , 2017 . A total solar eclipse . I live 100 mile away from the epicenter . I wonder how good the fishing will be for those two and a half minutes .

 

My guess is that it will be lights out... :D

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Gundog    1,724

I carry a dirty, old sock with me when I'm fishing to scary away the lions. It must work cause I ain't seen a lion in years. 

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wdp    596
3 hours ago, Gundog said:

I carry a dirty, old sock with me when I'm fishing to scary away the lions. It must work cause I ain't seen a lion in years. 

😂😂😂 I'm glad I wasn't drinking a beverage when I read this. 

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Catt    10,189

There have been numerous books, articles, charts, ect. published on this great mystery of bass fishing. A lot of the authors of these publications go through great lengths explaining how difficult it is to determine these times. It is really quiet simple to determine these times for your self with a little inside information. 

 

The moon's phases are divided into four quarters, two of which are your minor times, and two of which are your major times.

 

The times for the major periods are as follows: An hour and a half prior the moon reaching its apex. An hour and a half prior to the moon reaching its perigee. The major periods are the first quarter new moon and the third quarter full moon.

 

The times for the minor periods of these moon phases are as follows: An hour and a half prior to the raising of the moon on the horizon. An hour and a half prior to the setting of the moon.

 

Now take into consideration the above listed times you end up with 3 hrs. of major time periods and 3 hrs. of minor times periods.

 

This does not take into account weather, seasons, water conditions, or your ability to locate fish!

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ksboy    45

I feel that fishing is worth doing no matter what!!!  Catching fish is an added benefit to being on the water. Go!!! Enjoy the wonderful day God has given you and if you can, catch a couple of lunkers. Be glad of the opportunity you have to be there.

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