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Your Latest Opinion: Solunar Calendars

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49 minutes ago, WRB said:

What date in July, 2018?

Tom

July 15th

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On 1/14/2019 at 7:02 PM, WRB said:

You can't catch fish sitting on the couch unless it's in a boat or ice house.

Solunar tables are based on moon phase with the best times at maximum gravitational tidal pull. The late Doug Hannon was a believer and published his tables, what did he know!

I wrote my Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar based on both moon phase and sunlight penetration into the water, adding seasonal impact, works for me.

Tom

 

 

 

What Doug Hannon didn't know was statistical methodology and confounding variables.

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45 minutes ago, MO_TightLines said:

July 15th

The reason I ask was the full moon was the 27th so the period 25th to 29th would prime moon phase dates. It's possible to predict moon phase, impossible to predict weather condition a year in advance.

Low light conditions during a low pressure event gives predators like bass a big advantage over their prey. When you can take advantage of all the positive conditions good things can happen.

Congratulation having the foresight to fish during poor weather conditions and making a good day out of it.

Tom

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2 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

 

What Doug Hannon didn't know was statistical methodology and confounding variables.

Doug Hannon lived and fished in Florida's natural spring feed lakes that are the opposite where I fish in Califorina's highland deep structured reserviors, we didn't always see eye to eye or agree on everything. Inbetween Florida and Califorina was Tony and and Lane Gergley who started up Sure-Life livewell additives who lived and fished in Texas hill-land reserviors. The 1 thing we all agreed on was Florida strain LMB that grew to be Giants were special rare fish that adapted to their individual environments. The common denominator we all had in common was a belief in bass behavior was influenced by solunar affects. 

The only thing anyone can forecast is moon phase cycles. Weather is impossible to forecast more then a year in advance. When you put solunar, seasonal and low light weather conditions together your odds improved greatly to catching the biggest bass that live where you fish. I proved that with my catch record, Doug Hannon proved that with his and Tony agreed.

How do you know what Doug Hannon knew about statistical methodology? 

45 years ago I sat down and put on paper what I thought about solunar tables in my Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar, out your thoughts in writing and someone can critique them 45 years from now.

Tom

 

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Regardless of moon phase 

the times for the major periods are as follows:

 

An hour & a half prior the moon reaching its apex to an hour & a half after the moon reaching its apex.

 

An hour & a half prior to the moon reaching its perigee to an hour & a half after the moon reaching its perigee.

 

Regardless of moon phase 

the times for the minor periods are as follows: An hour & a half prior the moon rising on the horizon to an hour & a half after the moon rising on the horizon.

 

An hour & a half prior to the setting of the moon to an hour & a half after the setting of the moon.

 

Total those times we have 6 hours out of 24 & that's if the time frame is exactly 90 minutes.

 

Then we must take into consideration not every bass will be doing the same at the same time.

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By my math, TPWD sharelunker records of 570 entries show 6.7% were caught on the full or new moon (not necessarily at night), a time period which makes up 6.8% of the moon’s synodic period.  That rises to 20% if you include 1 day before/after the full or new moon (20.3% of the cycle), 34.9% within 2 days (33.9% of the cycle), 45.4% within 3 days (47.4% of the cycle), and 49.6% within the two quarters of the cycle surrounding the new and full moons (50% of the cycle).

 

Looking at the phases individually:

26.2% caught within the quarter cycle surrounding the full moon.

23.4% surrounding the new moon.

24.1% surrounding the first quarter.

26.2% surrounding the last quarter.

 

This is a sampling of only ‘giant’ bass by Texas standards (13+ lbs), and disproportionately represents angling for pre-spawn/spawning bass because of the limited window for sharelunker entry. According to some common theories, these spawning, giant bass may be among the most likely to have their activity linked to lunar phase; however, no statistically significant outcome in terms of catch rates is evident (at least not within my limited analysis).

 

TPWD.png.b79242dcb6f7f3bac769d6672e63d253.png

 

Note the spikes that tend to occur between +3 and -3 phases.  Each quarter cycle is ~7.4 days long, so the +4/-4 phase designations occur intermittently dependent on how the lunar phases align with calendar days. This has been accounted for in the chart above, but the smaller sample size for these intermittent 'phases' results in greater volatility.  I would guess that the apparent tendency for these spikes to be positive is random.

 

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6 minutes ago, fissure_man said:

By my math, TPWD sharelunker records of 570 entries show 6.7% were caught on the full or new moon (not necessarily at night), a time period which makes up 6.8% of the moon’s synodic period.  That rises to 20% if you include 1 day before/after the full or new moon (20.3% of the cycle), 34.9% within 2 days (33.9% of the cycle), 45.4% within 3 days (47.4% of the cycle), and 49.6% within the two quarters of the cycle surrounding the new and full moons (50% of the cycle).

 

Looking at the phases individually:

26.2% caught within the quarter cycle surrounding the full moon.

23.4% surrounding the new moon.

24.1% surrounding the first quarter.

26.2% surrounding the last quarter.

 

This is a sampling of only ‘giant’ bass by Texas standards (13+ lbs), and disproportionately represents angling for pre-spawn/spawning bass because of the limited window for sharelunker entry. According to some common theories, these spawning, giant bass may be among the most likely to have their activity linked to lunar phase; however, no statistically significant outcome in terms of catch rates is evident (at least not within my limited analysis).

 

TPWD.png.b79242dcb6f7f3bac769d6672e63d253.png

 

Note the spikes that tend to occur between +3 and -3 phases.  Each quarter cycle is ~7.4 days long, so the +4/-4 phase designations occur intermittently dependent on how the lunar phases align with calendar days. This has been accounted for in the chart above, but the smaller sample size for these intermittent 'phases' results in greater volatility.  I would guess that the apparent tendency for these spikes to be positive is random.

 

Ran this same analysis and wrote about it over a dozen years ago (2006), back when the data set had a little over 400 bass recorded and got the exact same answer. Glad to see nothing has changed over the years 😎

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@Gundog, insert "I was told there would be no math " meme here.....

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@fissure_man sort through that data for those fish caught during pre-spawn to spawn.

 

January through April 😉

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Bed fish are susceptible to being caught if the angler can visually see the bass, percentages go way down if they can't see them. Wind affects sight fishing more then anything else, it breaks up the water surface and stirs up the water clarity. Most giant bass caught during the spawn cycle off beds at mid day with the sun at the anglers back for good visibility. Bed bass are not feeding bass so activity levels are meaningless.

It's been my experience the majority of giant bass are caught off beds, during the spawn cycle, few are caught the following 9 months.

Understanding feeding peak times for both moon overhead and sun near horizon or low light periods and seasonal location preferences should improve you bass catch rates of big bass, helped me.

When you consider that all my giant bass over 15 lbs were caught during pre spawn (after I stopped bed fishing in '71) and none after the spawn cycle indicates that I spent a lot of time on the water during pre spawn because the odds were in my favor then. During the summer the majority of big bass between 9 lbs to 12 lbs were caught in early morning low light or at night. The exception are swimbait bass in good light conditions.

Statistically mornings during light rain have been my best time period and pre spawn the best seasonal period for me. This starts any time now for about 2 months.

Tom

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7 hours ago, WRB said:

It's been my experience the majority of giant bass are caught off beds, during the spawn cycle, few are caught the following 9 months.

 

It's been my experience that the majority of giant bass are caught off beds because the majority of anglers are on the water.

 

I've also found post spawn through summer the time frame for big bass is 11 - 2, mid-day.

 

I've also noticed anglers who spent a majority of their time night fishing have a different perspective on lunar phases.

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10 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

@Gundog, insert "I was told there would be no math " meme here.....

Here ya go.

i-was-told-there-would-be-no-math.jpg.9b4f7791a10ee1553918a53e40722c1a.jpg

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Yes! Thank you hahA

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I go on whatever day/days I am off. I don't care what the tables say, I am going fishing. 

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Back in the 90s I followed the tables and calendars....but I only reference them now after my fishing outing....this way if the fishing was bad I have an explanation : )

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20 hours ago, Catt said:

@fissure_man sort through that data for those fish caught during pre-spawn to spawn.

 

January through April 😉

With the sharelunker acceptance window being timed around pre-spawn/spawn, most of the catches (91%) already fall within the Jan-Apr window (they don’t accept them in the summer).  Here is the distribution:

 

CBM.png.19d0a9025ad4f98425a938f9870262ef.png

 

Filtering to include only Jan-Apr catches, 26.7% occur in the quarter cycle around the full moon, 22.9% around the new moon, 23.7% around the first quarter, and 26.7% in the last quarter.  Compared to the full data set, this is a small increase in the proportion of catches around the full and last quarter phases, and a corresponding decrease in the proportion caught around the new moon and first quarter phases.

 

While these differences could be taken as an indicator of some spawning-related moon influence, they could also be random.  The filtered dataset of 520 catches is not large enough to confirm such a small hypothetical influence with much confidence.  With an opposing hypothesis (i.e. moon phase does not influence sharelunker catch rates), one would still expect that in a sampling of 520 entries, one or more of the 4 quarter cycles would account for at least 26.7% of the catches more than half of the time, due to nothing more than random variance.  For an individual moon phase (the full moon quarter cycle, for instance) one would expect the proportion of catches to meet or exceed 26.7% around one in five times.

 

There are surely other variable to consider as well - I wonder if there is any meaningful correlation between angler-hours and moon phase (which would skew the above results), given that some folks do seem to pay attention to the solunar tables or other theories, perhaps especially around the spawn.

 

In an earlier post you described major and minor periods for bass activity.  Do you have any data to support these times as having an influence on angling success, which would stand up to analysis similar to the above?

 

@WRB good info, and I've no basis to dispute your experience.  Sounds like you have some pretty extensive logs, would be a heck of contribution to the bass world to leak them out ;) ;)

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I'm fairly certain Josh Alwine statistically downplayed the lunar influence in his book, too, but I don't have it right in front of me at the moment. I know Ralph Manns also fell short in proving statistical significance in all his research and record keeping on bass and lunar influence.

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Here is my thinking about the Lunar/Solar calendars and fishing. I can't prove it works. Too many variables to it, such as lure, lure presentation, weather and locations fished to definitively say it is effective. Also there is the placebo effect. If someone believes it works then it does for them. I see it as a outdoor equivalent of horoscopes. Just my opinion.

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@fissure_man Those above listed times are according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

 

While the ShareLunker statics are interesting they don't show a huge dominance by either moon phase. Especially when we considered pre-spawn/spawn puts more anglers on the water around the full moon. It's kinda like saying March is the best month according to the statics but March also has 100% more anglers on the water.

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@Team9nine thanks, you are much better-versed in bass / fishing literature than I, but that’s the outcome I’d expect. Plenty of theories out there (sometimes conflicting), but little in the way of meaningful evidence when actual data are brought to the table.

 

@Catt I was not so much thinking of the source, but rather the basis for the theory.  With due respect to old farmers, absent a plausible, causal explanation for why bass’ susceptibility to angling would depend on solunar activity, and without any factual indication that such a correlation even exists, it’s not clear why anyone should believe this stuff.  Because the almanac says so?

 

I wonder if MLF is collecting any data that could ‘shed light’ on this question, as they have multiple anglers, tactics, lakes, times, etc. and presumably are tracking the exact time that each catch occurs.  Do the anglers tend to catch more bass during the ‘peak fishing hours’? 

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@fissure_man If you look closely they match the tidal movements.

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5 hours ago, fissure_man said:

 

With the sharelunker acceptance window being timed around pre-spawn/spawn, most of the catches (91%) already fall within the Jan-Apr window (they don’t accept them in the summer).  Here is the distribution:

 

CBM.png.19d0a9025ad4f98425a938f9870262ef.png

 

Filtering to include only Jan-Apr catches, 26.7% occur in the quarter cycle around the full moon, 22.9% around the new moon, 23.7% around the first quarter, and 26.7% in the last quarter.  Compared to the full data set, this is a small increase in the proportion of catches around the full and last quarter phases, and a corresponding decrease in the proportion caught around the new moon and first quarter phases.

 

While these differences could be taken as an indicator of some spawning-related moon influence, they could also be random.  The filtered dataset of 520 catches is not large enough to confirm such a small hypothetical influence with much confidence.  With an opposing hypothesis (i.e. moon phase does not influence sharelunker catch rates), one would still expect that in a sampling of 520 entries, one or more of the 4 quarter cycles would account for at least 26.7% of the catches more than half of the time, due to nothing more than random variance.  For an individual moon phase (the full moon quarter cycle, for instance) one would expect the proportion of catches to meet or exceed 26.7% around one in five times.

 

There are surely other variable to consider as well - I wonder if there is any meaningful correlation between angler-hours and moon phase (which would skew the above results), given that some folks do seem to pay attention to the solunar tables or other theories, perhaps especially around the spawn.

 

In an earlier post you described major and minor periods for bass activity.  Do you have any data to support these times as having an influence on angling success, which would stand up to analysis similar to the above?

 

@WRB good info, and I've no basis to dispute your experience.  Sounds like you have some pretty extensive logs, would be a heck of contribution to the bass world to leak them out ;) ;)

All my paper info was destroyed during the Jan 17th 1994 earth quake. 

I agree with Catt regarding more fisherman targeting bed fish during the full moon cycle because it's generally accepted that is when the majority of bass tend to spawn in the spring. More anglers = more fish caught statistically. The same is true for me, if I am spending 100% more time fishing during pre spawn my numbers go up. The fact still remains my numbers were up during the day's surrounding the new and full moon verses the 1/4 and 3/4 moon phases. Confidence tends to breed more confidence as the saying goes. If I fished during the 1/4 & 3/4 moon phases as focused as the new & full phases would I have been as successful? I did and wasn't. There are definate active feeding times and to determine those you need to be on the water fishing.

Trophy bass fishing isn't for everyone because you spend a lot of time fishing without catching anything. People think you catch a lot of bass until that giant comes along and catch it, not true. Giant bass aviod everything that alarms them, their world is quite with everything in it's place, if it's not they leave or don't bite, that is how they got to be big old bass.

Tom

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9 hours ago, fissure_man said:

@Team9nine thanks, you are much better-versed in bass / fishing literature than I, but that’s the outcome I’d expect. Plenty of theories out there (sometimes conflicting), but little in the way of meaningful evidence when actual data are brought to the table.

 

I wonder if MLF is collecting any data that could ‘shed light’ on this question, as they have multiple anglers, tactics, lakes, times, etc. and presumably are tracking the exact time that each catch occurs.  Do the anglers tend to catch more bass during the ‘peak fishing hours’? 

I just got home and checked the Alwine stuff. One of the interesting things is he went back over Hannon's data set and analysis and basically found error with (was unhappy with?) the assumptions/conclusions. He also updated the data set with everything applicable post-publishing, and using Hannon's basis for analysis, it actually weakened Hannon's original claims. In summary on the subject, he stated, "This is compelling evidence to further bolster the case that lunar periods have little if anything to do with the feeding cycles of fish."

 

On the MLF stuff, I can get much of the data on catches right down to the minute, and it would be easy enough to compare catch times vs. solunar tables for the day. What would be extremely challenging (IMO) is factoring out for the influence of poor decision making on the part of the angler. To what degree would the conclusion accurately reflect the effect of the solunar tables (times) while excluding for the angler biases (locations, baits, etc.)? I know it can be statistically factored out or a percent cause attributed to other factors, but the exact name of the analysis escapes me at the moment.

 

If you've watched MLF much, it seems like there are always some anglers who start out "hot" because they pulled up on the right bank or started with the right presentation, but who end up fizzling out as the day progresses because the best patterns change and the angler doesn't adapt. Likewise, there are cases where an angler starts out well behind in periods 1 and 2, but then finally figure something out and make great comebacks in the final period, even winning.

 

That said, if you would like a small data set to analyze, let me know and I can work on putting something together. Maybe an analysis of a small subset of data would provide enough info to determine whether it would be worth the effort to pursue a larger data set. 

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I have detailed records covering the last 51 yrs totalling 9484 days on the water. Now keeping in mind I night fish from April through October. 

 

My data pretty much shows what ShareLunker data shows which is 22-26% per moon phase. In my little pea brain the differences between moon phases was dependent on weather & water conditions.

 

Then ya also have to consider what @Team9nine said, some days I made stupid decisions!

 

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So I went out for a few hours this morning and fished at two normally productive lagoons. Air temperature was around 60 and the surface water temperature was 66 degrees. Skies were cloudy all morning, but no rain.

 

The only thing I managed to catch was a 6" crappie whose mouth was smaller than the small crankbait I was fishing.

 

I was fishing in the Sun City Hilton Head community and recently the grounds crew chopped all of the shoreline aquatic vegetation as well as a lot of the vegetation on the bank at the water's edge. In other words, they destroyed some prime bass habitat.

 

I took the time to use both the sonar and the mapping features of my iBobber. The lagoons that I fished were only 4' and 7 feet deep respectively and only a few small fish passed through the sonar cone. But mostly nothing showed up on the sonar at all. I had set the iBobber up on my heavy rod so I could bomb casts pretty far off shore.

 

I took the time to map the bottom of some normally productive spots and it revealed zero vegetation, rocks, or other structure. No humps or dips. Just flat, open space. Granted, I did not map the entire lagoon, just spots that were productive in the past.

 

I'll probably try again tomorrow, but this time I'll start with the iBobber. I'll also look for some past productive lagoons where they haven't destroyed all of the shoreline vegetation. While I'm not happy they did that, since these are stormwater ponds it is required that they remove excessive nuisance vegetation.

 

According to the solunar calendars I looked at, today was supposed to be good fishing between 8:30 am and 10:30 am. Tomorrow is supposed to be better and Monday even better than that. First I need to find the fish. There's a spot in one larger lagoon where the bass spawn every year and I checked that out but there was no activity nor did I see anything using my polarized glasses. They may have even moved through the storwater system to connecting lagoons.

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