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This is something I've never completely understood. Could someone please explain how the lunar phases affect bass fishing?

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Guest avid

The moon affects the tides.  So there is no denying that it has impact on the earth which is 2/3 water

Humans and fish as well as most critters are also mostly water.

So the theory goes that to one extent or another we are influenced by moon phase.

Hence the Phrase "lunatic"

Bass do not, for the most part live in water that is tidal, but many anglers believe it is an important guide to their activity.

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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. River and salt water publications go through great lengths explaining how difficult it is to determine tidal movements. The reality is that these best times and tidal movements are related to the moon's phases.

People in animal husbandry, farming, hunting, and fishing has used the moons phases for centuries. One of the oldest publications giving this information is the "Poor Richard's Almanac". 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 gravitational pull of the sun and moon is three times greater on the new moon than the full moon. At the time of the new moon the earth has the moon and the sun in a straight line pulling together. This first quarter, dark night phase differs from the third quarter full moon phase when the earth moves between the moon and the sun. The new moon dark night is only difficult on the angler because you must rely on your sense of feel when working your bait. If you want to really learn how to fish baits that require a lot of feel like worm or jigs try nights.

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, or your ability to locate fish!

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I agree with Avid, who quickly touched on most of the major points.

Probably springing from my saltwater exposure to tidal influence, I was indeed a "lunatic" for a while

(I know, I know, some things never change). I kept scrupulous records on everything that my wife and I

and all my friends had caught in relation to lunar phases. I was actually beginning to discern a correlation

that really wasn't there, because it was something I really "wanted to see". To make a long story, short,

I put no stock today in lunar phases.

            Many fishing guides adamantly maintain that fish spawn according to lunar phases,

but I reject that notion as well. I've yet to experience any convincing evidence that goes beyond lip-service.


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One has to consider more than just moon phases there is wind, weather, barometric pressure, seasons, water temperature, and so forth. No single factor controls nature alone it's a combination of all and that is why man can not predict when game/fish will become active.

Bass are controlled by certain environmental factors that they must adhere to if they are to survive.

1. Reproduce effectively

2. Feed efficiently (maximize food intake and minimize energy output)

3. Prosper during extreme seasonal changes

In my opinion to consistently catch bass it's about location, timing, and using simple techniques to perfection. I simple go fishing when the opportunity arises and deal with the conditions that exist when I arrive at my destination.  

Tommy T.

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First off, fish when you can regardless of moon phases.

If you read articles where bodies of water recieves influx of tides, it does help position fish during active periods.

But the majority of lakes do not have high or low tides due to moon phases.

I agree that during spring, and if the weather and other conditions are met, the first wave of spawners can be seen as around the full moon.

Mother nature doesn't always agree with the lunar charts, so go fish when you can.


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My 30+ years of fishing experience tell me not to pay attention to the moon phases.

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