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Catt

Interesting point of view!

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In my bass fishing I'd noted mature bass activity around the full moon in spring and wondered if it were a real thing, or if I was biased. I thought the statistics around catch data I'd seen presented here and there were far from convincing. And the sheer number of moon phase theories out there (many touted by accomplished anglers) didn't make sense; They cover the entire lunar cycle!

The moon phase question around the spawn was one question I thought I could get at by direct observation. I've got three years of observations so far and it is looking like the full and new (weaker so far) moons do serve to synchronize spawning timing. This likely explains catch rates at these times, as visible bass are most vulnerable -no sonar needed. This is very true in the waters I fish, for most anglers. (But I prefer early pre-spawn for numbers of mature females.)

As to the rest of the year, I dunno -Haven't looked into it, and don't really know how to exclude competing variables inherent in angling. Doug Hannon is sold on lunar phases though the year (for very large bass). Ralph Mann's is not (six years of tournament and personal fishing data). My own guess is that bass (at least normal sized mature bass) have more immediately important things to deal with in trying to capture a meal. Uniquely large bass that can feed at will (if they indeed can) is also an open question.

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Used to raise Macaws.

Their instincts were exceptional when you think they were hand raised and had never left our house or the houses of the people who bought them.

They knew when to breed and how to act as wild birds but were never around wild birds.

I can see what Paul means about the moon phases and the bass.

Instincts are really strong in wild animals.  :)

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I don't care about any facts/ believes/superstitions about any species of fish. If I have time, my "honney-do" list is empty and the weather is acceptable (no tunderstorms or super cold), I'm going fishing.

;)

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You can't go wrong in using lunar cycles as part of the equation to help catch bigger bass.  It can't hurt your odds any.

  I'd also like to point out, on Lake Fork, you can bet that the top guides have been booked in advance to coincide with the moon phase.

Further adding to the belief, you'll see Fork peak in number of fishermen coinciding with the moon phase.

 

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The increased activity level in bass during full moon lunar phases during the spawning period are well known. The fact that both January and February coinsides with Florida's pre spawn and spawning periods shouldn't be a big surprise that big bass are being caught at the time year. Peak fishing times are generally considered to be the 3 days before and after the full moon; extending the time additional 5 days or 8 days after the full moon is within reason.

In southern California the prime time is February and March, during the 3 days before and after the full moon phases of pre spawn and spawning periods for giant bass activity.

All my giant bass over 16 lbs were caught between January and March, so I agree Glenn.

WRB

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O Man here we go, this is a touchy subject some think its the deal others dont. I keep a record but just started with the moon phase thing. That footage is off "Big Mouth"  when I watch that I go nuts. I wish Glenn would film "Small Mouth"

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....That footage is off "Big Mouth" when I watch that I go nuts. I wish Glenn would film "Small Mouth"

That is a very well done video, I'm stocking up on books and videos for the winter. Gonna look that up.

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Statistics from Texas Share A Lunker Program (bass 13# plus)

206 were caught 4 days on either side of the New Moon

236 were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon

442 of 455 bass were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon & New Moon

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Statistics from Texas Share A Lunker Program (bass 13# plus)

206 were caught 4 days on either side of the New Moon

236 were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon

442 of 455 bass were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon & New Moon

Coincidence? I don't think so!

Man, those are some pretty significant numbers.

8-)

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Statistics from Texas Share A Lunker Program (bass 13# plus)

206 were caught 4 days on either side of the New Moon

236 were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon

442 of 455 bass were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon & New Moon

Coincidence? I don't think so!

Man, those are some pretty significant numbers.

8-)

Those are also some pretty significant people getting those stats ;)

I say trust 'em ;D

I also have the bigmouth video and others to satisfy the winter blues!

If you don't I highly suggest getting them...

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i agree totally with the moon phase stuff.  aside from the location an angler chooses to fish, i really believe there are at least 4 "optimums" that play a role in an angler's ability to catch big numbers of bass or a huge bass.  i say "at least" because there are other factors to that may vary in importance from region to region.    

1.  optimum moon conditions (as detailed here already)

2.  optimum weather/frontal conditions (being on the "right side" of a frontal system")

3.  optimum water temperature and conditions.

4.  optimum seasonal phase or period (pre-spawn - spawn)

now here's where it gets interesting to me.  while catches can significantly improve during any one of these optimums, i always like what i call "overlapping optimums".  in other words periods where at least 2 of these optimums occur simultaneously.  of course it stands to reason that the more optimums that overlap, the better the fishing is likely to be.  that's why spring fishing usually produces the best catches for most fisherman, because at any given time, there is usually at least one of these "optimums" going on, with several days where potentially all of them could overlap.  of course all the optimums in the world are useless if you overlook the most important optimum - choosing the optimum location(s) to fish during a given day.  that's my .02 anyway.  figure out if there are any more optimums that might apply to your body of water and add them to the list.  then look for those overlaps and do everything you can to be on the water during those times.  usually you will be glad you were.  

great post catt and a classic video for sure. ;)        

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Very well explained paul  ;)

One also has to understand these optimums/ key conditions do not guarantee success, they do however greatly increase you odds.

FYI there is 2 videos!

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Hey Catt: That accounts for 8 days ouit of the month., I want to say here I believe in the moon phase, activity connection

 But I would like to see the charts and see if any other 4 day sequences come close, as that would tell if those days really stick out or not.

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Muddy just looking at the Share-A-Lunker data there were only 13 of the 455 bass caught during minor moon phases. Again you must remember this does not mean instant success it does however mean increased odds; this data do not take into account weather, seasons, or your ability to locate fish!

There is no single controlling factor because any one of them can be overridden by another; example weather conditions can override moon phases. Another fact I would like to make clear is just because we are talking moon phases we are not talking strictly night fishing. Many anglers associate the moon with night time but if y'all look out the window right now the moon is up.

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Thanks Tom, I was interested in the weather angle. Soem of the things you fellas have taught me are sinking in and I do not want to think that I am doubting here, only asking a question. You and RW wrote on a thread that how the weather has been 4 days before you go fsihing was very impotant and I was wondering if the moon and the weather coincided for those results.

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Muddy I wish it gave more info; I'm in the process of sorting out data from tournament fished on Toledo & Rayburn over the last seven years & it does list weather conditions, water temps, but not moon phases so I'll have to look those up myself.

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Hey Catt: That accounts for 8 days ouit of the month., I want to say here I believe in the moon phase, activity connection

It's actually 16 days out of a moon cycle.  4 days before new moon, 4 days after new moon, 4 days before full moon, and 4 days after full moon.  

It could also be 18 days if you count the new moon and full moon days separately.

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Statistics from Texas Share A Lunker Program (bass 13# plus)

206 were caught 4 days on either side of the New Moon

236 were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon

442 of 455 bass were caught 4 days on either side of the Full Moon & New Moon

Actually, that's 18 days of the month (wooops, Tyrius beat me to it). This is where other apparently sound catch/moon data crumbles -at least over the full year.

What we can say from this ShareLunker data is that 97% of these fish were caught in 64% of a lunar month (28 days). That's not as strong as it at first appears, but the strongest I've seen so far. It's a pretty good sample size and it's distributed over a number of years.

However, as Muddy mentions, there are other questions that could be asked: How are weather fronts distributed through those catches? And how is angling effort distributed through the lunar month?

But, primary among such questions would be: Are there certain years that skew the data? That is, are there some years when MOST of these behemoths were caught? (These are year classes after all). This would make other factors (such as weather and angling effort) weigh in heavier.

Still, as I said above, from what I've seen I believe the moon does play a role in coordinating spawning. And this probably really does account for a good share of the ShareLunker catch data.

Tom, how many of these fish were caught outside of the spawn?

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DAHHH!!! This is why I am having a hard way to go with College Algebra, I think too fast for reason to set in :-/

 You don't know how many times Catt and Paul had to point me to the most important sentences in their posts!

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If there is a prooven fairness of fisherman hours  equaly distributed over the entire year( not only spawning period), those numbers have significance. Otherwise NOT.

I've been on the water time and again on favorable lunar position and I strugled, and I've been fishing in not  favorable solunar condition with great results (for my level and geografic location). I am not talking spawning here, when bass looses common sense and instinct of preservation in favor of reproduction, but year arrond.

On an other note, if somebody decides to make a time and financial sacrifice, travel to a lake, hire a guide for the sole purpose of catching a big , heavy  bass, he/she will definitely try to have all the aces stacked in his/her favor. The fact that the guides are booked  early for the favorable solunar phases showes that people believe in this theory.

I wander if there fishing effort is the same in favorable and not favorable lunar periods. One might say " hey, I'd better take care of the front yard now , because next week is full moon and the fishing will be better".

Just another $.02

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Paul what you have to consider when asking how many of these fish were caught outside of the spawn is the fact that the total number of anglers on the water during the pre-spawn to spawn months quadruple other times of the year. Other times of the year when this occurs are Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, 4th of July week, and other such holidays.

As stated previously Moon Phases only increase your odds of doing well but you still have to factor in other conditions such as weather, water temperatures, seasons, locations ect. Being a retired angler I can pick-n-choose my days on the water for the most part and as paul. mentioned I try to pick days when 2 or more of these key conditions exist.

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Paul what you have to consider when asking how many of these fish were caught outside of the spawn is the fact that the total number of anglers on the water during the pre-spawn to spawn months quadruple other times of the year. Other times of the year when this occurs are Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, 4th of July week, and other such holidays.

Yeah, that's not surprising. Just wondering if there are enough outside the spawn season to say anything about moon phase then. I'm pretty comfortable with moon influence during the spawn, but haven't a clue outside of the spawn. Not much data based info out there that I've seen, beyond Hannon's and Manns'. Just wondering is all.

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