full-moon

Full Moon Rising Over the Moutains

Fishing and the Moon Phase

It was a beautiful day here in Colorado; mostly sunny with some afternoon clouds, and a gentle breeze most of the day that kept it feeling cool for the high 80’s we reached.  I was on the lake in my canoe for most of the day, and I think the only time I broke a sweat was loading my canoe into the truck at the end of the day.  I had hoped to make it a really long day on the lake as today is one of the best days to fish this month and I didn’t have anything else to do except some work this evening.  But at about 3:00 PM the clouds blowing in from over the mountains looked a little menacing, and the wind was picking up pretty hard from the northwest, so I decided to call it a day after eight hours on the lake.  However, the severe weather went a little bit north of me, and sitting here now I wish I would have stayed.

It was a great day of fishing though, I caught four different types of fish (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and walleye), and I caught a total of 23 fish today.  I wish I had pictures to show, but all I captured today was a video of me canoeing for a little bit.  I am having a really difficult time figuring out this new video camera I have and getting it to work with the remote control.  As it turns out I was running the camera the whole time, not taking video when I thought I was, not taking pictures when I thought I was, and running down the battery a lot sooner than I thought I would.  The problem with this camera is that it doesn’t have an LCD screen to see what I have recorded, so I don’t know these things until I get home and hook it up to my computer.  Oh well, I’ll figure it out, hopefully tonight because I am going back tomorrow.  Canoeing video.

There is a reason why the fishing was so good today, and that is the moon phase and the times of its position in relation to earth.  This is a concept that was first discovered in 1926 by a man named John Alden Wright, and it is referred to as the Solunar Theory.  What John discovered is that the sun and moon phases have a detectable effect on fish and animal behavior at certain times of the day, thus the name Solunar (Sol for Sun, and Lunar for Moon).  John did a significant amount of research to come up with what is called the Solunar Tables, which show the major and minor peak activity times each day for fish and animals, down to the minute.  There are basically four activity periods each day, two major times, and two minor times.  Today there wasn’t a first morning major time (I don’t know why), but the second major morning time was from 10:41 AM to 1:41 PM, and that is when I caught most of my fish.

moon-phases

Phases of the Moon

When I first discovered the Solunar Tables about 30 years ago in Field & Stream, I was a little skeptical, but I thought I would give it a try any ways.  I was young then, and I needed all the help I could get to catch fish and harvest game.  It didn’t take long for me to become a firm believer in the Solunar Tables, and these days you can find them online in many places, and I even have an app on my iPhone that shows me the tables, I check them every day.  The effects of the moon are strongest at full moon and new moon, and today was almost a full moon, combined with summer solstice (the longest day of the year).  Whether you believe in the theory or not, at the very least it gives you a sense of anticipation and confidence.

I will be fishing again tomorrow; the major peak time is 11:45 AM – 2:45 PM, I’ll pay extra attention to what happens at specific times now that I have written this tonight.  I will let you know how it goes, and I will try to figure out this camera so I can have some good pictures and videos to share.  Hopefully you will get out tomorrow too!