Full moon Effects on Blue fin

Dexter Outdoors

huntconrad

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Apr 3, 2020
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Hunt Conrad
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22 foot whitewater jetcraft
Love to hear peoples opinion on whether the Full moon helps or hurts the Blue fin bite. I am looking at a 1.5 day trip in may and it is just before the full moon. They have been fishing at night so I was thinking it might help but I really don't have a clue. i know it hurts other fishing and especially pelagics but you are fishing during the day for them.
 

IronMikeAC

Member
Aug 2, 2013
817
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torrance, ca
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Mike
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Vagabond
Most captains say there's no real affect, But they post "Full Moon Bluefin" trips because anglers think it matters. Still, if you don't get bit after the full moon, Captains often say it's because we are fishing after the full. In general, I try to book trips between dark and full. In the pantheon of variables, moon is somewhere below: finding BFT, weather, sea temp, bait in the area (too much is bad), your preparation, and probably a few others.
 

ahidog

10000 atta boys
Sep 15, 2004
1,342
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105', Camcraft, 85', Ditmar, 65' Noreck
My experience with most fish is they bight better coming up on the full but right on the full or slightly before the fish start to move more. Could be current related not really sure. Then after the full it goes in the tank for a few days.
 

Tar Pit

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  • Mar 7, 2006
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    Friend of Bucko Shaw
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    I was told bluefin move around the full moons and it take a day or two to find the schools again.
     

    effigy

    Member
    Jul 18, 2007
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    Mark
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    Which one? Too many....
    Actual analysis of bluefin success vs moon phase:


     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    Allot of creatures. Navigate by the moon. Insects bouncing into night lights

    Flyers. Absolutely are effected at night by the moon

    Complex puzzle. Nothing is sure
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    If ever in a intense rare biodiversity. And night insects are in your hotel room, including the mosquitos.

    Turn off all the lights in the room. And turn on the patio lights outside with the door open. Most of the nocturnal flying insects that are inside, will now fly to the outdoor patio/balcony lights outside. Once they fly out. Close the door to the room. Then turn the patio light off. And turn the lights on inside and enjoy the evening, bug free

    Pro tip

    👍🏽
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    Makes me wonder. How many natural flyers are consumed well below the surface by BFT. That the bite never shows by way of visual blow out. Which is very exciting. Tunafish do not have breaks

    I have no idea
     

    Colonel Kurtz

    The Horror
    Apr 30, 2019
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    Walter E. Kurtz
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    Death From Above
    Flyers. Absolutely are effected at night by the moon
    100%. I've spent numerous nights off SCI making live flyers at night from a 25' CC, and they get absolutely hammered by seals close to the island (maybe by the BFT offshore as well?) on the full moons. Super hard to get them to fly/swim up to the boat on those nights. During the new moon, they'll basically fly into the boat. Little moonlight, more attracted to the lights on the boat.
     

    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    The moon has a huge effect on flyers at night. If the moon is burning bright all night -2am. Flyer scooping prime window is 2am grey light?

    There are already too many variables to consider with these damn BFT. I'm just going to go when I can full moon or not.
    Frank said that also for YFT LR. Go when you can go

    After being asked to analyze the moon phases for the giant YFT. There is historical data. But just go was his opinion. Has seen perfect moon phases produce poor fishing. Then what should be a bad moon, be stellar

    Imo just swell can offset allot
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    By the way. The moon phase article included some of the best west coast tuna fisherman in the world (LR captains on the water 250 days a year for decades). The article is out there. If it does not appear. I will go find it. For giant YFT
     

    Garrison

    Garrison
    May 21, 2008
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    My 2 cents:
    I don’t believe I have met an honest man who could say they have BFT pegged. We have techniques and ideas, but they seem to do, what they want to do, when they want to do it. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a popper, a live bait, a flyer, a nomad, a shallow chunk, a deep chunk, or whatever the hot ticket is, get in front of the right fish. What worked today often doesn’t work tomorrow.

    There is only one hard and fast rule to BFT fishing that I know of, you can’t catch them from your house.
     
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    screamingreel

    Long Range Fanatic
    Jan 14, 2006
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    Jeff Burroughs
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    I am 100% positive you will not catch BFT or any other fish unless you go out and try to catch them. It's fishing; jump on a boat, try different methods and see what happens...

    When it comes to fishing, it is the adventure that is most enjoyable. When it comes to catching, sometimes we are the bug and sometimes we are the windshield.

    I hope we all catch a few this year. Cheers!

    - Jeff Burroughs
     

    yessokk

    Luck favors the well prepared.
    Sep 18, 2006
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    Really interesting thread. Have put a lot of thought into catch rates being affected by the moon phases and weather patterns. About 15 years ago kept the catch rate of 4 different medium range boats. Using a best estimate calculated the catch rate per angler per hours fished. Took 5 month of data for the 4 boats and correlated that with the phase of the moon. Only pelagics were counted. As crude as the sampling was a minor pattern did emerge. The results indicated that catch rates improved by about 15% in the period 3 days before to 3 days after the full and new moon. There was no particular stand out day as great and poor catch rates were randomly distributed throughout the data. Realizing that my effort was crude at best it still was a "swing at the ball" and though not specific it did indicate that there is "some" correlation of catch rates with the phases of the moon.

    Weather: Can say with a reasonably certainty that cold front conditions kill the bite. When clear skies, cooling temperatures and gusty winds creating white caps mooves into your fishing area you might as well hit the gally for a cold one. While this may not be a 100% correct it is an event to avoid if possible.
    If time and events permit, cold front conditions can be predicted by observing the 10 day weather forecast for the target area. If the temperature trend is dropping that is an indication of a cold front approaching, I stay home. But if the temperature trend is rising or stable approaching your intended fishing date successful prospects are improved.

    However, Its always back to the tried and true recommendation of go fishing when you can, its always far better than
    keyboard fishing.

    John Alden Knight was the originator of Solunar effects.

    Walt

    Solunar Theory
    The print in the link above is very small below is an enlarged print out of its content.

    In 1926 John Alden Knight postulated some folk lore he picked up in Florida and proceeded to attempt a refinement, giving it the name Solunar (Sol for sun and Lunar for moon). Knight compiled a list of 33 factors which influence or control day-to-day behavior of fresh and salt-water fish. Everything was taken into account that could possibly have any bearing on the matter.


    One by one the factors were examined and rejected. Three of them, however, merited further examination. They were sun, moon and tides.


    Surely the sun could have no effect since it’s cycle was the same day after day, whereas the observed activity periods of fish were apt to be present at most any time of the day or night. The moon had already been weighed and found wanting. Tides? Surely there could be no tidal movement in a trout stream.


    But the fact remained, however, that the tides had always guided salt-water fishermen to good fishing. Could it be that the prompting stimulus lay in the influence of the sun and moon which cause the ocean tides, rather than the actual tidal stages or flow?


    When the original research was being done only the approximate time of moon up - moon down were considered. Gradually, it became evident that there were also intermediate periods of activity that occurred midway between the two major periods. Thus the more evident periods were called MAJOR PERIODS and the two intermediate periods, shorter in length, were called MINOR PERIODS.


    One convincing experiment was when Dr. Frank A. Brown, a biologist at Northwestern University, had some live oysters flown to his lab near Chicago_Oysters open their shells with each high tide, and Dr. Brown wanted to see if this was due to the change in ocean levels or to a force from the moon itself. He put them in water and removed them from all sunlight. For the first week they continued to open their shells with the high tides from their ocean home. But by the second week, they had adjusted their shell-openings to when the moon was directly overhead or underfoot in Chicago.


    Knight first published his tables in 1936. Then, and today, one must calculate the precise times from each table taking into account the geographic location (east or west) of a base point (Time Zone), and adjusted for Daylight Savings Time when appropriate. Our Solunar Calendar and Predictions are rounded to the nearest minute.


    An example of the deviation in time in a particular state would be Texas here the times from El Paso on the western border and Hemphill on the eastern border is 51 minutes (Hemphill is 51 minutes earlier than El Paso).


    PROVING THE THEORY


    To substantiate the theory, insofar as fish are concerned, John Alden Knight attempted a systematic inquiry to acquire complete details surrounding the capture of record catches. Both individual large fish ... and large numbers.


    He examined approximately 200 of these catches. Over 90 percent were made during the dark of the moon (new moon) when the effects of of the periods appear to be greatest, and, more important, they were made during the actual times of the Solunar Periods.


    Initially, only the behavior of fish was considered. During 1935 to 1939 Knight made extensive studies of game birds and animals. As had been suspected, these also responded to the prompting stimulus of the periods.


    PEAK DAYS


    It is now known that the sun and moon are the two major sources of the astral energies that daily bombard the Earth and all her life forms. The closer they are to you at any given moment, the stronger the influence. The day of a NEW or FULL MOON will provide the strongest influence in each month.


    PEAK MONTH


    June always has more combined sun-moon influence than any other month. During a FULL MOON the sun and moon are nearly opposite each other and very few minutes pass without one or the other being in our sky. During a NEW MOON, both bodies are in near-perfect rhythm traveling the skies together with their forces combined. Because of the interaction between the many lunar and solar cycles, no two days, months or years are identical.


    PEAK TIMES


    When a period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset you can anticipate great action!


    When you have a moonrise or moonset during that period the action will be even greater.


    And, finally, when the above times occur during a NEW or FULL MOON, you can expect the best action of the season!


    LENGTH OF PERIODS


    Every fisherman knows that fish do not feed all the time. He knows, also, that for some reason fish often go on the feed and take most any offering, be it live bait or artificial. This sort of thing happens, according to John Alden Knight (the originator of the theory) during a period. To be sure, fish usually feed actively at sunrise and sunset, but generally, the real fishing of the day is at the “odd hour” feeding periods. If the weather and feeding conditions are favorable the fish will be active for one to two hours.


    BEST FISHING DAYS


    For those fishermen who enjoy fishing at sunrise and sunset here are the absolute best dates to be on the water at your favorite spot.


    These are the Major or Minor Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise or Sunset during a Full or New Moon. It has been documented that when this condition exists fish will bite on anything they see or smell. Limits are almost guaranteed provided there are fish in the vicinity.


    It’s no secret that fish and game tend to feed during dawn and dusk (sunrise and sunset). What amplifies the activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset plus the specific monthly periods of New (dark) and Full (light) Moons.


    When the times coincide with a moon-rise or a moon-set the action can be spectacular.


    Finally, a change in the local weather coinciding with the periods will further enhance the activity.


    WATCH THE WEATHER


    For best results the tables must be used intelligently. Every day will not show a clear-cut reaction to a period. In the case of fish, barometric fluctuations, particularly when the trend is down, often ruin fishing. All wildlife knows what to expect of the weather, and any bird, animal or fish can sense the approach of a storm. Cold fronts moving through drive all fish deeper and render them inactive.


    Adverse temperature, abnormal water conditions, all sorts of things will offset the effects of periods. However, every sportsman knows that it is beyond all reason to expect good fishing or hunting every day. The theory will point the way to the best in sport that each day has to offer, but in no sense is it a guarantee.


    WATCH THE BAROMETER


    Intensity of activity also varies from day to day, according to conditions in general. If the barometer happens to be steady or rising, if the temperature is favorable (15 degrees higher than water temp) then long and active response to a period can be expected.


    WATCH THE MOON


    Another thing to remember in dealing with the periods is that solunar influence will vary in intensity according to the position of the moon. The times of new moon (the dark of the moon), and there is no moon in the sky, is the time of maximum intensity.


    Ocean tides reflect this intensity in their magnitude. This maximum will last about three days, and wildlife respond with maximum activity. Thereafter the degree of intensity tapers off until it is at its minimum during the third quarter phase of the moon.


    Salt-water anglers argue that tides have a greater influence on fish feeding habits than the moon itself. It must be understood that the tides are governed by the phases and transit of the moon. Certain marine phenomena occur with precise regularity during the lunar month and solar/lunar cycle.


    Research has shown that a natural day for fish and many other animal species differ from our own. Their biological clock appears to coincide with lunar time, which is the time that it takes for the moon to reappear at a given point during one complete rotation of the earth (an average of 24 hours and 53 minutes. This is called a Tidal Day and explains why the ocean tides are about an hour later each day - and why most fish, fresh water species included, will feed up to an hour later (in relation to our solar clock) each day.


    CALCULATING THE TIMES


    The key to accurate Solunar Times is the ability to chart the relative solar and lunar positions with respect to a particular location. The major periods coincide with the upper and lower meridian passage of the resultant gravitational (tidal) force.


    The minor periods occur when these forces are rising or setting on either horizon, i.e., the right ascension of the resultant force and the local sidereal time vary by 90 or 270 degrees. The major periods occur when these forces are at 0 and 180 degrees apart.


    AREA COVERED BY THE TIMES


    The times produced are known as EQUILIBRIUM TIDE TIMES, i.e., the times of low and high tides if the Earth were completely covered by water. The times will change one minute for each 12 miles east or west of the base point.


    There is one day each month (near the last quarter of the moon) on which there is no moonrise. This is normal and occurs because the moon’s average period between two rises and sets is approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes. Thus there will always be a day on which a moonrise (and a Solunar Time) will not fit. Note also that moonrise can occur at any time during the day or night.


    The quantities required for computing the times are eliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon, the right ascension (RA) of the moon, and the local sidereal time of the observer's position.


    CONCLUSION


    It should go without saying that if there are no fish or game present, you will not be successful. It is always to plan your days on the water or in the field so that you are where the game is most likely to be during the periods.

    *Moonup~Moondown ... Library of Congress #72-93383
     
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    9,181
    7,213
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
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    Blazer Bay 1860
    If nothing else the full moon makes it easier for you to see your line when flat falling in the dark! I used to plan backpacking trips on a full moon so we could hike in the dark for a few more hours.
     

    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    "In 2011 LB interviewed a few LR captains opinions.

    Would you prefer to schedule a big tuna fishing trip over a new moon, a full moon or somewhere in between? Many anglers meticulously schedule their fishing trips to coincide with their preferred moon phase. So what are the facts, or fictions of moon phases?

    During March, 2011 Earth experienced a "Super" Full Moon. The moon was at its closest point in orbit around Earth than in 18 years. Full moons vary in how large they appear because of the moon’s elliptical orbit. One side of the orbit – the perigee – is closest to the earth, while the other – the apogee, is the farthest away, with the difference being about 50,000 km. The March full moon was brighter and larger in appearance by 14% than a normal full moon and exerted proportionately greater tidal influences around the globe. So if full moons are good or bad for fishing maybe the super full moon would exaggerate and emphasize this bias.

    Three boats were fishing in the zone leading up to and leading out of this March 2011super full moon phase. The Intrepid and Royal Polaris both arrived on the fishing grounds March 19, 2011 just in time for the super full moon. The Red Rooster's 15 day trip had just wrapped up its fishing portion of the trip and was on her way home after fishing during the week leading up to the full moon.

    So how do full moons affect fishing for big tuna? The tides during this super full moon were extremely strong. Of course there are a great many variables that affect tuna activity and feeding that most professional skippers say override the importance of moon phase, the most important three factors being current, current and current.

    But many individual anglers have strong preconceived notions that fishing on a new moon is better than fishing on a full moon. The facts point to the contrary and the anecdotal input of some of the best long range captains in the fleet indicate the moon phase theories are hog wash. Individual recreational anglers may base their biases on personal experience or anecdotal evidence, and these biases need to be weighed against the experience of professional fishing captains who are on the water 250 days or more every year

    Red Rooster 3 Reports Leading Into the Super Full Moon

    Reports from Andy Cates on the Red Rooster indicate fishing was good to very good for much of their trip during the last week leading into the super full moon. They landed 189 nice tuna including 13 cows. Their daily catches of the quality size tuna averaged 27 fish during their 7 days of fishing. Their daily catches were pretty consistant but the last two days of fishing did show a slight decline with 20 and 14 fish days, respectively. These fish counts do not include the smaller grade tuna, released or unreported.

    Captain Andy Cates had this to say

    "The question about the Moon phase is complicated. Although there are times when the full moon is best, the new moon can have good fishing as well. It is almost a hindsight thing . You always seem to be looking back at moon phases to see when it bit the best and rarely does it repeat to the day. A few days before the full and up to the full can be great. After the full moon historically seems to be an off time. Wahoo and bluefin tuna generally show and bite best on the full moon, although bait fishing is always a bit of a problem on a full moon. I have seen excellent night fishing on the full moon.

    Personally I like to be fishing more of the dark of the moon because the bait fishing is easier. You can't blame the full moon for slow fishing. We always tell people to book a trip that fits your schedule rather than trying to predict whether a moon phase is going to be better or worse. You pay your money and take your chance."

    So what happened on the Rooster's prior two trips? Their February 16/13-day fly down/back trip fished Hurricane Bank and the Buffer Zone and accounted for 140 tuna including 4 cows and one super cow fishing from 5 days before the full moon and 2 days after the full moon. They caught the most fish during the 4 days surrounding the full moon. The next earlier trip fished the 7 days just before the new moon and produced 179 tuna including 11 cows, just about the same as during the week of fishing time leading into the March super full moon, where they bagged 189 big tuna including 13 cows. Andy did say, "you pay your money and you take your chance."


    Moon Phase and Tidal Influence

    Source: NOAA, US Dept of Commerce

    Tides are caused by the combined gravitational attraction of the sun and moon.

    The tide-generating force represents the difference between (1) the centrifugal force produced by the revolution of the earth around the common center-of-gravity of the earth-moon system and (2) the gravitational attraction of the moon acting upon the earth's overlying waters. Since, on the average, the moon is only 238,852 miles from the earth compared with the sun's greater distance of 92,956,000 miles, this closer distance outranks the much smaller mass of the moon compared to the sun, and the moon's tide raising force is, accordingly, 2 1/2 times that of the sun.

    Twice in each lunar month, when the sun, moon, and earth are directly aligned, with the moon between the earth and sun (at new moon) or on the opposite of the earth from the sun (at full moon), the sun and the moon exert their gravitational force in a mutual or additive fashion. Higher high tides and lower low tides are produced. These are called spring tides .

    At two positions 90 degrees in between, the gravitational forces of the moon and sun - imposed at right angles - then to counteract each other to the greatest extent, and the range between high and low tides is reduced. These are called neap tides. This semi-monthly variation between the spring and neap tides is called the phase inequality. These are the waxing and waning quarter phases of the moon, when the moon appears like a half a moon.

    The actual range of tide in the waters of the open ocean may amount to only one or two feet, However, as this tide approaches shoal waters and its effects are augmented the tidal range may be greatly increased. In Nova Scotia along the narrow channel of the Bay of Fundy, the range of tides may reach 43 feet or more (under spring tide conditions) due to resonant amplification.

    In every case, actual high or low tide can vary considerably from the average due to weather conditions such as strong winds, abrupt barometric pressure changes, or prolonged periods of extreme high or low pressure.

    Intrepid and Royal Polaris Results Following the Super Full Moon

    So how did the Intrepid and Royal Polaris trips do arriving on the grounds just at the March super full moon and fishing into the waning quarter of this moon phase? Phenomenal may be the best description. The RP had to head back early with a plugged boat which included 27 cows and a new record 9 super cows, making it the best "big tuna trip" ever. The Intrepid on a shorter trip also experienced great fishing during this same waning moon phase between super full and 3rd quarter, March 19 - 26.

    At least during this period fishing was great to phenomenal through all phases of the moon. When we asked the captains of the Intrepid and Royal Polaris their thoughts we received these emailed responses:

    Kevin Osborn - Intrepid

    "I was once sold on moon phases for big tuna until the fall season of 2009-2010 when the Intrepid experienced two exceptional bites on cow sized yellowfin tuna during full moon cycles. Those two trips changed my thinking and forced me to open new doors and develop new“
    and develop new strategies targeting cows. One of those full moon trips produced 28 cows (over 200lbs) and one super cow (over 300lbs) with many, many, more in the 130-190lb range landed and lots more released intentionally or unintentionally. The other produced 17 fish over 200lbs and many in the 120-190lb range. The full moon cycle was clearly not a negative factor on these trips. There are clearly other factors that are much more important and influential for fish behavior than the phase of the moon. These fish counts strengthened my way of thinking about how big fish re-act day to day to various critical factors especially currents and tides.

    The single most important factor is current. In a given situation and/or location, you must have a good current in order to be successful on the big fish grounds. Full or new moons don't guarantee good current. Current is a critical factor that can be strong (good) or absent (bad) during any moon phase and will not be determined until that given fishing day.

    Tidal flow is also going to play a big role in how the fish re-act. This can be a negative reaction or a positive one and is usually answered on the fishing day it-self. Tides and tidal flow are greatest during the full moon cycle and more stable during the new moon or waning moon cycle. I guess you need to be there to find out how these factors are going to play out and how the fish are going to act. My advice is pick a good time for your fishing vacation and get out there. Then let the Captains do the research on what, where, and when to catch your trophy Tuna!"

    Frank LoPreste - Royal Polaris

    "Earlier in my career I maintained a daily diary of my boat catches and tried to correlate our catches with moon phase, tides and currents. I developed a very strong bias that the very best time to be in the zone is the week before the full moon and then 3 and 4 days following the full moon. I know some guys that like the dark moon better but that's probably a bait thing. That's if everything else is working. But there are so many other more important factors, and the correct current is the single most critical factor turning fish on and off. The moon affects tides but not current and I'd prefer a good current on any moon phase than a bad current or no current on the best moon phase. I hear some guys say fish feed at night during a full moon and won't bite during the day. That is just not true. They will bite, at least most of the time, when the current is good.

    Sometimes I get really close to thinking the whole moon phase thing is a bunch of hogwash. You can predict and plan a trip around the moon phase if you really want to but you can't predict the currents. My feeling is just book your trips when it's most convenient."

    I also asked long range legends Tommy Rothery and Tim Ekstrom for their theory and opinions.

    Tommy Rothery - Polaris Supreme
    "The advice I give my daughters and my anglers is to make decisions based on fact and science not emotions. I think most personal experiences don't have someone standing back looking outside box and seeing the whole picture unemotionally. We know the full moon pushes fish and especially bait to bite better during day light hours. Night bites seem better in dark of moon for bait and game fish. The moon affects tides and currents and that's HUGE. Any angler having a really good or really bad trip on a particular phase of the moon ought to ask the following questions: What was the tidal effect that day? What was the current? Were the fish in spawn mode? They are very dumb when they are. I don't know if there is any science on spawning and moon phase. That might help an argument one way or another."

    Best for Last I have fished on a lot of boats with a lot of skippers, most of whom are experienced and excellent. I have total confidence in every captain on each of the boats I charter each year. The Royal Star is unique in that they have 3 owner operators who are all best of breed. Here are Tim Ekstrom's thoughts about moon phase from the Royal Star Triumvirate.

    Tim Ekstrom - Royal Star

    Imagine the peril of touting one moon phase over another to the business minded sport fishing Captain trying to promote a schedule operating through every lunar cycle eleven months per year. One strong opinion could influence the outcome of angler's decisions in the best, or worst, kind of way. I could just see it - "but Tim said they always bite coming into the full", or "Tim said we should have slayed them on the new"; talk about bearing the brunt; and rightly so. That said let me offer what my experience has taught me, and how my opinion compares.

    Moon phases absolutely correspond to fishing results; but unpredictably. One can't determine in advance, say next season for example, what the fishing outcome of a moon cycle will be with any accuracy; there are just too many variables. Pinning the success of a voyage on a moon cycle reminds me of one of those old useless trivia facts that reveal that every cure for warts, from taping a penny on it, to rubbing it nightly and believing it will disappear, to burning it off with liquid nitrogen is successful fifty percent of the time; same thing with the moon cycle and fishing results - at least fifty percent of the time it is the reason, at least fifty percent of
    the time it is not.

    But then is it really the moon itself or the conditions brought about by the changing moon? Fishing is about conditions - current velocity and direction, water color and temperature, wind direction and strength, all these factor into the equation. And, out of respect to my chief mentor Steve Loomis, ofcourse the presence of game fish. Less a solid combination of the above, anglers are destined for a long, fruitless day on the water. The strength of these conditions is definitely more reliable around full and new moon phases; especially current. That current really seems to activate the life beneath the surface - bait fish are on the move gulping down nutrients agitated and rising to the surface layer from strong upwelling; game fish are quick to take advantage of vulnerable prey out of hiding; current lines and rips form to define more productive zones to focus fishing effort; all these conditions benefit fishermen targeting the big haul. I like fishing during peak moon cycles full and new.

    Then there are the more subtle periods often associated with the back side or waning phases that require more refined technical strategies, and much keener observation to identify the likely zones of production. Mind you these periods don't always correspond to the certain phases but for the sake of this effort I'll say they often do. More than anything however I want to emphasize that the moon phases are not what dictates the success or failure in fishing as much as the fish and the fisherman working toward success. There are an awful lot of times when individuals are quick to blame the moon for poor fishing when the results, or lack thereof, were relative to the effort - as in whomever was driving convinced themselves that the full had them shut down so they shut down their eyes, ears, and instinct in response; big mistake.

    All the experience I have gained does tell me one certain thing: anglers are just as well planning a voyage that corresponds to a full moon cycle as a new moon. I'd be willing to bet that statistical analysis of fishing results through many lunar cycles would prove this correct. My personal preference is fishing while coming into a phase, full or new then being on the water for three or four days following the cycle peak. That is simply my personal preference however - no guarantee attached. And, levity aside, almost every voyage five days and longer encompasses one side of the new or full cycle taking advantage of a waxing stage. But, to throw a final wrench into the

    works, I have seen unbelievable fishing, coastal and offshore, unseat every theory and notion of what should be time and again - the fall 2005 big fish season, summer 1999 - 2003 offshore albacore and Bluefin fishing, and fall/winter 2006-2007 Hurricane Bank fishing being perfect examples. Those time periods, through multiple consecutive lunar stages, produced amazingly consistent catching the entire time; waxing, waning, full, new, first quarter, etc. - it didn't matter; we clobbered them for months on end. Honestly, trying to predict what will happen on a fishing excursion relative to the lunar cycle is an exercise of faith. But, isn't faith at least an element of all fishing?"



    Paul's Science & Statistics We took another more scientific approach to the question. Paul Yarnold, AKA Planet, is one of the preeminent medical and space statisticians in the world. Just Google him if you have any doubt. His books, theories and publications are used by medical universities as the definitive text for medical research requiring statistical analysis. Paul also loves to fish. Terrence Berg at 976TUNA generously provided the actual daily fish counts for albacore, yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna for the years 2003 through 2010 for the day boats out of San Diego. We assigned a moon day for each of the days during this period with 1 representing the new moon and 14 representing the full moon and the remaining 26 days of each lunar period it's appropriate number. Paul then researched and tested the data to discover if there were any correlations between fish counts and moon phase for each of the tuna species. Unfortunately the data was imperfect and we could draw no conclusions or implications from this actual data.

    Conclusion I am a charter master on 7 long range trips each year. My trip dates are assigned and scheduled well in advance with no consideration to moon phase. In other words I don't have a choice. But I am out on the water 50 plus days a year, which is arguably more than most anglers. I have experienced epic bites on all phases of the moon, and unfortunately I have also experienced slow trips on all moon phases. I'm inclined to go with the above captains' experience and judgment that there are many other critical factors, like current, current and current, which can't be predicted in advance. My advice is choose your favorite boat and your favorite group and book a trip that is convenient during the season that fits your schedule and target species.
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    The moon controls the tides heights and the natural night light times, but not the currents and winds and swell size or direction, ect

    Big puzzle.