I have just completed a research paper on fishing bite times in relation to the moon phases. Below is the summary of the findings. It would be great to get feedback from the kayak fishing community on whether the theory and the new refined tables work in practice. I have placed the actual bite time tables on fishingnirvana.com.
How to catch more fish – timing is everything
Ever heard the saying “20% of the fishermen catch 80% of the fish”? The most successful fishermen know where to fish, how to fish, and most importantly WHEN to fish. Fishing bite time forecasts are critical for the aspiring angler, and an important a factor for planning a successful days fishing.
Fishing Calendar and Bite Times – the theory
Have you ever driven past a field of cows and noticed them either all feeding or all sitting inactive? How about going fishing when the fish are definitely there but just not biting? Hunters and fishermen from ancient civilisations were the first to connect the movement and feeding times of animals with the moon phases. They planned hunts and fishing expeditions based on the moon phases to maximise their results. The same practices applied in ancient times are still valid today.
The connection between animal movement was first documented in 1926, by John Alden Knight. His research concluded there were major and minor Solunar periods during the day that aligned with the positioning on the moon. He noted “Other conditions not being unfavourable, fish will feed, animals will move about, birds will sing and fly from place to place, in fact, all living things will become more active, more alive, during Solunar periods than at other times of apparent equal value. Those anglers who have had the breadth of vision to follow the schedule, have found that it is a guide to the best fishing of each day, and the quality of their sport has improved…”
When to go fishing
– An “Excellent” fishing days occur around time full moon or a new moon times, and the “Poor” days when there is a quarter moon and a three quarter moon.
– The best times of each day to go fishing are when the moon is directly overhead or directly underfoot on the opposite side of the earth.
– The next best times are when the moon rises or sets.
– The length of each bite time depends on the moon phasing, with the best days having the longest bite times and the worst days having the shortest.
– Fish also feed at “change of light”, which occurs at sunrise and sunset.
– The ultimate time to go fishing (I call this “fishing nirvana”) is when the fishing day is rated “excellent”, and a bite time on this day coincides with change of light.
If you don’t have a lunar calendar handy to calculate these times, no worries. Tables showing the best days and bite times are available now for your location at fishingnirvana.com. These tables take the best aspects of the Solunar theory and Maori fishing calendar, and by providing the length of each bite time they should give the most accurate forecast possible. It would be great to hear your feedback. Any questions feel free to ask!