moon fishing

Ask Team MTB: Do Lunar Phases Actually Affect The Bite?

Every day MysteryTackleBox customer service employees field questions from our loyal subscribers and readers. We don’t always get to every request for a tip or trick, but when good questions come across my desk, we have to turn them into blog posts so ALL of our users can get that information. We recently got one of those from an MTB user Adam in San Luis Obispo, CA. Adam asked, “Do lunar phases actually affect the activity of fish, or is lunar tracking just a classic case of anglers over-complicating things. Here’s the truth:

The moon has an extremely powerful impact on the earth. It mitigates our climate, keeps the earth from wobbling like a top as it spins, and creates (and regulates) the tidal cycle by which so many creatures survive.

lunar phase diagram

Seeing as though the moon has so many impacts in our daily lives, it stands to reason that it also has some impact on fishing – which is something that anglers for years have speculated. Look in any outdoor themed calendar, and you’re likely to see the “Lunar forecast” with notes related to how the phase will affect the fishing.

Although there is precious little in the scientific literature about how fish react to changes in the lunar cycle, it hasn’t stopped anglers from developing serious superstitions about how it all works.

Some think that fish are most active on specific lunar phases; others swear that it has more to do with moon rise and set. Still others believe that daytime fishing is poor for a couple days around a full moon – because the fish are all feeding at night.

The bottom line is everybody knows that there’s a good likelihood that fish are affected by changes in the lunar cycle, but nobody knows definitively how.

moon phases

We do know some things though, like the fact that the sunfishes (bass and bluegill species) time their peak spawning activities around a full moon, and that new and full moons result in “spring” tides with higher highs and lower lows that can dramatically affect the way inshore and brackish species act.

So what’s the point?

The point is, although the moon and its lunar phases likely have an impact on the fishing, it’s probably pretty small – so the most important thing to do is to get out fishing, regardless of the moon cycle. Keep a fishing journal and maybe you’ll catch onto a pattern that every full moon at YOUR lake the fish are biting, or every quarter moon they go dormant. It all depends on too many other factors to say for sure one way or another, but the only way to know is try! Any time on the water is better than none, no matter what the moon is doing.

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