You’ve probably heard the phrase, “it must be a full moon” at least once in your life.
Usually, when people or pets are acting strangely, we tend to chalk it up to circumstances beyond our control.
But what does it really mean?
Why would a full moon, or any type of moon that particular day, have any effect at all on behavior?
And what does any of this have to do with fishing?
Well, in 1926 John Aldenn Knight developed what today is called the Solunar Table. Solunar is a theory based on factors involving the sun and moon and patterns of animal movements.
We all know how tides in the ocean are related to the gravitational pull of the moon. But what about Solunar theory and the Solunar table?
How does that work?
Well, for starters, John Aldenn Knight set out to to list all the factors that influence or control the behavior of both freshwater and saltwater fish. He came up with 33 factors. Of all 33 factors, 30 were rejected. The only ones left were the moon, the sun, and the tide. Tides have long been known as an extremely important factor for saltwater fishing, so that factor was obvious. Through his research, Knight concluded that the positions of the moon and sun relative to each other were the determining factor in fish behavior.
The two main periods of fish activity were moon up and moon down. These time frames were found to be the times fish were most actively feeding. But, with his research, Knight also found two other periods, intermediate periods, that occurred between moon up and moon down. They were not as strong in influence as the major periods, but were noticeably stronger than any other time. This discovery gave birth to the Solunar table, which identifies the major and minor times of day when fish are most active.
In 1936, Knight published his first Solunar table that charted this information for hunters and anglers. These tables illustrate the best days of the month and times of the day to hunt and fish for game.
Today, the US Naval Observatory, among other websites, publish current data for anglers and hunters all over the world. Be careful about some of the sites you visit, as you may find one with inaccurate data.
You should always default to the US Naval Observatory site to verify any information that you come across with regards to lunar and solar time periods. I use In-Fishermans’ table as it fits my specific needs. I can specify location and species when I’m searching and get the most up to date information before I go fishing.
So if you’re planning a fishing trip far out in advance, or you just want to see how the bite will be this weekend, be sure to include a Solunar table in your research.
Some anglers find it to be hokey, but many more rely on it to ensure a great trip fishing.