Moon Phases for Fishing

For many years fishermen argued over the importance of fishing under a full moon and whether or not there was a scientific explanation or just an ole wise tale. Do Moon Phases Affect Fishing?

Yes-Most anglers on salt & freshwater use moon phases & the lunar cycle to plan fishing trips because they believe that the best times for fishing are during a new moon phase or a full moon cycle when tides & currents are strongest creating more movement for bait fish making big sportfish more active.

Ancient civilizations around the world often used the phases of the Moon as a calendar. They would mark the passing of time by lunar months or what they called “moonths.” Similar to the modern length of a month approximately four weeks, a month is the period of time it takes for the lunar cycle to repeat – roughly 29.5 days.


Moon Phases for Fishing


Moon Phases For This Month featured image
Farmer’s Almanac Moon Phases

Fishermen have over the years, and some swear success using moon phases, while others say it has little effect. There are more world-record fish caught during new and full moons which adds to this argument.

During a new moon, there is less light at night, a fish is simply more hungry during the day. Some pelagic fish (inhabiting the upper layers of the open sea) use their eyes more than their noses to find food.

During the new moon, there is very little light and they have a harder time finding bait or food in the dark. It has long been thought that fish do not eat as much on the new moon and feed heavily during daylight hours.

A lot of fishermen have heard about the science of fishing and chasing the Full-Moon to catch big Pretedor fish on and off the high tide and swear by it. The moon directly affects the Tides and Currents which directly affect a fish’s behavior.

The Moon affects Tides by its Gravitational Pull along with the help of the sun and the Earth. When the moon and the sun are on the same side of the Earth or on opposite sides of the Earth they create the strongest pull on the Ocean tides. This can also affect the currents in the ocean which affect fish movement and feeding.


A “new” Moon occurs about once a month when the Moon comes between the Earth and Sun. Not to be confused with a “full” Moon a new Moon is usually impossible to see as it is drowned out by the Sun’s bright light.

Best Moon Phase for Fishing


Solunar 2020. In douazeci douazeci se prinde peste! | Tehnici de pescuit
   The lunar fishing calendar predicts a general type of fishing forecast based on moon phases, sunrise, and sunset data.

Can you catch more fish, or will you have a better chance of catching bigger fish in and around a new moon? Anglers use information from a moon phase/lunar fishing calendar that is based in part on the phases of the moon.

Fishing by moon phases is based on the idea that the moon’s gravity affects the tides, the currents, and the fish’s feeding behavior.  Some anglers believe that the best fishing times are during a new moon or a full moon when the tides are strongest and the fish are more active

  • During the rise and set of the Moon

The most important thing to remember about fishing by the moon is that periods of a full or new moon tend to be the best, provided that the weather and water conditions are stable. There are variables and exceptions to the rule when fishing by moon phase.

Weather is one exception to the rule of what moon phase is the best for catching fish. If the water is cold or muddy, or if a storm is approaching, the moon phase fishing theories may not work.

  • The moon phases also affect the tides-tides affect fish
  • There is a lot more fish movement right after the moon rises and right before the moon sets
  • When a moon rise/set occurs within the hour of sunrise/set it seems to  turn fish on and produce some bites 

The best times to fish are when the fish are naturally most active. The Sun, Moon, tides, and weather all influence fish activity. For example, fish tend to feed more at sunrise and sunset and during a full moon when tides are higher than average.

During full lunar moon phases or a seven-day period for the best fishing the volume of water that comes in offshore during the rising tide increases.

This extra water could likely be a great benefit when fishing lunar phases and if you’re an angler wanting to catch a big sportfish. you go during times of the full moon or moon phases that affect fishing.


Major and Minor Moon Phases for Fishing


According to John Alden Knight’s famous Solunar Theory, fish become more active, and feeding increases during two major periods each day and increases to a lesser extent during two minor periods each day. Major Feeding Times occur when the moon is directly overhead a point on the Earth’s surface or directly below and Minor Feeding Times occur during moon rise and moon set when the moon is on the horizon.


Graphic depiction of major and minor feeding times


What is the Best Moon Phase for Freshwater Fishing?

According to Fishermen & the Farmers Almanac, a Full & New Moon is the best Moon Phase for freshwater fishing, these moons have an impact on everything that dwells in & around H2O, just as they do on tides & freshwater fish that rise………………………………read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor


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