Does the moonphase matter when fishing for catfish?

Does the moonphase matter when fishing for catfish?

This is a ‘hot-button’ for many fisherman, and many a fight has started over this. There are as many different opinions on this as there are types of people who fish. Moon phases are reported on reports called Solunar Tables, and are posted in every fishing magazine, website, marina and lakeside facility in the world. They are based on the positional relationship between the moon and sun. These postions are important because they indicate how much gravatational influence each exerts on our planet, and has a direct effect on tides. Does this effect inland lakes as well? Some say yes, some say no, I say maybe, but very slight. There have been many studies on the Solunar Tables and thier actual effect on feshwater fishing, but they have all been inconclusive. The problem is that there is no way to control the conditions of the experiment, which is essential to the scientific method. In other words, are more fish caught during peak times on the Tables because the Tables are valid, or because fisherman read the Tables and went fishing in greater numbers at these times? Who knows? Here are some of the problems I have (as an educated scientist myself) with the hypothesis. Most advocates swear that them best catfishing time is 2-3 days before a full moon, and 2-3 days after. However, according to the actual realitites, the new moon phase should be the peak time, because both the sun and the moon are lined up and exerting the greatest combined gravitational force on the earth in one direction at this time. Tides are 20% higher during a new moon. So how do we reconcile what we are told with the observable data? We can’t! That is just one of the problems I have with it. There are many others. Fishermen will tell you that at full moon, fish are more active. Veterinarians will tell you that they see more animal injuries and attacks at the full moon. Nurses and doctors will tell you that Emergency Rooms are more filled with violent injuries during a full moon, and policemen will tell you that the crime rates go up during a full moon. Statistics do not appear to support these contentions. In by-gone times, the moon was though to influence the mentally ill, hence the the term ‘lunatic’ (Luna is Latin for the moon). I feel that weather patterns have far more influence on freshwater fishing than do moon phases. If you like fooling around with Solunar Tables, then by all means indulge yourself. Anything that gets you on the water can’t be all bad! Happy Fishing!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

© 2008 Ask Catfish Fishing. All rights reserved. Sitemap
Proudly designed by TotalTreasureChest.