The Lunar in Solunar
Do you really understand what solunar tables are? Or how they related to the moon and how that relates to behavior?
Fish bites aren't something that raises a small whelt on your forearm that you would be willing to scrape with sandpaper to stop from driving you nuts. To the contrary; it's something we're thinking whenever we see that white jighead we left on our desk, or the rods on the wall, or the water we're driving over. It's what we're looking for when we start that boat or ramp that boat or float that yak or walk into or near the water with a rod in our hands. The bite. This is a story about when that bite's most likely to be on. And why you can know before that happens that it's gonna.
No, you do NOT need a $20,000 watch to tell you when the fish are gonna bite, but what the heck? If you got it, flaunt it. We prefer giving extra money to help pull little kids out of dark places, or if they're already in bright ones teach them how to help the other ones by taking them on the water. But knowing what the moon does to the fish you catch or the deer you hunt will help put them on the table.
Kid's Ask the Captain...
You get the greatest questions when you are talking to kids, and we are lucky enough to talk to kids a lot. Protecting, empowering, teaching them, and entertaining them is an important aspect of our personal lives and along with their moms and dads are one of the real building blocks of what we provide on this site. We work with them when they're in very difficult places, and we work with the ones thriving in safe and loving environments. But abused or protected, alone with strangers or home with their parents, they are all remarkably beautiful and nearly magical in their nature. And rich or poor they ask great (and surprising at times) questions; the kind of questions that make us shake our heads at our own petty problems. Just yesterday morning, a kid who sat focused on speakers for eight hours over two days (along with dad and his brothers) dropped one of those questions on us: when should I fish? I wanna catch a crappie!!! When is the best time to go???" Knowing kids like we do, we now he brought the question with him. The desire to get answers and get better at catching those fish is what brought him here and made him and the other dozen kids in the crowd sit there all day.
Solunars vs Experience
There are people that work on this site - including my partners - that will be the first to disagree with what I am about to say. In some ways it is contrary to not only common fishing lore but contrary to their personal experience. They look at the Solunars. Special tables for the sun and the moon and some special variables that tell you when to fish or hunt. Heck, you can see them on a few different sites we provide links to right here on TheOnlineFisherman.com. After looking at said Solunars and having the bite turn on at exactly the right moment, they are convinced that the printed cards that fold them it was going to happen is why it happened.
The one thing that most effected that printed card - and essentially the heart of those forecasts - is simple. It is the "lunar" part. If you know the moon phases, you know when fish are more likely to bite and when those turkeys are most likely to be out there in those fields foraging for peas and other tasty food sources, or the deer come into sight.
But there are fundamental problems with Solunars tables. The data on which they are based might be in some formula somewhere, but in my personal experience the Solunars are not always right. I have fished - in a fishy spot I had known for a while - when all indicators (the printed charts, mobile apps, or web sites) said the bite should have been nuclear. And caught nada. Nadita. Other times while terrible weather conditions and all known Solunars said I should have stayed with my cool plasma television and NetFlix, I absolutely slammed snook, redfish, and largemouth bass. Or shot a hell of a buck.
Moonrise on the Ocean
The key indicators in my experience did not need special charts. I needed to know when the sun and the moon were gonna rise and when they were gonna set. If I knew that I had the perfect time to be on the water if I could. Knowing when they were gonna set was another one. The moon in particular simply rising or setting over the horizon will often turn on a bite in the middle of a sun- bleached day in middle of summer. It is better to focus on the moon and try to fish the rise and set times. An hour before a moonrise or a set is best as a starting time and fish till it is up or gone for an hour.
This means that you can do away with your paper charts and stop buying stuff. If you believe that somehow the secret Solunars are more helpful, you can get them here. But knowing when the sun and moonrise are going to be give you 4 times when the bite might turn on.
The Real Secret to the Bite...
Full moons - the ones that light up the night - and new moons (where the orb is black as the sky around it) are even more meaningful than the rise. Find a time when the moon is full. We show tides from ProAngler on our front page. Look for the full ones and the dark ones. Note that two days before each lunar event, and two days afterwards, we say it is the best of the best times to fish.
To catch more fish, find the time for the moonrise and the moonset. Sunsets and sunset are wonderful, but as good as they might be, the moonrise and set are even better. If both happen within an hour of each other, all the better. But the lunar event is the best and most effective. That means you will often find the best time of the day to fish is on your way to or from work. So leave an hour early, or plan on getting home an hour late.
And you will catch more fish
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