Why does a full moon seem to impact fishing, and in particular the catching of fish? There definitely is something to it. No question in my old mind.
My friend Jim Mansfield kept detailed records over many years about the more than 100,000 panfish he caught. Without questions, his statistics showed fishing was better around a full moon. The best days seemed to be three to five days before the moon was full.
In late winter, I usually fish for shellcrackers (redear sunfish), and there is no question the crackers move into the shallows around lilly pads and snail three-to-five days before the full moons in March and April, depending on the weather and water temperature.
Whatever the reason, fish seem to be more active around the time of the full moon. Some hunters believe it impacts other animals as well.
Yamaha bass fishing pro Mark Davis says he tries to time his big fish hunts during the three days immediately preceding a full moon, regardless of the time of year.
He also doesn’t know why bass seem to bite better during that time, but his years of experience as both a tournament pro and a guide on Lake Ouachita near his home have proven it is the most reliable time to catch a big fish. He really likes to be on the water when the sun and moon are visible at the same time.
“Overall,” concludes Davis, “catching a big bass now is all about finding cover close to deep water, and then fishing that cover extremely slowly. Don’t worry about leaving your lure motionless on the bottom for up to half a minute, because the bass definitely know it’s there, and they’re probably watching it.
“The less obtrusive and aggressive you can make it look, the better your chances for catching one of them.”
People says the full moon impacts people as well as other animals, but whatever the reason, it appears to be a good time to go fishing. There isn’t a bad time to go fishing; some are just better than others.