(1.4) BASS: Does The Moon Influence Bass Feeding Activity Even In A Flowing Stream?
Does The Moon Influence Bass Feeding Activity Even In A Flowing Stream?
An Information, Opinion, & Photos Report
Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
Article Originally Posted to Internet: 07 November 2010
This Web-page Created: 05 July 2013
Last Revised: 12 January 2020
There are many factors that can affect the success of a day's bass fishing on a flowing river or a still-water lake. Among them could be included: water clarity, water temperature, water level, current velocity, cold or hot air temperature, inclement weather, strong winds, bright sun or overcast, shade, dissolved oxygen levels, abundance of forage species, low overall bass population in that body of water, etc. But if most of the above factors are A-OK, the Moon-influenced "fish feeds" will usually provide the best success during that day's trip.
NOTE: Click-on individual photos to enlarge them!
MOON POSITION EVENTS:
Our Moon, as far as how we see (or don't see) it, attains four significant position events in the sky in regard to the Earth: MOON-OVER, MOON-UNDER, MOON-RISE, and MOON-SET. These events vary how the gravitational power of the Moon is felt upon the Earth -- and especially upon the waters of the Earth.
Largemouth Bass caught about 1 hour after MOON-UNDER
MOON-OVER (directly over your location on the Earth's surface) and MOON-UNDER (directly under your location on the Earth's surface -- which would mean MOON-OVER in China perhaps) is when HIGH TIDES occur if you are at the coastal shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, etc. During high tides fish usually feed more actively in tidewater areas. But they also seem to increase their feeding pursuits, especially as to chasing artificial lures, in inland non-tidal waters during MOON-OVER and MOON-UNDER. These feeding periods, called "majors" by some, may last up to two hours both before and after the exact time of MOON-OVER and MOON-UNDER at your location. Many times, however, the possibly 4-hour feeding "frenzy" starts and ends quite gradually.
Largemouth Bass caught about 1 hour after MOON-RISE
MOON-RISE or MOON-SET on the horizon from your location is when LOW TIDES occur if you are at the coastal shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, etc. MOON-RISE and MOON-SET also appear to trigger "fish feeds", called "minors" by some, in inland non-tidal waters which may again last for up to 2 hours both before and after the exact time of MOON-RISE and MOON-SET at your location. Once again the maybe 4-hour "frenzy" usually starts and ends very gradually.
Striped Bass caught about 50 minutes after MOON-SET
Our accepted normal clock-time day, which we Earthling human beings live by in the various time zones across the globe, is based on the measurement of time between successive zeniths (high points) of the Sun and is 24 hours long. Noon in Standard Time, in whatever time zone you are, is usually the zenith of the Sun in the sky.
The Moon, though, is much more complicated to figure-out. "Tidal days" are about 24 hours and 50 minutes long because the Moon reaches its zenith (high point or MOON-OVER) about 50 minutes later every 24 hours of our normal (based on the Sun) clock-time day. The fish feeding periods based on the events of MOON-OVER/UNDER and MOON-RISE/SET will correspondingly start about 50 minutes later every calendar day.
Largemouth Bass caught about 20 minutes before MOON-SET
Ocklawahaman did not invent this daily "Moon madness" fish activity stuff. It is nothing new and you can read about Moon based fish/game feeding periods in many books, magazines, or online. I first read about this theory back in the 1970's in an article from Florida Wildlife magazine (published by the old Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission). My fishing buddy -- who probably has caught and released more "lunker" bass up to 13 pounds in Ocala National Forest ponds on ARTIFICIAL LURES from a CANOE than anybody else in modern history and undoubtedly is the best still-water bass fisherman that I have ever seen or known -- practically "begged" me to use the "feed times" in the early 1990's after he became convinced that they actually worked.
Largemouth Bass caught about 50 minutes after MOON-SET
Stubbornly, I was an unconvinced skeptic about this "feed lunacy" for over 10 years and refused to plan my bass fishing by it -- I usually had only one day a week to fish so I did it INTENSELY from dawn to dusk. Anyhow, I reasoned, stream bass are mostly "governed" by the current that they watch for food and probably little else except shade matters to them.
BUT I did maintain computerized detailed creel surveys (including catch times for noteworthy fish) of my trips during those skepticism years. Later on in 2004 I procured a PC program that displays Moon data present, past, and future which made it possible for me to compare my "blind" success versus Moon event times (and phases) for those earlier days -- after I converted my logged catch times back into STANDARD TIME from Daylight Savings Time, if necessary. This ability to have "20-20 hindsight" helped me to believe in this Moon madness!
Striped Bass caught about 5 minutes before MOON-UNDER
I have maintained electronic creel survey logs for some 30 years now (including dates, times, and Moon data) of my larger size catches of largemouth bass, striped bass, shoal bass, Suwannee bass, channel catfish and other species using artificial lures. My records show that well over 80% of these larger and more sought-after fish were caught during the Moon event "feeds" from all of the Florida freshwaters that I have fished! Also, at least for me, the "minors" have been just about as productive as the "majors" although my fishing buddy reports that the major periods have been better for him.
Channel Catfish caught about 1 hour 40 minutes after MOON-SET
MOON POSITION EVENTS AND THEIR INFLUENCE
UPON RAINY SEASON SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
My own experience during the north-central Florida rainy season (usually June through September) seems to suggest that the changing gravitational pull of the several MOON POSITION EVENTS -- MOON-OVER, MOON-UNDER, MOON-RISE, and MOON-SET -- may actually attract the moisture-laden, sea-breeze formed rain clouds to certain areas of Florida. Many, many times, I have been drenched by heavy storms while attempting to fish during the Moon-influenced feeding periods -- possibly more so during the "majors", MOON-OVER and MOON-UNDER! THINK ABOUT THIS: If the Moon can cause the tides, can it also pull or push the water-filled clouds in a particular direction?
FIRST QUARTER MOON
LAST QUARTER MOON
Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
BASS FISHING DATA: "MOON PHASE WEEKS"
"New Moon Week" includes all 7 days from 3 days before until 3 days after New Moon.
"First Quarter Moon Week" includes all 7 days from 3 days before until 3 days after First Quarter Moon.
"Full Moon Week" includes all 7 days from 3 days before until 3 days after Full Moon.
"Last Quarter Moon Week" includes all 7 days from 3 days before until 3 days after Last Quarter Moon.
"New Moon Week" Data
22.22% of all memorable and trophy-sized largemouth bass caught
"First Quarter Moon Week" Data
25.40% of all memorable and trophy-sized largemouth bass caught
"Full Moon Week" Data
23.81% of all memorable and trophy-sized largemouth bass caught
"Last Quarter Moon Week" Data
28.57% of all memorable and trophy-sized largemouth bass caught
There is an approximately 2-hour lull between each 4-hour feeding period when the bass fishing action with lures is usually "very few and far between." I endeavor to use that time for: vehicle travel, upriver canoe paddling, eating lunch, swamp-stomps, photography, cooling-off in the summertime and all the other things that I need to do before my serious fishing begins again with the next "feed."
REFERENCE AS: Nosca, P. 2020. "Does the moon influence bass feeding activity even in a flowing stream?" webpage report. "Paul Nosca's bass fishing photos" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.