How Weather Affects Fish Activityby Captain Steve Smith on 05/04/14
Want to increase your catch?
Every angler is interested in catching larger fish, faster. Every angler also knows that the best fishing times are when the fish are feeding, which is typically at dusk and dawn. But there are other factors to consider, too. Here's more ...
A History of Solunar Tables
The quest to determine the best times to hunt and fish is not a recent project. For hundreds of years people that made their living hunting and fishing recognized that there were certain times when wildlife was more abundant. The lives of most Native Americans were completely dependent on knowing the best times to hunt and fish. People who base their existence on the ocean or lakes have long understood that solar and lunar influences help determine the best times to fish.
What is generally known and almost universally accepted is that fish and game are more active at certain times of the day, most noticeably at dawn and dusk. It is also generally agreed that many game species are more active during certain phases of the moon as well as when the moon is in certain positions in the sky each day. All of these influences have an individual effect that can be observed and in some instances measured.
Much of the early research and understanding of solar and lunar influences was pioneered by John Alden Knight. In 1926 Knight began his studies of various influences that affect wildlife activity. This research resulted in his publication of tables that illustrated periods in each day of major activity and minor activity. To substantiate his research and theory, Knight analyzed data for over 200 record catches of fish. His analysis concluded that 90% of the catches were made while in the effect of the new moon and while in a "solunar period".
Additional proof of Knight's theory was provided by a biologist at Northwestern University. Dr Frank A. Brown had live oysters flown in to his lab in Chicago, Illinois. Oysters open their shells at each high tide. Dr. Brown wanted to see if this opening and closing was the actual result of the changes in water flow from the tides or from lunar influences. Dr. Brown discovered that after about a week the oysters had changed their opening and closing to correspond to the times that the moon was directly overhead and underfoot for Chicago.
Solunar tables have
been used in some form since 1936. Since that time, the most significant
improvement in our understanding of influences on wildlife activity has
come with more recent capabilities to calculate and observe the
combined effect of multiple solar and lunar influences. The days and
times of these combined influences result in periods of significantly
increased activity, which are shown in Weather and Wildlife Charts.