We have all experienced it. That unbelievable magical seemingly achievable day on the water. That day when every cast you make is perfect and you can’t seem to do anything wrong. The moon and stars line up and you catch fish after fish. This is that outdoor high we all reach for. It is the experience if we are lucky enough to experience that keeps us coming back for more and more. It is why we spend so much time and money on the sort we all love.
I want to tell you all about my magical day. It was about 17 years ago on the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park. I went with my Step Father in his boat. We put in at Houchens Ferry in Brownsville KY and went up stream. We had made this trip numerous times and always had a good day.
It was a fall morning the leaves were beginning to fall into the river. It was overcast and very pleasant temperature wise. There are a lot of down trees and current so I rtied on a single blade spinner bait in a chartreuse color. We ran a few miles up and began our drift back. I cast to the trees and began working the bait back to the boat. Within a few casts I found a lay down that was a little different angle than all the others. I cast to it and when I pulled the bait over it I stopped it and let it helicopter down so to speak. Bam a solid three pound fish inhaled the bait. I got her in and made another cast and bam a book end same deal almost the same fish. I looked at my Step Dad and said I think I found a pattern lets see what happens. Over the next hour we caught fish after fish after fish. It was the most amazing day I have experienced in my life. We caught over one hundred two to three pound fish in just over an hour. Then something changed the wind picked up. The temperature dropped fast. A fall cold front pushed in and the fish stopped eating. God had flipped the switch off. I did not get another bite the rest of the day as the temperature dropped and a drizzle moved in we left the water.
I can only hope that God will bless me again with a day like this one. What I learned from this day is probably one of the best lessons I have learned as a fisherman. prefrontal conditions good post frontal bad. Now could I have caught more fish now that I understand what to do? I think would like to think so but it is tough to get them to eat post front. I sure would like to try it again!
The reason I am writing this article is one of you all ask me to. Mr. Nick Carey I would like to thank you for asking about moon phases, and for the request of an article on them. These are strictly my opinions. I did some research that back up my thoughts, information Mr Joe Bucher provided on the fish he has recorded since the late seventies back up my opinion. He has a great piece written about moon phases as well.
So many fishing publications have a moon phase calendar in them. I am very guilty of looking at therm and thinking is there any thing to this, as I am sure many of you do. The answer is yes and no. I know way to choose a side Josh, but it is the truth. I will say the minor feed major feed times are a bunch of mularky. I would never look at a solar lunar chart to plan a fishing trip. The best time to go is when you can go! As I said above the weather, pre-frontal, post frontal is what I would worry more about.
So where does moon phases come in? It comes in when the sun rises, and when it sets. When the Moon Rises and sets. We have about a ninety minute window on each of these risings and settings where fish will be more active, . Also on the full moon, the first day it is full then the next three to five days fish tend to be more active. The same goes for the new moon. These moons also effect spawns which could explain the increase in predator activity.
In closing I hope this will help you to trudge through the rats nest of moon phases. I like to use the term K.I.S.S. in many scenarios and I think it fits here. Keep It Simple Stupid. I have to say that to myself a lot of times in fishing and in life. Fish when you can. Take a loved one with you. Watch the weather, but don’t let it stop you. It all goes back to confidence. If you believe the moon phases will make you catch more fish, you will catch more fish. You will not be as foccused and you will be easily discouraged when you lack confidence. Have confidence in your abilities, your timing, and God you will be Blessed I promise.
God Bless you all!