Moon Effects On Smallmouth Fishing

Who thinks there are moon effects on smallmouth fishing? Apparently lots of people do when you consider the number of fishing calendars, watches and charts that tell you the theoretical best time to fish on any given day and what days of the month is considered the best days to fish.

Ages ago, the best hunter-gatherers noted that fish and animal activity often increased when the full moon was overhead. Fishermen living by oceans, meanwhile, also noted that high and low tides followed the cycle of the moon.

In more recent times, John Alden Knight in 1920 was the first to note the effect of the combined force of the sun and moon (solunar activity) on fish and game. Source

Moon Effects On Smallmouth Fishing


The first observation I want to make is that smallmouth bass feed mostly by sight.

Today we’re heading into the full moon. That means that right now the bite will probably be best early in the evening on up to around midnight or maybe a little before. I don’t know why, but I’ve always caught more bass early when the full moon is approaching.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the bite will probably be best during the night. The smallmouth can see real good when there’s a lot of moonlight shining into the water. If there’s no cloud cover, they’ll actually move into the shade. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. You can fish the lighted side of something and get nothing. Move to the shady side, and you’ll load the boat in no time.

By Wednesday, the moon will be past full. The bite will shift to the early morning. Go before daylight and fish for a couple of hours after sunrise. Again, I don’t know why exactly, but I do know it’s true.

These feeding patterns will follow the same path until the moon is new (dark). When that happens, the bite will be the best during the day. My theory is that they can’t see anything when it’s pitch black out, so they have no other choice.  Source

In the second part of this series, Mr. Headrick believes that these changes are all about forage and what they do at night. When the moon is dark, the smallmouths can’t find active baitfish and prey so they need to feed during the day. Check out the full post here: click here

Here is an example of a solunar table for you to check out from In-Fisherman!

Let me know if you see a difference in your fishing once you start paying attention to this chart. Moon effects on smallmouth fishing can be tracked by some of the new fangled watches and calendars out there.


Check out this cool watch over at BassPro and please click LIKE or TWEET to share this with your friends!

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