Everything you need to know about the moon
Many things affect fish but could the moon be one of the major ones?
It is certainly apparent that there are lots of different things that influence the carp we angle for. Not just factors such as angling pressure, amount of bait and the bankside environment but natural factors such as temperature, pressure and wind direction also prove highly influential to the fish’s behaviour. The majority of all anglers already take these into account with their angling although how many take any thought about the moon phases?
The moon can seem to influence the carp’s behaviour in some lakes yet in others, it may have no effect. So what should you look out for and when are the best times to fish? Cue our panel of pro’s and their opinions on the moon phases…
“There are many environmental factors that potentially influence the carp we angle for: air pressure, relative humidity and temperature, light levels, etc. It is beyond dispute that moon phases also have an effect, but how and why? Are fish in the relatively tiny bodies of waters we fish aware of tidal influences? Even if you accept that ‘fish’ evolved largely in a tidal environment (the sea), I find it hard to rationalise that the link here is related purely to tides, but the data that I have studied on this subject seems to indicate that it is.
“My own little theory is that fish are reacting to insect hatches – a phenomenon that is known to be linked to moon phase and that the carp are sometimes triggered into heavy feeding by the sudden availability of this invertebrate food source. It’s just like trout feeding whilst the mayfly are hatching – they throw caution to the wind and gorge whilst a sudden explosion of natural food is available.
“Last year I took most of my days off from work to coincide with new moon phases and there often seemed to be a lot of movement. This year the same moons haven’t caused the same reaction. An anomaly that could be caused by the extra weed in the lake this year, but it’s not half interesting to keep looking at it.”
“Moon phases do play a part in my fishing, mainly the new and the full moons, both seem to have at least some effect on the fishing. Both a new and a full moon will always bring a change in weather, they have an atmospheric effect on the earth. Just like the way they affect the tides, they affect the weather too, often bringing cold weather.
“I have found the new moon to be a great time to catch big fish around, the days leading up to this point and also following shortly after can be a great time to be on the bank. The full moon, in my eyes has for some strange reason an effect on the captures of big commons. I have experienced this both first hand and through speaking to others, it is something I genuinely believe in and I will always try to be on the bank during a full moon if I am fishing for a big common.
“There are many that will argue with this, claiming it is all a falsehood, personally I disagree, you can’t argue with proven evidence and coincidence does have a pattern!
“There’s no point basing your whole life around a moon phase but it certainly doesn’t do any harm to pay attention and at least involve the phases where you can.”
“I’m sure the moon phases do affect feeding, but unfortunately I have to fish when I can, not when I should. I blanked last night with a sliver of moon shining through the scattered clouds, whereas I caught one a couple of weeks ago on a much fuller moon.
” The thing is, a couple of weeks ago was very cold, I was on a lot of fish in deeper water and they were not in close where they easily spook. Last night was very mild but the fish were all over a large area and I just never nailed the best bite spot, or I’m sure I would have had one, super confident that I am.
“If I could fish when I like, I would definitely take all things into consideration: wind direction, temperatures, bite times, the moon cycles, etc., they all make a difference. Every session these things are in my mind but in reality all I want is to find some fish and get on them.”
“Moon phases have no influence whatsoever over when I go carp fishing. I simply go when I can or when I want to. There’s been loads of talk about this topic from lots of well-known anglers over the last few years, but from what they’ve written, they’ve yet to convince me there’s any connection whatsoever. All they’ve been able to say is, “Anyone who ignores moon phases is ignorant!” Well, show me the evidence there’s a connection, lads? Come up with some science and show me more than a picture of a fish with a caption under it saying, “This one was caught on the full moon.” I’ve been labelled as someone who’s a disbeliever, but I’m not. I simply want to see long-term statistics and theory, and to date the only person I’ve seen do this is Ben Wales from Carp-Talk who analyzed a year’s catch reports and dates which showed no relationship whatsoever.”
“I wouldn’t say that moon phases influence my angling as I have a full time job and go whenever I can just like everyone else, but I do keep an eye on them. I’ve found that there have been too many coincidences to disregard the phases of the moon. For instance, a full moon is particularly good for catching commons and if I’m after a particular common around this time, my confidence does tend to rise, also a few days before and after a new moon seem to be a particularly good time for getting amongst the biggies. Again, the weather seems to always be favourable around the new moon, so once again my confidence is high. So there must be something in it and if it gives me that boost of confidence then I don’t care, it will do for me!”
“The moon is part of our world and influences many things including light, gravity and the tides of our many oceans (even my ten-month-old son knows what it is), but how much it influences carp fishing is hard to calculate. I think if you’re a full time carp angler spending long periods on the bank then it might be worth considering and weighing up your options, but for most of us that work away from the water, time on the bank is time on the bank, whether it’s a new moon, old moon or full moon.
“There are so many variables that influence whether we catch or not: bait, angling pressure, lines, noise, work and family commitments, etc. and the influence of the moon is a very small one. I’d rather fish on a warm southwesterly wind with overcast conditions during any moon phase at any time of the year, using the right bait and knowing that I was on fish, rather than planning trips around the moon. It’s good to understand and know moon phases, but it doesn’t influence whether I go fishing or not. Interestingly, the sun has a far more powerful influence.”