The Real Scoop – by Joe Bucher

Full Moon or Dark Moon? Major and minor solunar periods? Which is best?
Does any of this moon mumbo jumbo make any real sense nor does it actually work? These are legitimate questions asked by thousands of anglers each year, and they deserve concrete answers backed up by some bona-fide data. Yet as much as pro anglers endorse the effectiveness of moon charts and outdoor publications of every niche’ continue to print them, rarely does either source validate these solunar claims with data.

It’s not hard to find a solunar table of some kind. Nearly every fishing publication today publishes some kind of monthly solunar table, moon chart, activity calendar, action graph, or other similar version. All of these tables, charts, and calendars claim to predict daily feeding activity of fish with accordance to moon and solar influences. Yet, I, like so many other anglers, rarely find any consistent correlation with most of these references.

 Finally, back in 1976, when I got into the fishing guide business full time, I really made it a point to compare my fishing catches to a number of solunar charts. Once I started logging my catches on a daily basis I developed a good data base. This finally put me in a position to compare hundreds of muskies, and thousands of bass and walleyes on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis to any printed solar/lunar reference. One of my key entries was the time of day. I figured a daily entry of fish activity would finally give me a mound of fishing data to compare with the various solar/lunar references on a given day to day basis. What followed convinced me that certain solar/lunar criteria simply had little or no daily influence.

 Basically, I became so frustrated and disappointed with the lack of any real consistent correlation to most of the popular magazine charts today that I gave up on them completely. They simply did not work. I actually caught far more fish when they weren’t supposed to bite. And when good fish and game activity did coincide, which was less than 10% of the time, it was plainly obvious that it actually had much more to do with the local weather changes than any predicted major or minor solunar period.

 You would have thought that my accumulated research would have cured me from ever looking at a solunar chart again, but it did just the opposite. Why? Because I ended up discovering a certain solar/lunar influence that really did work. In fact, it worked so well that it was hard to believe at first. My daily fishing logs had surely disputed the commonly accepted correlations, but they just as surely pointed to indisputable evidence that a “certain” solar/lunar factor was really important.

 Yes, I had flipped 180 degrees on the entire solar/lunar deal. I went from totally disbelieving to being totally convinced.

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