Can You Fish on a Full Moon?


can you fish on a full moon

The phases of The Moon can affect fishing success. This is due in large part to how the moon affects the tides. However with the increase in light during a full moon, if in a cloudless sky of course, then there are other factors to consider. So can you actually still fish during the nights of a full moon?

Fishing on the day of the full moon and on the days adjacent is possible. Full moons create larger tides and deeper waters which encourage fish to come closer to shore to feed. The additional light the moon brings also enables predator fish to see prey more easily, although bait fish may become more skittish.

It is important to take into consideration the phases of the moon whenever you are fishing and to be aware of how it might affect your target species . Below we will highlight some of the considerations you should have in mind including lure choice and fish species when fishing on a Full Moon..

How and Why Does the Moon Affect Fishing

There is no exact science as to whether or not the moon does indeed affect fish and the catches you might end up with when you try to fish at certain phases of the moon. In fact this tends to be a polarizing topic among anglers.

Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself, naturally, tides are at their strongest during a new moon and a full moon because that is when the sun and the moon are either pulling in opposite directions or in the same direction. (see the graphic below for moon phases) And, if you remember back in your grade school science classes, both the sun and the moon have gravitational pulls that can be strong enough to affect the waters on Earth.

When the tides are strong enough to pull fish larvae into shallow and safer waters while also pulling nutrients from the seabed, certain fishes tend to sync their spawning period with the tides. It also increases the depth of the water closer to show, moves more water and stirs up the sea floor. All of these things have the potential to influence fish feeding habits ( and in some classes spawning habits which can set of feeding frenzies as well)

What are the Best Moon Phases for Fishing?

Now that we have established how and why the moon can affect fishing for better or worse, We can look at where a full moon or New moon actually can provide better fishing conditions. . Again, this can be a polarizing topic among fishermen and anglers alike there are arguments for both.

However lets look at the reasons why a full moon might improve fishing.

The reason why a new moon and a full moon are potentially good phases for fishing is due to various reasons such as the rising tide and the availability of light during these phases. For example, it is best to fish during the day on a new moon because there will be more available light for the fish to use to find food. Of course, the opposite is true during a full moon as the moon is at its brightest at night.

fishing and a full moon

How do Tides Affect Fishing? 

As mentioned, the reason why the moon has an effect on the way fish behave is due to how the phases of the moon can affect the tides. In that regard, the tides are the direct reasons that contribute to the behavior of the fish while the moon becomes an indirect factor.

The best way that a tide can affect fishing is due to how higher and stronger tides are able to influence certain fish such as saltwater fish to spawn when the tides are at their strongest. Again, the reason is attributed to how stronger tides are able to carry their larvae to safer parts of the water. 

Also, stronger tides are able to carry more nutrients from the seabed so that the fish and their larvae can benefit from such nutrients.

As the tide rises it comes inshore and increases the depth closer to shore and therefore this means larger species are also likely be closer to shore during these tides.

How To Fish on a Full Moon

There are some fishermen and anglers that will argue that it is best to fish at night on a full moon. It might be true that fish are more likely to be present since they will be using the moonlight to find food but you also have to consider the fact that it is much more dangerous and more difficult for you to physically fish on a night of a full moon.

In that regard, when the tides are high and strong on a full moon, it would be difficult for you to find a good fishing spot that is safe. Moreover, even if you are on a boat, it might be difficult and dangerous to navigate against higher and stronger tides.

Tips for Fishing on Full Moon.

  • Head to closer shore and find a safe spot instead of going in the water.
  • Baitfish tend to behave differently during a full moon. That’s why normal bait fishing won’t always work. Instead, pay attention to insects and small crustaceans, which will be more active during a full moon. Wherever they are, the larger fish will also be there.
  • The moon affects saltwater and freshwater fish. Pay attention to what their usual prey does during a full moon because higher tide means more nutrients for crustaceans and insects, which will also draw out saltwater and freshwater fish near the shore.
  • Keep a record of how fish behave during certain phases of the moon so that you will know how to properly prepare and fish for them during the next full moon.

What Lures Work on a Full Moon?

The best lures to use during a full moon are topwater lures because these tend to make a lot of noise that will attract fish at night. However, what you should also know is that any lure will work during a full moon because the fish can see well thanks to the moonlight. Still, we do recommend that you use a worm-like lure such as a Senko of any color if you want to fish effectively during a full moon.

If you are looking for Full Moon trolling on Saltwater then these reasonably priced mini meat Marlin / Tuna lures are nice bright colors that will reflect moon light very well. They are 9 inches which will attract any Maui Maui that may defy convention and go for a bite as well.

What Fish Bite on a Full Moon?

If you want a list of fish that bite well during a full moon, we have put a quick list below :

We have included mostly ones who are more likely to bite on a Full Moon and highlighted the in green and ones that historically bite less in red.

Saltwater SpeciesFreshwater Species
MarlinBass
Atlantic SwordfishPerch
RedfishBluegill
BonefishCatfish
Maui MauiBream
Sailfish

Final Thoughts

Although we have a rough guide for you on fishing on a Full Moon here there are also a whole host of local factors that can influence when the bite. The best advice, but it takes time, is to keep a record of when you are fishing and the tides and moon phases and you will soon see what conditions are the optimal ones for your fishing environment.

Either way being out on the water is better than not being out on the water so get out there and try, you certainly wont catch any reading this!

Sources:

https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/things-to-do/florida-fishing/full-moon-fishing-facts-about-fishing-on-a-full-moon.html

https://www.sportfishingmag.com/how-moon-phase-affects-fishing-success/https://fishingbooker.com/blog/solunar-fishing-calendars-fishing-by-moon-phases/

Marc

Hi I am Marc, when I am not in a classroom teaching you will find me, or more likely not find me, on a boat, trekking through the woods, sitting by a river or pier hoping for tight lines or a straight shot. I have been teaching Outdoor skills, fishing, archery, shooting, Kayaking, Climbing and more for over 30 years. Its about time I shared some of that with you all.

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