The moon holds a very mystical place in the history of human culture. Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior like sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, werewolves, all of which have since been scientifically debunked.
But when it comes to the full moon and fishing, I absolutely believe there is something to it. One of the most well documented fishing facts is the frequency of big fish caught during the peak moon phases. Especially during the full moon, a lot more big Muskie, Walleye, and Bass are taken right on the scheduled calendar day and continued for a three to five day stretch afterwards.
Now we know the moon creates tides in Earth’s oceans, some as high 50 feet which definitely affect fish behavior in oceans and seas, but according to the experts inland waters such as the Great Lakes and to some extent here on the St Lawrence River, tides never exceed 2 inches and are therefore considered to be essentially non-tidal. Heck more extreme fluctuations in lake and river levels are produced by wind, barometric pressure changes and manmade obstructions like dams and weirs, so why is there a lunar effect on these fresh water creatures?
Well I’m really not sure but what I do know is when coupled with any one other perfect fishing condition like, a falling barometer, cloudy skies, air temperature and water temperature close together, wind out of the southwest and you’re on prime smallmouth bass waters, well my friends the full moon phase is the warm milk on your Wheaties.
But could there be a fifth factor? I mean is it even possible?
Well, guess what, absolutely there is, and it’s an easy-to-detect fifth factor that adds even more impact to an already explosive fishing situation, it’s a change in the photoperiod, or in laymen’s terms – a change in season. Well, today just happens to be the midway point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice; in other words, this week is the perfect storm of trophy bass fishing. All these factors combined really elevate big fish possibilities.
It’s this small “window” of three to four days right after the actual moon peaks, full or new, that’s the most likely time that the largest fish of any species are truly vulnerable to anglers
I’m fishing the St Lawrence near Cornwall Ontario for this episode and let me tell you, this place is one of the top Smallmouth fisheries in the country. Pete and I fish it every year in the early fall and we always look forward to return visits.
You’ll notice during the show that I’m actually casting out my drop shot rig, normally a vertical presentation for inactive fish, that’s because these Smallies were so cranked up that if they sensed my presence they were actually spooking so I needed to put some distance between them and FNC1.
Something to keep in mind Dropshotting is not a one dimensional presentation, it’s extremely effective even when fish are active and that’s why I stuck with it throughout the entire day’s fishing.
BACK TO THE MOON
Experts will tell you that there are actually 4 four phases of the Moon that can have a positive effect on your fishing, they are the full Moon, the last quarter, the new Moon and the first quarter.
Most freshwater fisherman will generally agree on the affects of sunlight, wind direction, barometric pressure, water temperature and other deciding factors having a huge effect on fishing but if you’re serious about taking trophy fish, I’d suggest you start really paying attention to the BIG factor and instead of just going fishing, go Howl at the moon!
GETTIN’ THERE with RAM TRUCKS
To get to today’s fast and furious late season Ontario Smallmouth fishing, I first drove east on hwy 401 and took the Brookdale Ave exit south at Cornwall.
I then turned left on Water St West and finally turned right at the great boat launch near the waterfront trail.
- Go Fish Ontario
- Ryan Flaro – 613-551-6356