The Truth About Lunar Landings — Wilderness North

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The Truth About Lunar Landings

Scott Smith, Wilderness North StaffAbout 2 years ago I started paying attention to how moon phases relate to animal activity – particularly fishing. For some reason I never really gave any thought to the moon. Then one day in a casual conversation with Alan Cheeseman, he mentioned the positive effects of a full, or new moon, on animal behavior.

fishing in the north, Wilderness North fly in fishingAt the time I just happened to be learning how to use my hand-held Garmin GPS. This little electronic gismo has an application called “Fish and Hunt”. This app gives the user instant intelligence on the best time of day to fish and hunt. These times change daily and each day is categorized as one of the following: Poor Day, Average Day, Good Day, and Excellent Day.

Good and Excellent days correspond to the days on each side of a new or full moon. What is particularly interesting about these lunar events is that the best time for fishing is in the middle of the day – usually in the early afternoon.

I started paying attention to these times of day and making note of my success. Over a two-year period I noted that mid-day fishing during a full or new moon paid huge dividends. As one example, I caught numerous rainbow trout last summer while fishing in the early afternoon on a full moon. The results were phenomenal. I was fishing near my cabin on Lake Superior. It was hot August day and the lake was flat; in fact, without a ripple. Normally this is not productive weather for trout fishing, yet during that two-hour window of opportunity we landed and released several nice rainbow trout ranging from 4 to 7pounds.

I’ve also tested the fishing on “Poor” days – and times of day other than what the GPS notes as being productive. The results were exactly what you’d expect: unremarkable. Maybe technology does have a role in the bush… Yes, you can still catch fish during the poor times but overall it is nothing like the success you can have during a full or new moon.

I don’t have time to discuss “why” these moon phases have such an effect on animals, both two and four legged, but I do know from my 30-years of experience as a police officer that a full moon makes people rambunctious, so why not fish!

So from August 17th-19th, get out on the water and wet that line in the middle of day. Let me know how you make out, and whether you land a great catch of your own.

Tight Lines,
Scott Earl-Smith

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