The sun and the moon exert the greatest gravitational effect on the earth and its inhabitants. The closer they are to you, the stronger the influence. The day of a New or Full Moon will provide the strongest influence in each month.
When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset you can expect good activity from the fish and when you have a moonrise or moonset during that period the action will be even greater. And, finally, when the above times occur during a New or Full Moon, you can expect the best fishing action of the month.
LENGTH OF PERIODS
Every angler knows that fish do not feed all the time. He also knows, that for some reason fish sometimes go feeding mad and take most any offering, be it live bait or some artificial enticement. According to the Solunar theory this frenzied activity occurs during a Major or Minor period. If the weather and feeding conditions are favourable the fish will be active for one to two hours.
BEST FISHING DAYS
These are the Major or Minor Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise or Sunset during a Full or New Moon. It has been documented that when this condition exists fish will bite on almost anything they see or smell. When the times coincide with a moon-rise or a moon-set the action can be spectacular. A changing weather pattern coinciding with the periods may further enhance the activity.
WATCH THE WEATHER
The weather can have a significant role in the effectiveness of Solunar Period. Barometric fluctuations, particularly when the trend is down, adverse temperature, abnormal water conditions, will offset the effects of periods. Cold fronts moving through drive all fish deeper and render them inactive. The theory should point the way to the best in sport that each day has to offer, but in no sense is it a guarantee.
WATCH THE MOON
Another thing to remember in dealing with the periods is that Solunar influence will vary in intensity according to the position of the moon. The times of new moon (the dark of the moon), and when there is no moon in the sky, is the time of maximum intensity. After a New Moon, fish activity should be at a maximum for about three days, and the degree of intensity will taper off until it is at its minimum during the third quarter phase of the moon.
Research has shown that a natural day for fish and many other animal species differs from our own. Their biological clock appears to coincide with lunar time, which is the time that it takes for the moon to reappear at a given point during one complete rotation of the earth (an average of 24 hours and 53 minutes). This is called a Tidal Day and explains why the ocean tides are about an hour later each day - and why most fish will feed up to an hour later (in relation to our solar clock) each day.
There is one day each month (near the last quarter of the moon) on which there is no moonrise. This is normal and occurs because the moon's average period between two rises and sets is approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes. Thus there will always be a day on which a moonrise (and a Solunar Time) will not fit.
CALCULATING THE TIMES
The key to accurate Solunar Times is the ability to chart the relative solar and lunar positions with respect to a particular location. The major periods coincide with the upper and lower meridian passage of the resultant gravitational (tidal) force. The minor periods occur when these forces are rising or setting on either horizon.
About The South End
The South End provides useful resources and discussion forums for those that fish The South End of Lake Michigan for Salmon, Steelhead, Perch, and Bass as well as elsewhere in the Region and Chicago area.