I examined 45 years’ worth of data to determine the best day to go fishing

I finally saw it in print. Someone besides me using moon phases to predict good fishing days. That’s one giant leap for mankind — and me.

I have prattled to others for years about using the solunar calendar to pick my fishing days, so I feel better now. Let me tell you why.

Most angles have seen the many charts and tables that espouse the theory that they’ll be over the moon if they fish based on where the moon and sun are relative to the Earth. Some folks think you could wind up howling at the moon instead.

After some research, I can offer a few facts as to what the theory’s originator, J. Alden Knight, was thinking back in 1926.

Solunar theory centers around the gravitational pull of the moon and sun on the Earth. The closer the orbs are (full moons and new moons) to each other, the stronger the influence. Solunar theory says it’s at these times that living things, including fish, show greater activity.

Based on the position of the Earth and moon, two “major” feeding periods, lasting two to three hours each, and two “minor” periods, around one hour each, are calculated for each day. These occur in both the oceans and freshwater, but I am limiting my discussion to freshwater.

Knight tested his theory by studying approximately 200 fish caught that were either particularly large for their species or were caught in large numbers. Reportedly, 90 percent of the fish were caught during a new moon.

You may ask, what on earth does gravity have to do with feeding fish? That question remains unanswered.

Others have used anecdotal fishing records to test Knight’s theory. Three of four results I found between 1986 and 2016 indicated support for the concept of large fish caught around the new and full moons.

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