Information gleaned from solunar tables can be helpful in both fishing, hunting | Columnists

HOOD OUTDOORS

As a licensed professional fishing guide, Michael Acosta shows you how to find them. A Granbury resident of more than 35 years, he has been fishing all of his life, and has been a licensed guide since 1998.

I get questions on how the lunar cycle impacts hunting and fishing. I have discussed these astronomical effects many times before, but this is a good time to revisit those details. Spring is approaching and the impact on the wildlife is greatest in the spring and in the fall.

How are these charts derived to determine peak hunting and fishing times? Most of us realize that there can be a definite impact due to the moon and/or sun, but there are other conditions such as weather that can override it all. However, this is good information to have in your pocket. Hopefully, this will be helpful to those of you who are interested.

First, I must start with some technical jargon that is important in understanding the effects of light on the creatures of this world.

Photoperiodism is the behavioral response of a living body to changes of duration in daily, seasonal, or yearly periods of light and darkness. The most drastic changes in the photoperiod occur in the spring and fall, but smaller differences are detected throughout the year. Animals and fish detect these differences, and this information is transmitted to their pituitary gland. The responses from these changes trigger sexual responses such as reproduction and development of eggs, which in turn trigger movement and feeding.

For example, practical applications of photoperiodism are common in poultry management. The amount of daylight influences laying, fertility, and the body weight of the fowl. This is all great information, but how does this all apply to us when we go hunting or fishing?

It’s no secret that feeding movements of fish and game are generally better at dusk or dawn (sunrise and sunset). Moon rise and set is not so obvious because they can occur at midday or midnight. Trophy fish are most likely caught during a full moon or new (dark) moon peak and three to five days thereafter.

The four time periods that are used to pick good fishing/hunting times in any solunar table are the moon positions as it relates to where you’re located on the earth. Major feeding times are defined as the Moon Transit time (moon is straight overhead). The second major feeding time is 12 ½ hours later, when the moon is above the opposite side of the world. The minor feeding times are the moonrise and moonset times.
Basically, if you’re lucky enough to be able to plan your trips, the ideal time is to plan to go at the peak of the full or new moon. You then need to be on your big fish hole or favorite hunting location during the daily rise and set of the sun and the moon (90-minute period surrounding these events). These moon charts are available in most magazines, newspapers and several places on the net. I have a watch that I wear that has some of this information.

How can you use this information with a major weather event? We all know weather has a big impact as well. Right before a cold front hits, if the moon is “in phase” you can have a better chance for a great day fishing or hunting. This type of scenario can really get the fish and game moving and feeding. If you have a string of bad weather when the fishing/hunting has been poor, your best chance for a successful fish or hunt may be during these peak times.

Hopefully you can use this information to your advantage. There is a lot of truth to these solunar phases. Most of us fish/hunt when we can and cannot always go during these peak times — but it is still good to know when the predicted times occur.

Tournament dates may or may not be scheduled during full and new moons, but it is to your advantage to know when the major and minor peaks are for that day. Log your data and see if there is any difference over time. I’ve said it before, nothing is guaranteed. Just spend as much of your time doing what you enjoy.

HOOD COUNTY

FISHING REPORT

Several reports of sand bass, black bass, and crappie are being reported near DeCordova area and in the river above Hunter Park. Blue catfish bite is reported as good to excellent to 30-plus pounds on cut shad near Hunter Park. Some striped bass catches have been reported from Indian Harbor to in town near the bridges. Largemouth bass are good in the backs of creeks and sloughs on those warmer days on soft plastics and spinner baits.

OTHER AREAS

On other reservoirs, Lake Whitney striped bass limits are still good on soft plastics fished from Cedron Creek to Bear Creek. Sand bass spawn is on in the river above Whitney. Whitney crappies are still good on minnows and small jigs fished in the river near Kimball Bend. Possum Kingdom Lake is boasting on sand bass, largemouth to 15 pounds, large blue cats and striped bass to 13 pounds fished mainly on the upper ends. If you don’t mind traveling a bit, Lake OH Ivie out west is reporting numerous huge largemouth bass catches.

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