Full Moon [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Full Moon

07-16-2005, 10:29 AM
I've fly fished for 25 years and have (when other opportunities would exist) usually avoided on days during full moon. Those days I have fished in the full moon have usually been unproductive.

I realize that fishing beats work, but has anyone found any contradictory beliefs that the fishing isn't necessarily bad during full moon?

07-16-2005, 12:34 PM
For most coastal anglers, the moon tides (during full and new moons) are the best tides; I enjoy great fishing during the full moon phases. However I have on occasion found the first light fishing to be a little off, guessin that the fish must have been feasting in the relatively bright night time conditions.

The majority of my fishing on the coast for striped bass is sight fishing, so the moon is only a factor on tide current. They seem to be ready for a snack by mid-day.

Did you know that the gravitational force of the moon is one-ten-millionth that of earth's but it's enough to cause tides? Crazy.

07-17-2005, 11:31 PM
Welcome to the Forum! Good to have you on board.
I just returned from a 3 day fishing trip. I had 2 windows of time to do this, and chose this weekend because next weekend is to close (Thurs. 7/21 ) to the Full Moon and I did not want to get skunked. This I am a firm believer in when it comes to TROUT and some other fresh water species. They are very sensitive creatures prone to changes in weather as well (Low Preasure Systems) Some have posed the thought that they might also be effected by changes in Magnetism and shifts in Gravitational Pull.
But like Juro said, this does not hold true for a lot of Saltwater Species. And doing some short searching found No One has done any long term research on this subject, so it remains IMHO.

07-18-2005, 08:17 AM
I agree. We don't like full moon for dolphin fishing and sometimes even swordfishing...

Rick J
07-18-2005, 02:17 PM
I sure don't like a full moon for steelheading.

And I also beleive that high tides during full moons are not great for fishing tarpon in mangrove areas such as in norhtern Mexico. The high tides will put the tarpon up in the mangroves essentially unreachable while lower tides during quater moon periods will find them on the flats where you can get at them.

It seems that full moons and high tides were productive at Christmas Island bringing out the bigger bones - so species and location dependent.

Capt. Mel Simpson
07-18-2005, 02:50 PM
The moon phases are almost all important to saltwater shallow water fishing. We must have moving water created by the high and low tides. The fish will feed into the tide and move into or out of areas depending on water depth. Some flats are better on an incoming tide while others are better on an outgoing tide. We usually have good tides 3 days before and 3 days after a full or new moon. In the summer we have higher high's and in the winter lower lows. Frankly I can't imagine not knowing 2 things before I fish, the weather and the tides.

Now, in all the years I've steelhead fished the only times I've been interested in moon phases is when I'm fishing close to a river's mouth like the lower Dean.


07-20-2005, 08:34 AM
How do you feel about New Moon. I like 4 days before the full best.. but also enjoy the new moon.

07-20-2005, 01:06 PM
Fishing summer steelhead with a waker on a full moon where allowed is awsome. But I'll agree that the day light hours around a full moon seem less productive. Just camp by a big steelhead river on a summer/fall full moon and listen, it's amazing!

07-20-2005, 02:20 PM
Any rivers in mind OC? :razz:

07-20-2005, 02:29 PM

Are you using bait here on this site??? :smokin:

07-20-2005, 03:10 PM
Not at all my good friend. It was just in reading your post I had a flashback to autumns past and hearing the splash, splash, splash of various up-river steelhead in one of my favorite places. I was just curious to see if your experience happened in geographical proximity to mine.

If I were to guess I would say that your memories take place probably further east and a bit south of mine. What say you, about 40' east and 15' south?

I can only assume you didn't rise early and pursue the silver phantom this AM???

07-20-2005, 03:16 PM
I will not say anymore, I'm a steelheader and an ugly one at that. But I will say that by tomorrow one will be able to fish for 8 hours and watch the sun come up in the East at the end of the day! :cool:

07-21-2005, 01:27 AM

And there are those special evenings when the full moon rises before sundown, thus extending my evening forays into night when steelheading. It isn't just the o'dark thirty folks like yourself you take advantage of a full moon.

07-21-2005, 08:14 AM

Fishing the full moon is special and it's ashame more fly fishers don't do it. Fish are active be it rivers or tide rips on a full moon. But walking a PNW river bank on a full moon on a warm night is a mystical time indeed. The woods along the bank are alive with deer, couger and racoon coming into view to drink. The moon shadows are warm and the river current swirling by do amazing things. The moon light on a waker is intensified and picking up its swing becomes easy. My most memorable time fishing a full moon and there have been many from striper fishing to steelhead fishing but the one I remember most is on the South Island of New Zeland back in 1972 fishing the Manapori River from moon rise till moon set. As many know insect hatches in NZ are not really a big show like Montana. But I was invited to fish the night and told I would be happy with the dry fly results this night. I was as rainbows from 4 pound to 14 pound rose consistently on this big river.
I think fishing on a full moon should be done alone because being alone on the river throughout the night sharpens ones awareness that a river never sleeps.

07-21-2005, 03:47 PM

Yep, I agree wholeheartedly, fishing a river at night is a special time.

I also have many fine memories of fishing at night during a new moon in the summer for very large trout in Pennsylvania, New York, and Montana. Learned to do so and love it from my father. I've caught some very large trout doing this and never did get to land the biggest ones in the spill basin below a certain dam somewhere between Havre and Three Forks, Montana. The huge ones simply picked up the large sculpin and ran at the dam face resulting in instant hook pull-out or breaking of the tippet when they hit the dam spill. I couldn't stop them with 20# tippet and lost several when the 20# tippet popped because I put too much pressure on them.

07-21-2005, 06:59 PM
The only time I am concerned about a full moon is when it directly and incontravertably (did I spell that bad boy right?) results in feeding by the species I'm after.

For instance in the Sea of Cortez, where during lots of the year a full moon means an all night squid feeding frenzy for the tuna and dorado, I try to plan trips to avoid the full moon.

Other than situations like that, to quote the bumper sticker "I'd rather be fishing"