Is Fishing Better When There’s a Full Moon?


I was getting ready to go fishing with my dad when he told me we were in for a real treat because it was a full moon. However, I didn’t know whether or not to believe him, considering his sense of humor. Now I understand more about how full moon and fishing are related, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you.

Is fishing better when there’s a full moon? Most scientists say that fishing is best in the days immediately before and after the full moon. The success will vary depending on the kind of fish you’re targeting. However, on the actual day and night of the full moon, the fishing is often not as good. 

Some might say that just this question alone is too vague. Do things such as fish size, lighting, or even the date matter. In this article, I will address each of these questions.

Does Size Matter?

There are many different species of fish and with each different species comes a range of different sizes. Fish vary in size from a few millimeters all the way up to 20 ft long.

Fishermen constantly say that big fish such as blue marlin can be typically caught in the phase of a new moon. This is because they like to feed in the dark. When the full moon is out, there is too much light for this specific fish to come to the top.

Some fish such as tuna and mahi are claimed to sleep during the day. Fishing is usually more productive in the morning, evening, and night hours. It seems that most fish are less likely to be out during the day.

There is even a saying for the struggle of catching fish at night. The saying goes that marlin sleeps at night when its bright and siesta during the day.

Fishing is usually more productive in the morning, evening, and night hours.

Some sailors may agree. They have had luck catching fish during any part of the day. However, the more and more that I look into this, the more I find that fish will feed more openly during the phases of dark moons.

Dark moons include new moons, everything leading up to a first-quarter moon, and everything after a last-quarter moon. The reason these are called dark moons is because these are when the moon is at it’s least bright. This is compared to the brightest in the moon phase which is the full moon.

One thing that the moon concretely affects is the tides of the Earth. This can be a really good thing, since it can bring the fish to us. However, it might also take away your favorite place to sit, depending on whether or not you fish water with waves in it.

Ultimately, the bigger the fish, the more likely they are to bite in the days before a full moon. Bass can be caught on the full moon. However, if you want to catch them on the full moon your best luck is night fishing.

This is caused by the brightest light making the fish swim to the surface.

However, if you want to put it simply, fishing is dependent on the tide. This is another way of saying that it’s affected by the moon because the moon affects the tide and the tide affects fishing.

How Else Might the Moon Affect Fish?

While it’s hard to pinpoint whether or not the moon truly does affect how great fishing is in the lake, there are other things that can be identified more easily.

Things such as the mating season for fish and when they lay their eggs can be predicted by the moon.

Bass and bluegill species tend to lay their eggs right around the full moon. This trend has been frequently observed, although it’s hard to say for sure if the moon is the only reason.

If you’re tracking fish based on this pattern, you’ll have better luck catching the baby fish once they hatch on the next full moon. However, if you are doing it to get fish meat, it’s not going to be big enough to even eat.

The best times to fish are when the fish are naturally most active. The sun, moon, tides, and weather all influence fish activity.

For example, fish tend to feed more at sunrise and sunset, and also during a full moon (when tides are higher than average).

Best Fishing Days of the Year

A lot of fishermen will oftentimes look to the farmer’s Almanac, which is a guide book that gardeners and fishermen can check to find a good time to pursue their respective hobbies. For the year of 2019 alone, it states that there will be multiple days that are great for fishing.

From the around the fifth of each month to the end of the month is the prime time for the fish to bite. These are also the times in which the moon cycle is close to the full moon.

There are certain times each day that will be for catching fish. Fish don’t like to wait around and be hot in the day. They tend to stay down lower in lakes and other bodies of water so that they can stay cool in the summer.

If you want to catch a fish, your best times to go are definitely around sunrise and sunset. This is when the fish are the most hungry. Either they haven’t eaten anything really good all day or they’ve been sleeping and not getting the food they need.

When you’re looking to go out fishing, it’s often a good idea to avoid stormy weather. Just like we want to be inside when there is a storm, the fish want to be near the bottom of the water. If you’re up for a really big challenge though, you’ll have to find just the right bait to catch a fish in a storm.

However, just in general avoid fishing during bad weather. It’s not safe for you and it’s not safe for the fish.

Even though during the storm is a bad time to fish this can also be a great time to be finishing up a trip. Differences in pressure can lead to more successful fishing.

Avoid fishing during bad weather. It’s not safe for you and it’s not safe for the fish.

If you have a barometer or can get a barometer app on your phone, I highly recommend it because when the barometer is on the rise just before a storm that is the best time for a quick trip.

There are even certain places that are excellent to fish. If you live near an area with a lot of surface level insects, this is a sure place for fish to be.

The flies on the water will cause the fish to continually jump. This is especially exciting if you have kids because they’re excited to see the fish jump and you can see where the fish tend to hang out!

The wind also has a huge effect on the best times to fish. For those that pay attention to which way the wind is blowing, it is best if the wind is blowing in the westerly quarter rather than north to east. Also pertaining to the wind, when there are high amounts of wind it will cause the fish to believe there is a storm.

The wind that we are looking for as fishermen is the light and fluffy kind. You can tell when the wind is just right because you will see a calm body of water with just a few ripples forming through the water.

However, be sure to pay attention to how many ripples there are. The more ripples, the windier it is. The best fishing will usually take place in calm water or barely rippling water.

It can help to keep a journal of your favorite fishing spot and maybe you’ll find that certain fish are biting better at different times. That might include the times surrounding a full moon, or times when it’s darker than usual.

Once you spot patterns, you can tell other people what you found.

Does Fishing Work At Night?

Daylight hours in winter are short, and those planning to go ice fishing may wonder if they will have to pack up when the sun sets or if they can keep fishing in the dark.

Related Questions

Is it better to fish during low or high tide? A mixture of both high and low tide fishing is the most successful method. When the high tide transitions to low tide but hasn’t quite reached low tide is the ideal. This is called the falling tide.

Why is fishing bad on a full moon? Fishing isn’t necessarily bad on a full moon depending on the fish that you are trying to catch. For big fish, you want to fish a couple of days before the full moon and for little fish such as bass, you want to fish the night of the full moon.

Is fishing cruel? Scientists have found that fish can not feel pain. This is due to the insufficient brain function to be able to feel pain. It doesn’t matter what the fish is doing on the hook whether its’s wiggling or just laying on the hook, either way, it can not feel any pain.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Stripped Bass.

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