Fishing The Moon Phases

I have talked with many captains and fishermen over the years, and some swear by moon phases, while others say they have little effect. What I do know is that there are more world record fish caught during new and full  moons. But, this kinda makes sense, regardless if you want to argue about correlation/causation of the statistics.

A lot of fish are nocturnal feeders, like sharks for example. The best visibility for a night feeder, would be during  the full moon. It is simply easier to catch a fish at night, when the bait is visible. This applies to a lot of bottom feeders as well. I have heard that the snapper bite is best on a full moon many times. For many species of fish, including snapper, spawning occurs during a full moon. This could explain why some of those best fishing days occur on the full moon. 

For the new moon, since there is less light at night, the fish are simply more hungry during the day. Some pelagic fish use their eyes more than nose to find food. During the new moon, there is very little light and they have a harder time finding bait/food in the darkeness. It would make sense that they do not eat as much on new moon and feed heavy during daylight hours. 


The moon phases also affect the tides. You will hear many fishermen who love to fish the incoming or outgoing high tide. I think  it is hard to say that the moon phases do not influence your fishing. What I do know is that every May, 3 days before and after the new moon, it has been excellent fishing off Hatteras. I plan my trip based on the moon phases that month for sure.

I can also say I have seen a lot more fish "movement" right after the moon rises and right before the moon sets. I am sure there are many variables to this, but there has been some consistency in all the years I have fished. Many times being in the right place at the right time is important of course, but I have hung out over a spot and just waited till the moon rose and suddenly the fish bite would turn on like a light switch. When a moon rise/set occurs within the hour of a sun rise/set seems to produce some of the best bites of the year. 

Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous Moon