Understanding the Lunar Influence on Snapper Fishing, Could Stop Failed Fishing Trips

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Understanding the Lunar Influence on Snapper Fishing, Could Stop Failed Fishing Trips


Now this is quite a debatable subject does the lunar cycle play a part in your success rate of landing snapper? Most anglers will acknowledge that the lunar cycle does have an effect on fishing for snapper, the old time anglers argue very strongly that it does have an impact on the behavior of the fish. But what role the lunar cycle has is very hard to determine.  It is not only anglers that believe that the moon has impact on environmental behaviours, also some gardeners farmers often plant around the lunar cycles.

The interval between one full moon and the next full moon is roughly 29 and a half days. So we get a full moon and a new moon every month. The following are the moon phases:

  1. Crescent Moon
  2. Half Moon / First Quarter
  3. Gibbous Moon
  4. Full Moon
  5. Waning Moon
  6. Half Moon / Last Quarter
  7. Old Moon

When the moon is new, the highest tides are in the ocean, and at the same time the water tides are at their highest. So this tells us that the moon effects the tides and the size of the tides. The moon directs the speed and height and also the times of our tides. Having said that, the sun also plays apart in tidal action, however, the sun is only believed to have 40% effect on the tides whilst the moon has 60% effect.  The largest tides occur during the full and new moon phases as both the sun and the moon are using a gravitational pull in identical direction.

A neap-tide is the tide that has the least deviation between high and low water and this occurs when the moon and sun are working in contradiction of one another during the first and last quarter on the moon phase.  Rips will be stronger and more prominent over a longer period during the new and full moon phase. So we can assume that a fish’s movement is more active during these periods, as we know that snapper become more active when the water is flowing. During these faster flowing tides it is believed that smaller fish find it difficult to circumnavigate, so they will tend to seek shelter, so it stands to reason that the bigger specimens thrive in these conditions.

Most of the knowledge that is known effects bays and estuarine’ rather than that of the deep open ocean as less is known about the effects of lunar phases in oceanic waters.  It is highly recommended that a diary be kept, recording your results and making note of the moon phases. This will help you better understand the effects of the lunar cycle in your local waters.  The points to record are the moon phase and the month, the day of the month. You can record the tide phase, however, that should be reflective of the moon phase anyway.

The movement of the more forceful currents could help to stir up the mud and settlement of the sea floor, this in turn could provide more coverage for a shy fish to ambush your bait. I was not getting any good results fishing during the day or dawn during a full moon cycle. Some old time anglers gave me a good reason why this was.  “As the full moon provides ample light in the water throughout the night, the snapper graze and eat, so by early morning they are full”. Wow, just that simple, so I stopped fishing in those conditions. Another great tip was in hot weather the angler should focus on moonlight fishing because both forage and predator species seek the cooler depths to evade warm sunlit surface waters.

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