Under the Solar Lunar Influence? The fact is the moon does have an influence on the earth and its life forms. Its overhead and underfoot positions generate the tides each day and can lift the earth’s crust a foot or so. A human baby’s time from conception to birth is exactly nine lunar months, and more of us are born during the new or full moon than any other phase. Studies have shown that when shut off from outside stimuli, namely sunlight, many creatures will adjust their daily routine to the lunar day (approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes long).
There have been numerous scientific experiments conducted on the subject, but one of the more convincing was when Dr. Frank A. Brown, a biologist at Northwestern University, had some live oysters plucked from their home off the seashore of Connecticut and flown to his lab near Chicago. Oysters are known to open their shells in tune with each high tide, and Dr. Brown wanted to see if this was due to the change in ocean levels or to a force from the moon itself. He placed the oysters in a shallow pan of water and shut them off from sunlight. For the first week, they continued to open their shells in tune with the high tides in Connecticut. But by the second week, they adjusted their shell-openings to each time the moon was overhead and underfoot Chicago. Dr. Brown theorized that this had to be a direct force from the moon, and that it was probably electromagnetic energy, which interacts with the electromagnetic fields surrounding the oysters.
It’s understandable, then, why most anglers and hunters today consult some type of moon table regularly. But there still remain general misconceptions of this mystical orb’s role in when fish and game become active. Part of the problem stems from the moon table itself, which, quite frankly, may not be as accurate, complete, or honest as it could be. Whether by accident or design, it can imply that the moon is the end-all-be-all of when to go. Just calling the moon’s overhead position “Major” strongly suggests it is to be considered the best time to go that day, regardless of what other influences may exist.
And there most certainly are other influences. True, some are difficult to predict, like the fish’s current state of health, appetite, or mind. Others, like the weather or high water, can’t be predicted by any calendar, but can be factored in when the time comes.
But there’s one other element that is not only just as predictable as the moon, it often has more to do with when fish and game become active than anything. Yet, despite this importance, you won’t find it receiving any more than lip service in any moon table.
Articles such as this by Rick Taylor have appeared in Outdoor Life, BassMaster Magazine, Fishing Facts, and others.