Full moon...?


Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
There’s a belief that fish go off the bite during a full moon. That sure seemed to be the case the last few days. The first lake I hit is a small higher elevation gem. I can usually pick up several fish there but nada, not even a bump. Oh, but one managed an explosive splash behind me, I could swear I heard a laugh.

The following day I headed to one of my favorite brookie lake. Two hours of doing my best in miserable wind only got me a tug. Since I was in the neighborhood I left for another another piece of water. It’s small and pretty weedy right now but I thought “what the heck”. After a short strike, a healthy Tiger took the mohair leech. Skunk off! A bit later a Bow took the same fly...success.

I don’t know if this anecdotal evidence proves anything, but it made me wonder.

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WFF Supporter
I followed the phase for a while but discovered it didn't trend in any direction. Other factors played more of a role. I have noted when sunrise and moonset were near the same time fishing is good.


WFF Supporter
I've had similar experiences with still water as well, and hear of that same sentiment from others.
The problem is that mine is a skewed observation, I only search for excuses when skunked. All the times when the fishing was good I never paid attention to whatever moon phase it was :)


Active Member
Don't have anything other than scant anecdotal experience to support this, but suspect that when a full moon coincides with a cloudless sky, trout are inclined to feed at night, rather than during daylight hours, and are full following such an event.
Not sure about trout but this is absolutely true with regard to tuna. There are exceptions of course but more often than not, a full moon on a cloudless night pretty much kills the action until late afternoon the next day. Other than some stark differences in metabolic rates, I'm not seeing why this would be different for trout.


Active Member
Subjectively, I feel that the full moon and new moon phases are less positive for lake fishing, but there are so many variables that affect fishing success that I sure would not go fishing just because the moon phase wasn't positive. I once had a friend who was taking a statistics class and he took my data and couldn't find any correlation between the moon phases and my fishing success or lack thereof, so who knows. I still keep track of the moon phases and try to schedule serious outings around the moon phases, if I can. For salmon fishing, it is the opposite of lake fishing, as I think the full and new moon phases are positive for salmon fishing. The tides are higher at those times and get the salmon moving.


Active Member
For a good review of actual data on lunar effects on trout fishing in lakes, check out the chapter in Ron Belak's book on fishing Colorado high lakes:

He finds only one scientific publication on the subject, in a survey of 27,000 trout caught, the rate was 7.58 fish per day during the full moon, and 7.69 per day otherwise, not a statistically significant difference. The author has his own journals of 3,800 trout caught, and also found no statistical difference.

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