SOLUNAR TABLES AND FISHING INFORMATION
www.takemefishing.org/fishopedia/when-to-fish is a very useful primer on generally when and where to find fish at different times of the year. Also some believe fishing is best preceding and following a new (dark) or full moon which anyone can get from their wall calendar.
Solunar tables are more specific than that. It is a long standing analytical method of more closely predicting when fish will bite best during each day. The tables are based on the belief that fish (and game) will be more physically active and will feed more at times based on the varying gravitational effect of the moon’s and sun’s positions. The biological reason for it is actually not clear. The results of any scientific investigations of this are beyond the scope of this article, but it is based on astronomy, not astrology. www.solunar.com gives a better explanation of the the astronomy of the matter. Fish activity during Major periods are said to start at the listed time and last for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Minor periods are shorter. There are usually 2 Major periods and 2 Minor periods each 24 hours
A typical solunar calendar can be purchased for $12/ 12 months at www.solunar.com. And at www.primetimes2.com, you can get a yearly pocket calendar for $13. These will give you the Major and Minor fish activity times during each 24 hours for your geographic location and adjusted for daylight savings time. TV news sports segments may give the table’s prediction for the next day, and you can find tables for the next several days in the sports pages of the Arkansas Democratic-Gazette. You can also find monthly tables in sports magazines, such as Field and Stream, although the magazine may not arrive until after the 1st of the month. At www.in-fisherman.com you can see a monthly calendar showing the Major and Minor times, and in addition the days having dark shaded moon pictures are purported to be the best fishing days in general.
The table uses time zones that are similar but not identical to our conventional time zones. Time zones are based on the earth’s rotation under the sun. You don’t have to adjust for which zone you are in because if the table says that Major fish activity will start at 10:30am on a certain day, this will be whenever 10:30 am occurs in each zone that day, since the earth zone/sun/moon positions and effects will be about the same when that time comes in each zone. The Major and Minor periods are based on the moon’s rotation around the earth.
You may want to adjust for the your exact position within your zone. This is done with adjustment lines shown on some solunar time zones map. For example, an adjustment of + 8 minutes is required for Lake Conway’s location (to 10:38 am in the above example). The tip of the western panhandle of Oklahoma (if there were any fish there) is in our solunar time zone and would require a + 48 minute adjustment or a minus12 minute adjustment from the next time zone (to 11:18am). If you are in Daylight Savings Time (we are at present), the instructions may say you should add one hour to times listed or may say it has already been done. The Ark Demo-Gaz table doesn’t say but it is adjusted for DST, but not for any position difference from the eastern edge of the zone. Therefore, for Lake Conway or central Arkansas fishing, you would add 8 minutes to the times shown in that newspaper.
Of course fishing success depends on many factors, but I hope this information can be a useful addition to your fishing recreation. Please give us your questions or if you have used this table much, please give us your experience.
You can provide feedback and comments on this article by visiting our Forum.