Moon Phases and Bass Fishing Part 3
Published on Bassmaster.com July 21, 2009
I've finally got the data organized in a way that will return useful information about bass fishing and moon phases. I have enough information for several more blogs on moon phases, so be sure to check back often.
Before sharing this information with you, I'd like to cover some terminology used when talking about moon phases. Some I will use in future articles, some you will already know and some may prove to be useful as you try to understand more about moons. And some will probably just be useless trivia that you may never hear again. Whatever the case for you, here they are in alphabetical order:
Apogee — phase of the moon where the earth and moon are furthest apart
Blue Moon — 2nd full moon in the same month (modern interpretation)
Crescent — less than 1/2 illuminated moon
First quarter — 1/2 illuminated moon occurring about a week after the new moon. The right side is illuminated and will continue to get bigger until the full moon
Full moon — 100% illuminated moon. Not only is the moon full, but it is out all night long
Gibbous — more than 1/2 illuminated moon
High tide — time of day when the tide is at its highest point. Usually occurs twice a day
Low tide — time of day when the tide is at its lowest point. Usually occurs twice a day
Neap tide — weak tides when the moon is 1/2 illuminated
New moon — 0% illuminated moon. It is called the new moon because the phase starts over again at this point. Not only is the moon darkest during the new moon, but it is only out during the daylight hours
Perigee — phase of the moon where the earth and moon are closest together
Spring tide — Strong tides occurring when the earth, the sun, and the moon are in a line (has nothing to do with the season). Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon
Third quarter — 1/2 illuminated moon occurring about a week after the full moon. The left side is illuminated and will continue to get smaller until the new moon
Waning — the moon is getting less illuminated every day. This happens between the full moon and the new moon
Waxing — the moon is getting fuller every day. This happens between the new moon and the full moon
As I share these statistics, you should realize that the more specific we get, the more useful the information will be. But at the same time, the more we go into detail, the less recorded fish there will be and thus the less accurate it will be. The Insider BASSlog is still in its infancy. As I mentioned in my last article, there isn't yet enough days recorded to consistently even out the moons over the seasons (which will happen in time). You can help the accuracy of the BASSlog, by ensuring that you accurately record all the bass you catch.
For the first statistics I'd like to share with you, I took all the posts (except mine and a few that are questionable) and divided them by season, moon phase, and whether the phase was waxing bigger or waning smaller. For these graphs, all fish are shown and the time of day isn't considered. So the following graphs simply show what phases had the most fish, regardless of whether they were caught at night or during the day. They were adjusted for the number of days that each phase occurred.
Interestingly, the full moon shows to have less fish caught during the summer and winter, and not a significant increase in other months. I personally think this is because fish feed more at night when there is more light from the moon. I don't believe we have a big enough number of posts of bass caught at night to prove or disprove that idea for every season. But I did divide the posts for summer bass into nighttime and daytime fish. At night, the full moon periods have the most fish caught, with the exception of a strong finish at the end of the cycle. See the results below.
In future articles, I plan to further break down the data into even more useful information, such as time periods and size of fish. Be sure to check back often and record all your bass in the Basslog.