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Moon Phases and Bass Fishing

I took the Texas top 50 bass and looked up the moon phase for each date and noted some interesting statistics. 23 of the top 50 were caught with at least 75% illumination, meaning they were close to a full moon. Only a fourth of the time is it 75% or more illumination. So almost half of the top 50 bass in Texas were caught in a fourth of the time. Could it be coincidence?
I did the same analysis with my personal top 50 and yielded similar results. 21 of my top 50 were caught with at least 75% moon.
Another observation I have noticed is that the full moon has less influence in the summer than other seasons. In fact, there is not a single entry in either the Texas top 50 or my own personal top 50 around the full moon in the summer. Of course, this is due partly because fish are not as big in summer as they are spring and winter, but there is a handful of top 50 entries around new or half moons in the summer - just not around the full moon. Based on this, I recommend fishing the half moon instead of the full moon if you fish in the summer and have the choice.

During the spawn, you hear a lot about the full moon bringing out new waves of fish on the beds. I have seen it happen and I have also seen it not happen. I can recall a time recently when my worst day in April was the day of the full moon. However, you can't deny the fact that a large number of big fish are caught around the full moon in the spring. Does that mean that we should only fish around the full moon in the spring? I don't think so! Those statistics are somewhat skewed because some people have to plan their trips in advance and plan them around the full moons. So, it is likely that more people are fishing around the full moon than other times. Also, I have found that monster bass are different creatures than smaller bass - even 8 and 9 pound bass. I often catch my biggest bass when the fishing is slow. So, fishing when the potential for bigger fish is best may not be the best time to catch lots of fish. You also have to consider factors that are more important than moon phases. Some examples are seasonal patterns, water temps, time of day, water clarity, cloud cover, etc.

In September 2003, I started giving my trips a rating of 0 to 100 based on how I thought we did. That rating is subjective, but since it is the same person rating all the trips, it should give a reasonably accurate rating throughout the year (or years). In June 2004, I decided to include another rating which I believe should be even more accurate. I call this a "potential" rating. I believe it should be more accurate because it is based on how the fish were biting, not how many we boated. If we lost some fish or if I saw other fishermen catching fish, the "potential" rating may be higher than my trip rating.
On 1/5/2013, I ran a query based on those ratings and discovered that moon phases had very little influence on my overall catch.
Here's my results:

  Rating Potential Rating
<34% moon 51% 56%
34-65% moon 51% 56%
>66% moon 52% 58%

Below is a query with the months added. This may be interesting for the statistic guru.

mth Phase TripRating Potential
1 full 37.8571428571429 38.5714285714286
1 half 35 55
1 new 52.2222222222222 52.2222222222222
2 full 54.5454545454545 58.1818181818182
2 half 53.5714285714286 53.5714285714286
2 new 55.625 58.125
3 full 52.5 60.1388888888889
3 half 47.8260869565217 51.304347826087
3 new 49.6590909090909 56.25
4 full 48.5227272727273 58.6363636363636
4 half 51.6666666666667 62.9166666666667
4 new 56.046511627907 66.7441860465116
5 full 51.5789473684211 58.6842105263158
5 half 57.2727272727273 64.0909090909091
5 new 52.6315789473684 57.3684210526316
6 full 51.7441860465116 56.046511627907
6 half 56.25 59.6875
6 new 47.2222222222222 51.1538461538462
7 full 56.6 66
7 half 40 46.6666666666667
7 new 35 40.7142857142857
8 full 54.7222222222222 62.5
8 half 39 41
8 new 43.8888888888889 52.2222222222222
9 full 65 71
9 half 45 47.5
9 new 43.75 46.25
10 full 52.9166666666667 54.5833333333333
10 half 46.3636363636364 47.2727272727273
10 new 53.8888888888889 57.7777777777778
11 full 62 63.5
11 half 61.5 65
11 new 57.1428571428571 62.8571428571429
12 full 36.6666666666667 43.3333333333333
12 half 65 65
12 new 52.5 53.5
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