Solunar Theory and Surf Fishing North Carolina
John Alden Knight postulated the theory that fish and game feeding times are influenced by the tides, the sun and the moon.
Having read Mr. Knights work, I decided to put the theory to test and now when surf fishing I try to schedule my ever more valuable time around sun, moon and tides.
When to Fish
1) Sunrise and Sunset. Many Surf Fishermen never miss the opportunity to cast for fish at sunrise or sunset. I, for one, always try to target bluefish at this time. In general, I try to have a lure or bait in the water by first light (one hour before sunrise) and again an hour before sunset continuing my efforts through sunset and the ever darkening dusk.
2) Ninety minutes before and after high tide. During this time I try to target the larger of the surf species. During low tide I will scout out the various holes, cuts and troughs along the stretch of beach I plan to fish. As the tide moves in, I cast my bait to spots I’ve chosen to target and wait for the bite.
3) Ninety minutes before and after low tide. While ebb tide is a great time to scout the surf, as the tide is moving towards low and as it begins its move towards high,the churning surf will stir the bait favored by the smaller surf species. At this time, I like to focus my efforts just behind the first break or even in the suds. Here is a great time to focus less on sport and more on the business of putting that night’s dinner in your cooler.
4) Moonrise and moonset. We as humans seem driven by a sun influenced cloak. We are more active during the hours of daylight and scale back at our activities during the hours of darkness. Fish that inhabit the surf seem more influenced by the Tidal Day (24 hour 53 minutes days). Pay attention to moonrise and moonset on the tide tables. If you can, get your bait in the water an hour or so before and after these two lunar events. In Mr. Knight’s theory, these are times of major activity.
5) Moon Overhead and Moon Underfoot. Halfway between moonrise and moonset is postulated as an active (albeit minor)period of activity. The same is considered true for the time halfway between moonset and moonrise.
6) One day before, during and after a New Moon. This is a time considered by many as a time the moon has maximum influence on fish feeding activities.
7) Anytime. Let’s face it, if you don’t have your bait or lure in the water, you won’t be catching fish.
Tight Lines and Fresh Bait,
R. M. Callaway
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