Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach
a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Current Solunar tables:
March Solunar Tables
April Solunar Tables
May Solunar Tables
I've been asked to create solunar tables for Lake Fork. Since Lake Fork
is so close to Lake Tawakoni, the tables only differ by a minute or
two. So you can use these tables for Lake Fork as well.
your personalized table
for your lake area.
WHAT IS THE SOLUNAR THEORY?
In 1926, John Alden Knight theorized some folklore he picked up in
Florida and began work developing his hypothesis. During the process,
he complied a list of 33 factors that influence or control the
day-to-day behavior of fresh and saltwater fish. His investigation took
everything into account that could have any bearing on the matter. One
by one, each factor was examined and rejected. Three of them, however,
merited further scrutiny—the sun, moon, and tides.
Certainly, the sun could have no effect, seeing that its cycle was the
same day after day. Besides, fish are usually active anytime, day or
night. The effect of the moon had already been considered by other
investigators and found wanting. So what about tides? A possibility.
But there’s no tidal movement in a trout stream. Yet, the fact remains
that tides have always guided saltwater anglers to good fishing. Could
it be then—that the prompting stimulus lay in the influence of the sun
and moon, which cause ocean tides, rather than the actual tidal stages
or flow? Eureka!
When the original research was being done, only the approximate times
of Moon-Up and Moon-Down were considered. Gradually, it became evident
that there were also intermediate periods of fish activity that
occurred midway between the two major periods. As a result, the more
evident periods were called Major Periods and the two intermediate
periods, shorter in duration, were called Minor Periods.
One compelling experiment occurred when Dr. Frank A. Brown, a biologist
at Northwestern University, had some live oysters flown to his lab near
Chicago. Oysters open their shells with each high tide, and Dr. Brown
wanted to see if this was due to the change in ocean levels or to a
force from the moon itself. He put them in water and removed them from
all sunlight. During the first week, they continued to open their
shells with the high tides from their ocean home. By the second week,
though, they adjusted their shell openings to when the moon was
directly overhead in Chicago or half a world way.
Knight published his Solunar tables in 1936. Then, as today, you need
to calculate the precise activity times of each table, taking into
account the geographic location (east or west) of a base point (Time
Zone). When appropriate, Daylight Savings Time adjustments need to be
made. The tables are rounded to the nearest 10 minutes.
PROVING THE THEORY
To substantiate his theory, insofar as fish are concerned, Knight made
a systematic inquiry into the details surrounding record catches—both
of large fish and large numbers. He studied nearly 200 of these
catches. Over 90 percent were made during the dark of the moon (New
Moon) when the effects of the activity periods appeared to be greatest;
and more important, his investigations were made during the actual
times of the Solunar Periods.
Initially, only fish behavior was examined. But from 1935 to 1939,
Knight included birds and animals in his study. And as he suspected,
they also responded to the prompting stimulus of the Solunar Periods.
Through Knight’s exhaustive study, it’s now known that the sun and moon
are the two major sources of the astral energies that daily bombard the
Earth and her life forms; and the closer they are to us at any given
moment, the stronger their influence. The day of a New or Full Moon
provides the strongest influence each month.
June always has more combined sun-moon influence than any other month.
During a Full Moon, the sun and moon are nearly opposite each other;
only a few minutes occur with neither being in our sky. During a New
Moon, both bodies are in near-perfect rhythm traveling the skies
together with their forces combined. Because of the interaction between
the many lunar and solar cycles, no two days, months or years are
identical. During a particular month, peak activity occurs:
- When a period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise
or sunset. At that time, you can expect great action!
- When you have a moonrise or moonset during the same period.
Now the action will be even greater!
- When the above times occur during a New or Full Moon. This
will be the best action of the season!
LENGTH OF PERIODS
Every fisherman knows that fish do not feed all the time. He also knows
that for some reason fish go on the “bite” and take almost anything
that’s offered—whether its live bait or artificial.
According to John Alden Knight, this sort of thing happens during
Solunar Periods. Generally, fish feed at sunrise and sunset. But
sometimes, the “real” fishing of the day occurs at odd-hour feeding
periods. And if the weather and feeding conditions are right, the fish
will be active for at least one to two hours.
BEST FISHING DAYS
For anglers who enjoy fishing at sunrise and sunset, the Solunar
Fishing Calendar gives you the absolute best dates and times to be on
the water at your favorite spot. As you will notice on the calendar,
there are Major and Minor Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise
or Sunset during a Full or New Moon. This is the time when fish will be
on the bite, attacking anything they see or smell. Limits are almost
guaranteed, provided fish are in the vicinity.
It’s no secret that fish and game tend to feed during dawn and dusk.
But what adds to the activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset,
plus the specific monthly period of a New (dark) and Full (light) Moon.
When these times coincide, the action can be spectacular. In addition,
a change in weather, during a Solunar Period, can increase the activity
WATCH THE WEATHER
For best results, the calendar must be used intelligently. Every day
will not show a clear-cut reaction to a Solunar Period. In the case of
fish, barometric fluctuations, particularly when the trend is down,
often ruin fishing. When it comes to weather, wildlife knows what to
expect. Any bird, fish or animal can sense the approach of a storm. A
cold front, moving through, will drive fish to the depths, rendering
Adverse temperatures, abnormal water conditions, all sorts of things
will offset the effects of a Solunar Period. Nevertheless, every
sportsperson knows that it is beyond all reason to expect good fishing
or hunting every day. The Solunar theory will point the way to the best
activity that each day has to offer. But in no sense is it a guarantee.
WATCH THE BAROMETER AND THERMOMETER
The intensity of the activity also varies from day to day, according to
different conditions. If the barometer happens to be steady or rising,
and if the temperature is favorable—15 degrees above the water
temperature—then you can expect lots of action during the period.
WATCH THE MOON
Another thing to remember in dealing with the periods is that the
Solunar influence will vary in intensity according to the position of
the moon. A New Moon (dark) means maximum intensity. Ocean tides
reflect this intensity in their magnitude. Maximum intensity lasts
about three days, and wildlife respond to it with maximum activity.
After a New Moon, the intensity tapers off, until it is at its minimum
during the third quarter phase of the moon.
Saltwater anglers argue that tides have a greater influence on
fish-feeding habits than the moon itself. It must be understood,
though, that tides are governed by the phases and transit of the moon.
Certain marine phenomena occur with precise regularity during the lunar
month and solar/lunar cycle.
Research has shown that a natural day for fish and many other animal
species differ from our own. Their biological clock appears to coincide
with lunar time—which is the time that it takes for the moon to
reappear at a given point during its orbit of the earth. The average
time takes 24 hours and 53 minutes. This is called a Tidal Day and
explains why the ocean tides are about an hour later each day—and why
most fish, freshwater species included, will feed up to an hour later,
in relation to our solar clock, each day.
CALCULATING THE TIMES
The key to accurate Solunar Times is the ability to chart the relative
solar and lunar positions with respect to a particular location. Major
Periods correspond to the upper and lower meridian passage of the
ensuing gravitational force. Minor Periods occur when these forces are
rising or setting on either horizon—i.e., the right ascension of the
resultant force and the local sidereal time vary by 90 or 270 degrees.
Major Periods happen when those forces are at zero and 180 degrees.
It goes without saying that if there are no fish or game present, you
will not be successful. Plan your days on the water or in the field so
that you are where the game is most likely to be during the Solunar
Periods. We sincerely hope we have been able to improve your
understanding of the theory — and how it can improve your angling
But always remember ... the BEST time to go fishin’ is whenever you
can—and always keep in mind “catch and release.”
Ref: Moonup~Moondown ... Library of Congress #72-93383
Some believe our tables are the answer to many of those empty-handed
fishing and hunting trips. Please
email your tips
to Lake Tawakoni Online.