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Fishing Calendar


Fishing with Moon Phases – Best Time To Fish

The Moon

There are no perfect fishing spots. Good fishing depends on timing. The timing depends on the Moon. It has less to do with tide times, and more to do with the Moon’s position and phase. Our celestial neighbor exerts a gravitational pull on the tides, oceans, the air and most of all the land. The tides control the currents. The Moon’s closeness speeds the currents. Where the Moon is as it moves between northern and southern hemisphere, influences the levels fish tend to feed at, be it bottom feeding, mid ocean or surface feeding. Fish are territorial. Small creatures work against tidal fluctuations in their environments in order to stay where they are familiar, and this makes them use energy. This energy must be replenished by food.

Feeding times are in synchronisation with patterns of the orbits of the Moon. When the Moon is full or new, there is more water coming in and tides are higher, it means faster flows and more energy expended, more crud is floating around and churned out, which brings the curious small creatures out to investigate. Bigger creatures come out to feed on the smaller critters, and even bigger creatures come out to eat them. The result is a general feeding time which translates into a best fishing and hunting time.

New moons in summer bring a different pattern to new moons in winter. The waters are warmer around summer full moons and cooler around winter new moons. Waters are cooler but new moon currents are stronger. On the way to the fishing grounds, check to see that animals are eating. If cows are pulling grass, if dogs and cats are foraging, if birds are diving into the sea, chances are that the fish will be biting also.

It seems that the world over, humans have noticed that out in the wild, the Moon controls best food-gathering times. We can all fish around in the kitchen cupboard for a tin of sardines. But to get the real thing, fresh, you might want to check out some basics.

Time of month

Fish bite best around full and new moons, and bite well but to a slightly lesser degree around the first and last quarter phases. For best results, allow a day or so on either side of, and including these phase positions. Also fish tend to be out there in good numbers just before bad weather. They are curious creatures, which is why they are so attracted to jiggling bait on a hook. Then there’s perigee, when the Moon is closest to earth in about 27 days, and apogee when Moon is furthest away.

Fish either side of both perigee and apogee. Be mindful of these days for coastal fishing, because over perigee (moon closest for month and time of most swell turbulance) the fish won’t come in close. They may have fear of getting sand in their gills due to the action of the bigger waves. Perigees (Per in table) send fish into deeper waters out at sea, so if fishing from a boat try longer traces over perigee. Apogee (Ap in table) can bring extreme calm or turbulence because the Moon is being acted on the most by earth’s gravity instead of the Moon as in perigee.

Time of day

The mid-moon is the best, when the Moon is in the sky over north or directly underfoot on the opposite side of the earth. The second best time is when the Moon is on the horizon either at moonrise or moonset. These positions slowly advance by approx 48 minutes each day. To find out these times, consult your local newspaper for Moon Rise/Set positions.

Time of year

Some fish come in to spawn in particular months, Most coastal and inland fish have a season. Of course one should be there at that time. You would not go hunting rabbits if there were none around. However, most fish in deep water are there throughout the year. Larger fish like marlin have an approx 19-year periodicity, due to the cycle of water temperatures.

Watch the weather

Weather plays a big part. Those who live or spend recreational time outside know that after a while one a of sixth sense about changes either imminent or happening in the environment, just as a mechanic does when listening to an engine. Familiarity breeds intuition. The sky ‘speaks’ to the trees and to animals, the vegetation ‘speaks’ to the birds, the insects pick up on where their predators, like birds, are likely to be. Everything is in some sort of intercommunication and nature operates in a series of rhythms. This rhythm is controlled for the most part by the Moon, which raises or lowers the flexible fluids; water, air and land. Most creatures are largely made up of water and have internal tides. What controls weather and tides also controls us. Weather is tied to feeding cycles, energy cycles, and other survival factors like ground saturation.

Universal Fishing Calendar

The Universal Fishing Calendar works for almost anywhere in the world. It has been carefully worked out to work averagely true to the Moon’s midmoon movement from day to day between latitudes 45N and 45S, where most of the world’s population lives. But, you may ask, how can that be, after all, the weather isn’t the same for all places. Well, the whole earth revolves under the Moon once every 24 hours. That means that whatever phase the Moon is in is going to apply everywhere. For example, it so happens that on the night of the Full moon, at exactly midnight the Moon is sitting above due north if you are in the southern hemisphere, and over due south if you are in the northern hemisphere. This is the midmoon on that particular night and that fact was once used as a directional night compass for travellers. Obviously then, every other Moon phase is experienced the same way all over the world also. Some commercial solunar tables will have you believe you need a different fishing table for each location. This is incorrect, so don’t let anyone sell you a “localised” one.

The calender dates should be of help to holiday-planners and fishermen in all countries. The times refer to both am and pm. For instance, January 1st, the best times are 8-10am and 8-10pm, and the next best times 2-4am and 2-4pm. Also, the chances are average, meaning that fish are not ravenously hungry around this time of month. Allow a half hour to an hour on either side of these times for an ideal fishing session.

8 Responses to “Fishing Calendar”

  1. Alex Moskovitch on 09/06/2012 @ 08:45

    Hi Tyrone. We will be having our Major Bass Fish Off on 7/8 July 2012 at Inanda and then the next one on 4/5 August at a venue in KZN still to be decided. Would it be possible to please add these onto your calendar? Many thanks. Regards Alex

  2. How does one go about adding competitions to the calendar?

  3. Louisa on 18/06/2012 @ 11:41

    Where can I find a list of all fishing competitions going for the year ?

  4. collectablestrader on 25/06/2012 @ 13:23

    whom is a reasably cheap fishing shop in KZN
    who can i go to where i will not get ripped off
    i need to buy some tackle Rod reel line ect Beach and Rock Fishing

  5. Hi planing on going up to Transkei in 1st 2 wks of September when will the fishing calender be updated for the best fishing times for September.

  6. TrevorC on 05/06/2013 @ 13:03


    Please update the best fishing times for June

    Thanking you


  7. Benny Maraba on 15/11/2013 @ 15:46

    I have realised fishing differs from dam to dam, i went to Chuenespoort dam in Limpopo last week.
    For the whole day i kept feeding the dam with my lures.
    The other two weeks ago, all was well at Doorndraai dam except fishing pressures over the weekend.
    Now my question is does the fishing calender works or is it the same as what the weather man predicts all the time?

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