The Moon and Bass Behavior

By Garry McCollum

McCollum Bass and the Moon

Actually both the sun and moon has an effect on a bass from the beginning of its life until the very end of it. This is the Solunar effect, which is responsible for the solunar tables so widely in use today. So = Sun and lunar = moon.

Credit for the Solunar tables goes to John Knight, who had heard some folk tales about the effect of the moon on fishing and evaluated 33 different factors on fresh and saltwater fish that would in fact make them feed more actively. Out of all of these, only three seemed to have the influence to consistently affect the behavior of fish.

1. Sunrise/Sunset
2. Lunar rise/set
3. Tidal influence

Again, testing his theory he discovered that tidal influence was actually sun and lunar influence. Thus, he pared down his list to the two components having the greatest influence on the lives of not only fish but all of the animal kingdom. By refining his research the Solunar tables were created and the first one was published in 1936.

First of all the sun has an effect on the spawning behavior of bass, and must warm the water. All creatures are basically day dwellers and the sun will affect everything in the food chain. The water warms and the plankton blooms, the vegetation starts to grow and the days get longer. The length of day and the water temperatures will initially set the stage for the spawn, but after the water warms to 55 – 60 degrees, the lunar cycle takes over.

The moon has an effect upon spawning behavior of the bass. The male will usually move into the spawning water on the dark of the moon first and then the females will follow, usually on the cycle of the full moon.

After the spawn (which can last three months in some areas) the moon has a discernible effect on Bass and other animal feeding behavior. Just like the bass other fish spawn in response to the Solunar affect, but these fish do so after the bass. Bream will begin to spawn, shad will spawn and the largemouth bass will be a predator at its very best.

The moon does affect the spawning behavior of the bass, but only as much as the sun; as with many things in life. It is only a part of the picture and when you begin to understand the entire process you can become a more successful angler.

Be Safe, Tight Lines.