The Full Moon Theory



The Full Moon Theory

In the world of fishing, theories are a dime a dozen. One theory that holds a lot of water is the theory that claims that fishing isn’t any good the morning after a full moon. The reason being that the light from the moon is so bright that it lights up the water allowing the fish to feed through the night. While the theory makes sense, I’ve never actually seen it pan out on any of my fishing trips.  

That all changed on my latest fishing trip. I was fishing with crappie expert Tim Bye of Folsom, LA. Bye fishes the Tchefuncte River which is a well known crappie fishing destination in Southeast Louisiana. We started fishing the main river using 1/32 oz. Bobby Garland jigs in the Monkey Milk color. Bye operates Garmin Panoptix LiveScope which allows for an unbelievable screen display. We stopped at our first spot which was a fallen tree with it’s canopy extended out approximately 30 feet. 

Bye pointed out numerous crappie on the screen and we began to lower our lines down. While looking at the screen, we both witnessed the fish glance at our jigs then pass without any interest.

A school of crappie on the screen
A school of crappie light up Bye’s screen

I’ve been fishing with Bye before and knew enough to recognize that this was not a good sign. Crappie are very temperamental and while finding the fish was no problem, it was another story getting them to bite.

After stopping at our second spot, the fish repeated the same procedure as they did at the first stop. “These fish just don’t want to bite,” Bye said. “I think that full moon last night is hurting us.” I clung to that statement knowing that the fish would turn on eventually after they got hungry again. Tim recommended we switch our game plan over to a mid-day trip which would give the fish time to work up an appetite from feeding overnight. 

First fish of the day
Bye unhooks the fist fish of the day

It was about 11:00 a.m. when we started fishing again. We headed to the same spot where the crappie rejected out jigs. This is where the full moon theory became fact for me. 

Bye lowered down his jig and the first crappie on the top of the school turned up and approached it. We both looked at the monitor as the fish moved closer to the lure, then he tagged it! Bye set the hook and reeled in a 10-inch crappie. In that one spot we caught 25 crappie and while It turned out to be a successful trip, I more importantly had first hand evidence that the full moon theory did have an affect on the fish the next morning. 

Crappie catch at the end of the day
These crappie waited until 11:00 a.m. to bite

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Keith Lusher is an award winning outdoor journalist that resides in Covington, Louisiana. He owns and operates and writes a weekly outdoor column for the Slidell Independent Newspaper. He also writes for the St.Tammany Parish Tourism Commission’s and Louisiana Northshore Explore Magazine. He is the former host of The Northshore Fishing Report Radio Show and is on the board of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. Keith contributes to numerous publications both online and in print and prides himself on promoting South Louisiana’s unique fishery.

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