The Tampa Bay Times

The full moon can work in mysterious ways.  As fishermen, it can sometimes work in our favor.  Other times it can work against us.  It’s well documented that mangrove snapper chew best at night during this phase.  I love nighttime tarpon fishing on the “moon” particularly when it begins to rise.  We all know that tarpon gang up instinctively in the passes on either side of Egmont Key during the summer full moons.  It’s what causes the crabs to be flushed from the Bay on the stronger than normal afternoon outgoing tides, and the tarpon know it.  On the other side, and particularly when bottom fishing or trolling for kingfish, it’s not unusual to have a hot bite turn off like a light switch as soon as the moon sets.  A study of a tide chart will show the moon sets very early during the full moon phase.  A graphic chart will also show the extreme high and low tides.  I won’t fish the edges of the ships channel inside the Bay during mid tides.  Ripping tides prevent effectively keeping baits on the bottom.  I’ve had my bottom machine lit up with fish on daytime trips during the full moon and not able to buy a bite.  Some say it’s because they’ve been eating all night and are no longer about it.  Who knows?  Surely there are exceptions to every rule.  Might go tomorrow and have them chew all day.  Ask a Police Officer, a Hospital worker or a Bartender if they notice any changes in behavioral patterns during the full moon.  See what they say.  One thing’s for sure – whether positively or adversely – the full moon will have an influence on our fishing.

Captain Jay Mastry