There is an effect on fish and game, from the moon, sun, and tide is one that we as humans may never fully understand.
Writing this on the morning of the great eclipse that will occur later today, I often associate fish and game movement and activity, with the positioning of the sun and the moon. Years ago, an older mentor had introduced me to the solunar-tables and explained how game and fish react to the position of these galaxy-inhabitant forces. Until that point, I had no idea that something that inhabits the Milky Way and brings light or light by night, could also affect critters and swimming beings.
The tables, first introduced in the 1930s were actually late to the game as American’s native to this land, before ships found our coastal beaches, used the power of the moon and the sun to hunt and fish and also plant and harvest and exist in this big old goofy world. Then, solunar tables were part of print and found in noted outdoor journals, monthly.
There were also published works that gave great detail explanations about how and when fish and game behave, accordingly to the sun and the moon. I admit that I was skeptical about the power and predictability of something noted as solunar. This skeptic-nature was in part because the supposed-powers of the moon and the sun are not necessarily visible.
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When John Alden Knight published his first hypothesis about how the moon and sun conjoin to affect wildlife movement, it was met with the same skepticism because most anglers and hunters had either not heard of these tables nor could find supportive evidence that these times actually worked. Admittedly, I too was not convinced in the power of something in print and the power of something thousands of miles away.
Perhaps it was inquisitive curiosity or active observation, either way I remember it being very bright one morning, well before the sun would actually rise and the moon was high in sky. The morning was very quiet. There were no squirrels being squirrels and the birds were very quiet with only a few chirps and tweets. I recalled that the solunar tables had suggested a major-feeding period or peak in activity to occur at 1 p.m. Literally, that entire morning it was still and quiet and from where I stood, the moon was lingering to the west while the sun was burning from the east and I really wondered if these two cousins, actually had an impact that I was unaware of.
What I then thought was coincidence and now I believe to be evidence, was noted in the sudden uptick in how the birds came to life, the squirrels scurried, and that deer were actually up and feeding in the middle of the day. This period of activity and evidence lasted about two-hours and it coincided with some variable that obviously affected game and this directly affected my hunt.
From that day, the solunar tables became something I would and still refer to in planning trips and adventures; whether it be deciding to hunt or fish in the morning or whether to stay home, the tables provide some degree of accuracy in determining the activity of wildlife.
In the human population, an uptick in crime, births, and crazy-antics are known to occur in greater frequency around a full moon. Yet, I have seen the woods be completely still and quiet at daybreak and then at 10 a.m. become loud and full of game movement, coinciding with what had been predicted activity. There may be a scientific or philosophical or astronomical explanation of why fish and game are active at certain times of the day, based upon the location of the moon and its effect on the earth.
With the eclipse occurring Monday, certainly there is an uptick of humans behaving strangely; gazing to the sky, being one-with nature, and experiencing the greatness of this planet and the universe beyond. Of the correlation between the moon and the sun and fish and game, we may never have an absolute understanding of how something from a galaxy far away affects that which we chase or seek. After all, is there a better excuse for why we have been unsuccessful outdoors than to blame it on the moon?
Enjoy your time outdoors.