The moon and the sun have a dramatic effect on the earth due to their combined gravitational force that they place on any body of water. The oceans are the most noticeable. This gravitational force causes the oceans of the world to move resulting in what we refer to as tides. The moon's influence is more dominant due to it's proximity to the earth.
A complete lunar cycle is usually referred to in one of the following four stages.
Tides move in 6 hour cycles. In a 24 hour period there will be a high, a low, a high and then a low tide, all approximately 6 hours apart. Various fish species feed more aggressively depending on the tide, the moon and the time of day/night.
The effect that this lunar cycle has is so powerful that in the United State of America, crime statistics show that there is a link between criminal/violent behavior and the New/Full moon phases.
Extra caution must be taken when fishing at these times, especially from rock platforms as the water level can rise with surprising speed.
Fishing at night can be even more hazardous and can result in wet/lost tackle or even an unexpected swim for the unwary!
Mark the tide line with a stick when you arrive to watch the movement of the tide.
Neap tides are the opposite of Spring tides.
They are the lowest low tide for that particular lunar cycle.
Neap tides are generally regarded as the worst time to go fishing.
You will catch fish during these tides but fish will be more active during a Spring tide.
Running tides (rising or falling) are best since they cause bait to move and promote active feeding among coastal fish.
Changing tides, time of day and location are also important when you're fishing in brackish water—coastal water that's a mix of salt water and fresh water and contains saltwater and freshwater fish.
Brackish water is found in most tidal creeks and rivers along coasts and is highly affected by tidal movements.
Determining the best time to fish requires checking on many fishing factors and outdoor conditions.
Read the local newspaper and visit with folk at a local tackle shop to get accurate tide information.
In midday, hot water surface temperature, decreased surface oxygen and occasional increasing winds cause fish to move deeper.
In these conditions, deep fishing baits, rigs and lures are best.
Already, you can see how a combination of time of day, light and weather can affect your fishing.
Too many hot days in the summer can make fish in shallow lakes, ponds and rivers sluggish.
The same thing happens in the winter when water temperatures are lower. Why?
All fish are cold-blooded. Meaning they can't keep their body temperature at a constant level like humans and other warm-blooded animals.
So the temperature of their surroundings influences the fish's body temperature and bodily functions.
Really high and really low water temperatures reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, making fish less active and picky about when and what they.