Why is Fishing Bad on a Full Moon?

Many fishermen believe that the full moon is the most significant time to cast their lines. However, there are fishermen who claim that catching fewer fish when the moon is complete is to be expected. So, why is fishing bad on a full moon?

Because fish may become less hungry when there is more light and activity, the increased tides that occur with a full moon may also disturb feeding habits, making it more challenging to capture fish.

Let’s investigate whether there’s any basis in fact for this widely held idea by studying the science underlying these phenomena.

(Understanding the Full Moon) Why is Fishing Bad on a Full Moon?

Before discussing what happens to fish and fishing when the sun is complete, it’s essential to know what it is. A celestial body that revolves is the moon around the Earth. The different phases of the moon we see from Earth are caused by the moon reflecting sunlight.

when the moon is positioned on the Earth’s other side and is fully lit by the sun’s light, this is called a “full moon.” It is a natural event that has interested people for hundreds of years. Many myths and beliefs have been centered on it.

From a scientific point of view, the full moon can change many things about nature, like how animals act and how the tides rise and fall. For example, some animal species are known to be more active when the moon is full, while others may hide away more.

When it comes to fishing, Full moons can be good and evil, depending on the type of fish, the time of day, and the moon’s phase. If anglers know about these things, they can improve their fishing strategies and increase their chances of success.

Full Moon Effects on Fish

  • Light and Visibility: When the Moon is complete, there is lighter at night, making it easier for fish to see possible predators and stay away from them. It can produce fish warier and less likely to swim out into open water where fishermen could catch them.
  • Feeding Behavior: The full Moon can also change the way fish eat. Some fish are likelier to eat when there isn’t much light, like at dawn or dusk. But with a full moon, the bright light can change how fish eat and make them less likely to bite.
  • Reproduction: Lastly, the full moon can also make it hard for fish to have babies. Many fish spawn when the moon is complete, and they may be less likely to bite during this time because they are focused on mating and having babies.
  • Activity Level: Fish can also be less active when the full moon is out. During a full moon, some species may become more active, while others may become less active or hideaway.
  • Water Temperature: A full moon can also change the temperature of the water, which can change how fish act. Because there is lighter and heat when there is a full moon, the water may be slightly warmer. Some fish may move to deeper or cooler water because of this.
  • Tidal Changes: Lastly, the full moon can also cause tidal changes, which can affect the location and behavior of fish. The tides change when there is a full moon. It may be higher or lower than usual, which can change how fish feed and move.

Best Times to Fish During a Full Moon 

  • Late afternoon:  late afternoon is an excellent time to go fishing because there is light, and the fish are more likely to feed. It’s especially true for fish like bass and walleye, which eat a lot when there isn’t much light.
  • Early Morning: Another great time to fish during a full moon is early morning, just before sunrise. During this time, many fish feed a wide range, and lures can be used to catch them.
  • Night Fishing: When there is a full moon, you can also catch fish at night, especially active ones when there isn’t much light. Anglers can go after fish like catfish and crappie at night when the moon is out because they can see better.
  • Avoid Midday: Most of the time, it’s best not to fish in the middle of the day, when the sun is high and the light is at its brightest, because fish may lessen your activity and the likelihood of biting during these times.
  • Use the Right Gear: Using the right gear can significantly increase your likelihood of success when fishing during a full moon, no matter the time of day. It could mean using baits and lures that look like the fish you want to catch, like minnows and crayfish, and choosing the right fishing line and rod for the fish you want to see.

Strategies to Improve Your Fishing During a Full Moon 

  • Change Up Your Techniques: Fish can be warier and less likely to bite when there is a full moon. Change the way you fish to improve your chances of catching something. That could mean trying different baits and lures, fishing in another way, or fishing at an extra depth.
  • Focus on Structure: During a full moon, fish gather around structures like rocks, logs, or weed beds. You have a better chance of catching fish in these spots. Make sure you use the right gear and methods for your fishing structure.
  • Try Night Fishing: When there is a full moon at night, it can be good to go fishing because you can see better and find moving fish. Ensure you have the proper safety gear and lighting to ensure your trip is safe and goes well.
  • Use Live Bait: When there is a full moon, fish can be warier and less likely to bite lures. Using live bait like minnows or worms can be a better choice. Make sure you choose the right bait for the fish you want to catch.
  • Pay Attention to Water Temperature: Changes in water temperature can be caused by a full moon, which can affect how fish act. Be sure to pay attention to the temperature of the water and change your fishing methods accordingly.
  • Be Patient: Fish may be less active and less likely to bite when the moon is complete, so you may need more patience than usual when fishing. Be ready to spend more time on the water; if you don’t catch anything immediately, try not to give up.

Fish Behavior During a Full Moon

  1. Feeding Habits: When there is a full moon, some fish may eat more at night when the moon is bright. It can make it easier to catch fish at night, when they may be more likely to bite. During a full moon, some animals may be more careful and less likely to bite.
  1. Movement: Some fish may be more active during a full moon, while others may move less or become more territorial. For example, the bass may move into shallower water to feed when the moon is out. In contrast, walleye may move deeper and become more aggressive.
  1. Spawning: Some fish spawn when there is a full moon, which can make them harder to catch because they are focused on making babies instead of eating. Anglers may need to change how they fish to catch these fish while they are laying eggs.
  1. Habitat: Because the full moon is so bright, some fish will try to find places that are darker or have more shade to avoid being eaten. Catfish may move into deeper holes or hide under logs during a full moon.
  1. Sensitivity: Fish have perfect eyesight, and the bright light of a full moon can make them more careful. Because of this, some fish might be harder to catch, especially if they are shy or only move around a little.

Overall, Why is fishing bad on a full moon? can affect fish in both good and bad ways, depending on the type of fish and other things like water temperature and weather. When fishing during a full moon, anglers are more likely to catch fish if they know about these changes and change their fishing plans accordingly.

Safety Risks

  • Bring Adequate Lighting: If you want to fish at night, you need good lighting. Bring headlamps, flashlights, and lanterns to see where you feel and avoid accidents.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress for the weather and bring layers because the temperature can drop at night. Wear clothes or accessories that reflect light to make you more visible and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Check Weather and Water Conditions: Before fishing, you should always check the weather and the water. Stay out of fishing when there are storms, much rain, or strong winds because these can be dangerous.
  • Use Caution When Walking Near Water: If you walk near water at night, be careful because seeing obstacles or uneven ground can be tricky. Take your steps slowly and carefully and use a walking stick to help you keep your balance.
  • Be Aware of Wildlife: At night, animals may be more active, so observe your surroundings and look out for snakes., bears, and other animals that could be dangerous.
  • Don’t Fish Alone: Even at night, you should always fish with a friend or a group. If something happened, someone could help you or call for help.

Tips for Successful Full Moon Fishing 

  • Research the Best Fishing Spots: Before fishing, research to find the best places to fish that are known to be good during a full moon. Talk to fishing guides, bait shops, or experienced anglers for helpful information and tips.
  • Use Live Bait: Live bait can be a game-changer when fishing during a full moon. Fish are known to be more active during this time, and live bait can increase your chances of attracting and hooking fish.
  • Fish Deeper Water: Fish usually move to deeper water when there is a full moon. So, it’s best to concentrate on deeper places like drop-offs, ledges, and channels. It can help you catch fish that aren’t scared by the bright moonlight as much.
  • Adjust Your Fishing Times: At the time of the full moon, it can be hard to fish because the moonlight is so bright. It would help if you felt early or late in the afternoon when the moon isn’t as bright, and the water is more relaxed. The following could make it easier to catch fish when they are more active.
  • Use Light-Colored Lures: Fish can be more careful and picky about what they eat when there is a full moon. Consider using white, silver, or gold lures to make it look like the moonlight reflects off the water.
  • Experiment with Different Techniques: Fish can act while there is a full moon. It’s best to try out different techniques, such as slow retrieves, fast retrieves, or other lures or baits. It can help you determine which fish respond best to your fishing spot.
  • Be Patient: When fishing during a full moon, you may need to be patient and keep going. Fish might move around less or be pickier about their eating. Don’t give up if you don’t catch anything right away. Be patient, and don’t give up.
  • Be Mindful of the Moon Phase: Fish can act differently depending on the phase of the moon. The three days before and after the full moon can be good times to go fishing because fish are more active.


In conclusion, Why is fishing bad on a full moon? for more than one reason? Because the sun shines brighter, it can make fish warier and less likely to bite. Also, the tides caused by the moon’s pull can make it harder to find fish in the places where they usually feed. Lastly, many fish tend to have their young around the time of a full moon, which can cause their population to drop if caught too much.

  If you fish a lot, consider the moon cycle when planning your trips. While some people believe that fishing during a full moon can lead to big catches, the reality is that it can often be more difficult to reel in fish during this time. Instead, try fishing during the new moon or other lunar cycles when fish are more likely to feed. 

 Ultimately, Why is fishing bad on a full moon? depends on what you want to get out of it. If you’re going to spend time outside and enjoy fishing, a full moon may not make much of a difference. But if you’re going to catch a big fish or a trophy fish, you should wait until a different phase of the moon.


How does a full moon affect fishing?

The tidal water entering the rising tide increases when the moon is full. Extra water can be beneficial if you’re an angler trying to land a big one. Some larger fish will swim farther inland during times of increased tidal volume.

What moon is worst for fishing?

The time frame just before the full moon and the period from the full moon to the last quarter have the best catch rates. The day following a full moon was the worst for fishing.

What moon phase is best for night fishing?

The Solunar theory states that fishing is at its best during new moons. That is due to the sun and moon’s stronger gravitational pull. The sun and moon rise and set roughly simultaneously during a new moon. This causes a combined gravitational pull as both objects align across the sky.

Does fishing always be good during a full moon? 

 Fishing during a full moon may be suitable. It depends on several factors, such as water temperature, weather conditions, and the fish you are trying to catch.

What are the best times to fish during a full moon?

 Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish during a full moon. These times have low light levels and are when many fish species are most active.

Can I still catch fish during a full moon?

 Yes, it is still possible to catch fish during a full moon. Anglers should adjust their fishing techniques and tactics to maximize their chances of catching a fish.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.