In the final part of this series (you can find part 1 & 2 here), I reveal how I use Moonphases and Moontimes information to increase my catch rates when I go holiday fishing to France.
Prior to booking
Before I think about venue selection and contacting Angling Lines, I will look at the Moonphases for a particular month to see which week gives me the best possible times. Ideally, I am looking for a Full or New Moon that falls midweek, i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. That scenario gives me excellent fishing prospects for most of my week.
Why a Full or New Moon and not First or Last Quarter? During a Full or New Moon, the most productive moontimes fall mostly during daylight hours, which is when I do most of my fishing (I rarely fish nights when I am on holiday with my wife). For example, around the New Moon, the moon RISE is in the morning, the H.P (high orbit point) is around midday and the moon SET coincides roughly with sunset. This gives me the optimum moontime fishing times coinciding with generally the “normal” best times for carp fishing at dawn and dusk. I particularly like the H.P occurring during the middle of the day as this 4 hour peak period can result in unexpected catches at what can be the least productive time for catching carp.
French Trip – 12 to 19 April 2014
My first trip this year is in April when I go to Bletiere and this is the table I put together. This, in my opinion, is an example of a perfect week (at least Moonphase and time wise!) as the Full Moon (FM) falls on the Tuesday. A Full Moon’s times are directly opposite the times during a New Moon, i.e. the moon SET is in the morning, the L.O (low orbit point) is around the middle of the day and the moon RISE is in the evening.
So that gives me a good start, now let me explain how I adapt my fishing to the times.
Now that I know when my best chances are during the times I am fishing (7am to 9pm at this time of year) I can plan my baiting approach. Many anglers I see stick to “traditional” times to bait up, i.e. first thing in the morning and tea time, no matter what. My experiences lead me to believe that this is not always the best approach. As you can see from the chart above, I vary my baiting up times in-between the peak periods. In other words, I am setting up my traps to coincide with the best available times.
I start fishing from first light but if there it is a key period at that time (as in Sunday through to Thursday) then I will not put additional freebies in and will just use stringers, singles or pva bags as I don’t want to disturb any carp that are in my spots and throwing in bait over the top of their heads is not going to help. As you can see on the Friday however, because the moontime doesn’t kick in until 7.35am then I am quite happy to put in additional bait.
“Little and often”
What I never do these days, is pile in a load of bait in one go. I much prefer to fish like match anglers do on a little and often basis, fishing to catch one carp at a time. Bletiere has big head of carp so a water like this would be difficult to put too much bait in, however, I still don’t like to overdo it and will generally put in a large handful of whole and chopped boilies around each rod, each time I bait up. If I have any action then I will put in another handful after each fish even if it is still in the key period. If I don’t have any action then I will sit on my hands and be quite strict about not putting any more in. Getting bored and impatient and thinking adding more bait in probably will not help.
I have been to Bletiere many times over the last few years and have had many a good debate with John London (the lake owner) about whether the noise of bait getting put in attracts or deters his carp. John’s theory (and a logical one at that!) is that he feeds his fish all winter and the noise it makes acts a bit like a dinner bell and the carp will home in on it. Therefore, if things are a bit quiet he may suggest to his customers to throw in some boilies, pellet or particle mix, but do so using a baiting spoon and do it noisily!
I have tried this on various occasions and have to say I’m not totally convinced but will say that after listening to his advice, when I do bait up (at my planned pre-set times are after a capture) then I will use a catapult or walk around and throw boilies in a few at a time so it makes more noise. A happy compromise for me and my results at this venue have been very good using this method.
The other area of my approach which following moontimes affects my fishing is timing of any re-casting. Generally speaking, I don’t like to move my rods for the entire day once I have got my traps set. If I am happy with my cast then I will not reel in unless, a) I have a take, or b) I reel in to go out or pack up at the end of the day.
However, if my wife and I decide to go out sight seeing, shopping or out for a meal then I will try to make sure we do this outside of any peak period and I like to return fishing and have my rods in the water and ready at least 45 minutes before the start of the next peak period. I am very lucky to have an understanding wife!
That brings this little mini series to an end and I hope its been of interest and add a little something to your fishing. As I have said before, this is not the be all and end all and there are many other factors that will affect your catch rates but being aware of the theory will not do you any harm and may just bring up a few surprises.
Duncan de Gruchy