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Solar/Lunar Tables - Do They Work?

By Russ Bassdozer

Controversy over two things, fish attractants and solunar timetables, are similar in that we cannot conclusively say they work...nor can we disprove them either! Two things we know for sure are that studies have proven that: 1) fish have noses, and 2) the sun and moon have biological effects on living things.

Yes, I do use scent. Yes, I do like to plan my trip so that I am fishing prime water that is holding bait during the hours of the daily solunar peaks. Yes, I do like it when the sun, the moon, all the planets and all the tables align to put me right in the middle of all the major mojo happening:

  • In late afternoon during the coldest seasons
  • Between the midday hours of 10 and 2 during cool, mild weather seasons
  • At dusk and dawn in moderately hot summer weather
  • At the "psycho hours" between 1 and 3 a.m. during the hottest summer dog days

So what can I say? Those are the best hours to be out at those times of the season anyway. The fact that the planets are aligning then too, and that you are sitting in a good spot with a good bait supply can only add to the aura of it all! Just spray your bait down with your favorite fish attracting concoction about five minutes before the peak period for the day and get ready!

Sometimes it seems that scent and solunar tables work, but I cannot be sure. Sometimes it seems my horoscope for the day is uncannily right on target too! Haven't you ever noticed that? I'm a bull and a rooster (Taurus and Chinese Year of the Chicken), how about you?

One thing I do know, scents and solunar timetables probably don't hurt (I hope). Be on the water fishing good cover where there is bait and other signs of life on the water or moving around on shore. It could be bait, panfish, ducks, turtles, red wing blackbirds, squirrels or any life whatsoever. All life favors essentially the same environmental factors. If anything else is moving around actively feeding, chances are good that bass are doing the same thing. If there's just a flock of sitting ducks with their heads under their wings, it is not a good sign for your fishing success.

There are lots of names and many modifications of schemes for the basic solar/lunar tables. I've looked into a few with fancy names and charts. As far as I can tell, the only major difference betweeen most of them is in the fancy name and hype. They all seem to essentially track very closely to the plain, unadulterated tables that I provide you with at my web site at In fact, many of the fancy schemes with propietary names are geographically too broad (like for the entire country or region) whereas the ones I give you are custom-calculated for the geographic mid-center of each state. If you really want to get picky, you can determine how far east or west you are from your state's mid-center, then add (east) or subtract (west) one minute for each twelve miles of distance. That will give you the exact moment to fish under the influence of the sun and moon.

There's nothing wrong with totally disregarding solunar timetables either. In fact, even if they do have some effect, the sun and moon are so far away. Much more local and immediate conditions will probably always matter more. Wind direction and force, cloud cover, the passage of weather fronts, barometric trend and other atmospheric conditions can be more immediate and weigh more heavily. Come together with a school of bait at the precise time that the bass do, and what you throw at them under what conditions just may not matter at that moment! Learn how to excel in your to find fish...and fish when you can.

Just keep in mind the general guidelines for times of day and seasons that I listed above, and if you want to know the precise hours to be there according to the solar/lunar tables, please click here to visit my web site at It gives you daily minor and major feeding peakssun rise, sun set, moon phases, moon rise, moon set, moon up, moon down for each day in 2000...all accurate for wherever you are in all 50 states. Also you will find local tide tables, water conditions and local weather for each state there.

Hope it helps stir up some controversy.

Other Information.

Here is some more information about the solunar time tables at Bassdozer.

Theory. The theory is that there are four periods (2 major and 2 minor) each day when the gravitational forces created by the alignment of the sun and moon become strong enough to have an influence on the activities of fish and wildlife.

Actual times.The actual times we publish are when each major or minor period begins. Major periods will last from 1 to 2 hours while Minor periods last for 1 hour or less.

Good days. In our tables, we use the symbol ">" to flag the days preceding and following a NEW or FULL moon since research has shown that fish and wildlife activity is greatest during these periods of each month.

Best days. When the solunar times fall within one hour of SUNRISE or SUNSET (which everyone knows are good times of daily fish and wildlife activity).

Absolute best days. Doesn't occur very often during any given month - but when the solunar times fall within one hour of sunrise or sunset and the solunar times are within one hour of MOONRISE or MOONSET - you have an "absolute best day"!

Accuracy. The solunar times are calibrated for the center of all 50 states. The times will change 1 minute for each 12 miles E (-) or W (+) of the location. By adding or deducting 1 minute for each 12 miles from the base point you can achieve 1 minute accuracy for any location. The distance N or S does not effect the solunar times.

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