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Fishermen, hunters keep close eye on solunar tables

Fishermen, hunters keep close eye on solunar tables

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 3:02 pm

Ever hear of solunar tables?
Many readers, especially younger ones, haven’t.
The older generation has. This is mainly something that outdoors-people pay somewhat close attention to. For those unfamiliar with the tables, “sol” means sun and “lunar” means moon, and the basic idea is the two together influence animal movements just as they influence tides and other earthly phenomena.
Does any of this moon mumbo-jumbo make any real sense or does it actually work? These are legitimate questions asked by thousands of anglers each year, and they deserve concrete answers backed up by some bonafide data. Yet as much as pro anglers endorse the effectiveness of moon charts and outdoor publications of every niche continue to print them, rarely does either source validate these solunar claims with data.
It’s not hard to find a solunar table of some kind. Nearly every fishing publication today publishes some kind of monthly solunar table, moon chart, activity calendar, action graph or other similar version. All of these tables, charts and calendars claim to predict daily feeding activity of fish in accordance to moon and solar influences.
On a personal note, I do pay close attention of when the best times are to fish or hunt. Does that mean that if the best times aren’t during the time I can fish that I will stay at home? Nope, not at all. I simply use this as a reference while I’m fishing and, more times than not, the best days I have ever had and kept up with the solunar tables — they (the tables) were usually right on the money or close to the times predicted.
I actually wear a watch that was a tip from one of good friends who fishes the professional bass fishing tour. He, along with many others, wear the same watch and they also keep up with the solunar tables. But at the same time, they only hope the fish will bite during the times they are on the water. The same with hunters. They will hunt regardless what the table says but, on the other hand, they want to make sure they are where they want to be when that time does roll around.
It is known that the sun and moon are the two major sources of the astral energies that bombard the Earth daily and all of the Earth life forms. The closer they are to you at any given moment, the stronger the influence. The day of a new moon or full moon will provide the strongest influence in each month.
June always has had more combined sun-moon influence than any other month, so to speak. During a full moon, the sun and moon are nearly opposite each other and very few minutes pass without one or the other being in our sky. During a new moon, both bodies are in near-perfect rhythm traveling the skies together with their forces combined. Because of the interaction between the many lunar and solar cycles, no two days, months or years are identical.
When a period falls within a 30-minute time period to an hour of sunrise or sunset, you can anticipate great action — usually.  And times closes to a new moon or full moon will be the best times of the month also.
Most fishermen know that fish or animals do not feed all of the time. To be sure, fish or animals usually feed actively at sunrise and at sunset, but also generally speaking, the best times may also occur at odd-hour feeding periods. If the weather and feeding conditions are favorable, the fish and animals will be active for maybe as long as two hours.
Also, watching the Barometer is good. Intensity of activity also varies from day to day, according to the conditions in general. If the Barometer happens to be steady or rising and if the temperatures is favorable, then long and active response to a period can be expected.
Hunters for the Hungry
Hunger relief agencies statewide are seeing record numbers of individuals and families seeking food assistance, and the demand is stretching limited resources.
According to a press release, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation is helping to meet this need with a renewable resource in plentiful supply, venison, donated by hunters.
When the deer season ends in January, TWF’s Hunters for the Hungry program expects to have provided more than three million meals to hungry families across the state through donated venison.
TWF introduced the program in 1999, and the impact has grown steadily ever since. One deer can provide an average of 160 meals.
The fastest way to donate is through the TWF’s web site at
The TWRA folks are soliciting comments for its 2012 sportfishing regulation changes and guide license proposals. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns with the TWRA staff.
Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Sport Fish Comments, TWRA, Fisheries Management Division, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to Please include “Sport Fish Comments” or “Fishing Guide License Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.
The comment period will be open until Oct. 7.
It is not to far away to start thinking about the Tennessee Statewide Zone duck hunting seasons will be held Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 3-Jan. 29 (2012). The Reelfoot Zone will be held Nov. 12-13 and Dec. 3-Jan. 29 (2012). The seasons will maximize the number of weekends open to duck hunting and will end on the latest date allowed (the last Sunday in January). There is a six-duck bag limit. For more information visit the TWRA Web site at
The first phase of the Tennessee Dove season ended this past Monday with the second phase set to reopen Oct. 8-23. Then the season will close a reopen again for its third and final phase of the season Dec. 19 through Jan. 15, 2012.
In my past experiences, the winter dove season or phase has always been the best for me. Food for the doves seems to be less and you can usually find larger concentration of doves in one area with the trick being to actually find that special field to hunt.
Also, don’t forget about the 22nd Annual Reelfoot Lake Waterfowl Festival will be held at the Eagle Nest Resort in downtown Samburg Oct. 8-9 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Final Flight Outfitters will be hosting a extravaganza of duck and goose calling competitions the weekend of Oct. 15-16 at their store location in the Midway community near Union City. These major calling contests offer five chances to qualify for the World Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart, Ark., with times and dates to be announced. This year, the Grand American Duck Regional will be joining the U.S. Open Duck Regional, the Bayou de Chein Duck Regional and the Tennessee and Kentucky State Championship. Mark your calendars for this event.
There will also be junior competitions in duck and goose as well as the TN State Goose Calling Competition for adults. The action begins Oct. 15 with the Jr/Intermediate Duck at 9 a.m. and the Kentucky State Duck immediately following. The Bayou De Chien Duck Regional will begin at noon with the Grand American Duck Regional to follow at 3 p.m., ending the Saturday contests. Sunday morning will signal the start of the Jr. Goose competition and the Tennessee State Goose will follow. The weekend events will conclude with the Tennessee State Duck at 11 a.m. and the U.S. Open Duck Regional at 1 p.m. All eight contests will be held on site at Final Flight Outfitters, 5933 Highway 431, Union City and are certain to attract many serious competitors with two days of high excitement in competition duck and goose calling.
The Tennessee River Hunting Retriever Club will be holding a hunt test Saturday and Sunday at Final Flight Outfitters. This is open to all Retrievers and versatile gun dog breeds. This hunt will be held under the rules of the Hunting Retriever Club and United Kennel Club. For more information, call Ann Pennell at 731-377-0661 or e-mail at
I attended the TWRA Roadshow Meeting that was held this past Tuesday in Paris with the main concern of what is going to be the solution of the Asian Carp problem.
I plan to do my column next week on these unwanted fish and about the meeting.
I can be reached at 731-446-3678 or e-mail me at .
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks

Published in The Messenger 9.30.11


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