Capture of big fish linked to moon phases

If you want to know the ideal time to go fishing, ignore the weather forecast – and start studying the moon instead!

That’s the message this week from Chris Lyons, the man who has developed the ‘moonstrike theory’ that he believes reveals EXACTLY when you should be on the bank.

And a look back at the year’s best catches backs up his views, with an incredible eight of every 10 record fish caught in the UK and America being taken on key times in the moon’s calendar.

The capture of these fish, including the record carp Two Tone, the biggest pike of the year and a 57lb carp, were predicted by key windows of opportunity in the lunar cycle.

Angler Chris Lyons, from Hereford, has been comparing the phases of the moon against his log of angling catches over the past 15 years. And that has led to his claims that he’s able to tell accurately when sport is going to be good or bad, irrespective of the weather.

“When John Bird caught Two Tone it was very cold and there was snow on the ground. But it was April 6, a new moon, and the low orbit transit time was 1am. John had the run at 2am, emphasising how you should take more notice of the moon than the weather,” claimed Chris.

“I’ve documented captures of The Traveller, Britain’s biggest barbel, and, save for one time, this fish always came out on a key phase day. Even Georgina Ballentine’s record salmon fell on a peak day!” added Chris.

Scrutinising more than 6,000 documented catches, including over 70 double-figure barbel to 13lb 3oz and carp to 30lb-plus, Chris has noticed a series of trends.


These patterns include:

- Most big fish are caught on just 12 days of the moon’s 29.5-day cycle. These ‘key days’ revolve around particular moon phases, most notably new moons, first quarters, full moons and last quarters, and the two days either side of these. For example, if June 10 sees a new moon, then fish feed best from June 9 to June 11.

- Four hotspots or ‘transit times’ occur on those days when the moon is closest to the earth, known as moon set, low orbit, moon rise and high point. These are the days printed on page 2 of each week’s paper. Look for  feeding spells on, or an hour either side, of such times. These daily cycles are just over 24 hours long, so each transit time increases by 50 minutes every day.

Chris first realised the effect of the moon on fishing during a night on the River Lugg in 1993 when he witnessed a freak spell at 1.15am where the wind increased and he hooked three barbel in a matter of minutes.

He later discovered that the moon had set at 1.15am, causing a change in gravity. Ever since Chris has since been linking the moon to specimen fish catches reported to the angling press, including Two Tone’s recent capture at a record weight of 67lb.
Chris’ website is stuffed full of similar tales and anglers like AT columnist Keith Arthur swear by his charts. And he is hoping that more people will start taking note of the influences of the moon to improve their catches.

“I’m not saying the times I publish in AT are the be-all and end-all, but keep an eye out for changes in wind and feeding behaviour an hour either side of them. These times are most noticeable on poor days, although you will always get the odd fish which doesn’t tie in with the system and hits the bank on a non-key day. Fish are fish after all!” said Chris.

Every week AT will be working with Chris to reveal the ideal times to go fishing and he’s also given us a day-by-day breakdown of angling prospects in June. They are listed in this week’s Angling Times.