The effect of the moon on gardening and fishing has been the topic of many discussions and arguments. Some say that planning events around moon phases is almost medieval, while others say there is plenty of merit in relying on lunar phases.

Dr. William M. Johnson, the gardening columnist for The Daily News, addressed this in his weekly column Wednesday. If you have not read it, it is definitely interesting and many of the points mentioned by Johnson apply to fishing.

Almost everyone these days agree that the moon cannot be totally relied upon. There are, however, some definite patterns that exist in lunar phases. For those applicable to gardening, I will refer you to this week’s gardening column.

For fishing, I think it is more scientific on the whole. The undisputed fact is that moon phases affect tide strength. This has a big influence on fishing. During the full and new moon phases, tides are stronger, while during the quarter moon tides are the weakest of their cycle.

Crabbers, including me, have found that crabs tend to be fuller (of meat) during the full moon and while tide movement is excellent. Fish tend to feed at night and take off during the first part of the day, usually until well up into the morning.

During a dark moon, fish feed during the day or, better stated, during tide movement whether day or night.

Fishing during quarter moon phases tends to be erratic with those periods of tide movement being best.

Relying on the moon for fishing does not take into consideration the variable weather conditions. A strong wind, heat wave or cold spell can easily negate the effects of a moon phase.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

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