So Many Spoons – So Little Time
Fishing and Hunting News and Information
If you know me or follow my posts you may be aware that I believe the theory that the moon strongly affects fish and wildlife activity. I have followed it for years and use software to help make some predictions. It is science but not the last word. Of course factors such as the weather will be a major influence on any given day.
This is one Example for the day of the Full Moon which is usually rated well.
A Fishing Guide’s Discoveries Regarding Lunar and Solar Affect
A long time fishing guide and pro fisherman, Joe Bucher has recorded stats and activity for many years. He often pondered the validity of factors such as full moon, dark moon, and major and minor activity periods.
In 1976, when Joe decided to become a full time fishing guide, he began documenting daily fishing catches and solunar chart predictions. He was then able to use his data from catches that included hundreds of muskies, and thousands of bass and walleyes on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. He cross referenced his data to the predicted activity levels from some of these solunar tables and learned more about determining the best time to go fishing.
One conclusion immediately came to mind. His analysis convinced him that some of the traditional solar, lunar criteria proved all too often to have no validity. He came to the conclusion that most of the solunar tables published offered no real consistent correlation to fishing success and at that point he decided to put these theories on the back burner.
Over time he just couldn’t continue to ignore this popular theory. Why do you suppose it kept nagging at him? It was because he actually discovered that there was in fact a certain solar and lunar effect on fish activity. His discovery worked so well that it was hard to believe at first. His daily fishing logs had surely disputed the commonly accepted predictions, but they just as surely pointed to indisputable evidence that here did exist solar and lunar factors that were worthy of closer attention.
His ultimate conclusion is now that the rise and set of both the sun and moon has far more impact than any other daily sun or moon position. That is without exception the single most important daily triggering factor of both fish and game. Monthly peaks in both the full and new moon are a secondary factor definitely worth considering.
Age composition (in percent) of Walleye harvest by US Sport Fishery and Canadian Commercial Fisherman in Lake Erie during 2016. Canadian Sport Fishing Data not available.
Age – Percent of Total Harvest For 2016
Year Class – Year of sampling – Millions of Fish
*** I hope I have interpreted the Chart That I used Correctly
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
STATUS OF MAJOR SPECIES
The following is an overview of the status of major species in Ontario waters of Lake Erie for 2015. International lake-wide perspectives are available in the following reports of the Lake Erie Committee (LEC) of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission:
Walleye Task Group Report
The lake-wide commercial Walleye harvest (4.9 million pounds) in 2015 approximated the mean harvest from 2000 to present (4.8 million pounds) but was below the mean harvest from the inception of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) (1984 to present; 6.4 million pounds). In 2015, the commercial Walleye fishery was composed mainly of the 2003 (age 12), and 2014 (age 1) year classes, with contributions from the 2011 (age 3), 2013 (age 2), and 2010 (age 4) year classes. Age 1 Walleye were mainly captured as by catch in small mesh (<3” mesh size) gill net fisheries. The lake-wide fall gill net survey also indicated a strong presence of age 12 and age 1 Walleye. Interagency trawling to assess year class strength indicated a strong 2014 year class and a strong 2015 year class. The fall gill net survey also indicated a strong 2015 year class which will recruit to the fishery in 2017. Overall, the abundance of fishable Walleye in the west and central basins is at a below average level, but is expected to improve by 2017.
The Walleye population in eastern Lake Erie consists of mixed stocks including those originating from east basin shoals, the Grand River (Ontario), United States tributaries, and immigrants from the western portion of the lake. Representation of older Walleye is typically greater in eastern Lake Erie compared to other regions of the lake. The greater average age of Walleye in the eastern basin is due in part to the contribution of older migratory individuals originating from the western basin. In 2015, the strong 2003 year class at age 12 represented 20% of the commercial harvest in Ontario statistical districts 4 and 5 combined, and the 2010 year class (age 5) represented 24% of the fishery. Ages 5 and 12 Walleye also comprised a significant fraction of the Walleye caught in the east basin Partnership gill net survey in 2015. Fishery and survey indicators were positive for east basin Walleye abundance although juveniles were not caught in the east basin Partnership survey.
Western Lake Erie does not offer any significant depth extremes. For the most part the main portion of Western lake erie runs around 35 feet deep.
Shoreline and the very southwest corner offers most of the shallow water.
For the most part, the deeper water can only be found around Grub Reef and East of there.
Grub Reef in fact offers the shallow water and deep water in close proximity and may offer the only place to find depth extremes in close proximity in all of Western Lake Erie.