Solunar Tables (Best Time To Fish)


SOLUNAR TABLES…..Best fishing Times

On the good days there are always times when the fish seem more ravenous and more plentiful than at other times of that same day.

These periods, as a rule, last about two hours. All of us try to plan to take advantage of those feeding periods at dawn and dusk. But the “odd-hour” periods which occur during the day – and night– must be stumbled upon by luck unless you have a guide.

That is where the SOLUNAR TABLES come into play.

Most Great Lakes fisherman go fishing when they can get away from work! The ones that don’t work like the retired, laid-off  or simply looking for work folks generally go fishing when the weather is nice  and when the wife let’s them!  LOL….. From day to day there are times when fishing is best…..


For the veteran Salmon troller, most of what I’m writing is not news. Although for those “know it all” types that don’t use the Solunar tables, or don’t believe in them, I hope you at least give them a try.   If there are no  unusual circumstances , like  4-6 foot waves, thirty MPH north winds, high pressure, a heavy rain storm with lightening etc. the Solunar tables will work! Years ago, before I started to use the Solunar Tables, this is pretty much the way it was.  I would get up early, drive fifty miles, bust my ass to get my boat on the water and set up. Most of the time there was vary little action until about 10:00 AM !  Then all hell busts loose! Three in the cooler and several more knocks. This happened on most trips, even on bright shinning days. Why I thought…..then a friend told me to check the  Solunar tables. Sure enough, almost without fail, there was a Major feeding period when I caught  most of my fish, including Muskies. This was the same story around 2:00 PM on many days. I quickly learned that I did not have to break my neck getting to the boat launch. Now I’m on the water around  8:00 AM or so. This gives me enough time to get out on the lake and set up the rods for the 1st major.  You see, there are two major and two minor periods every day. Most of the time the majors are at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The minors are generally in the early morning and    later on in the evening. Records show that most trophy Muskies are caught between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. What is weird, it happens even on bright sunny days! 



So what is the best day for fishing? The answer is simple: too many factors come into play to be able to provide a reliable theory in this regard. For example, if the temperature of the water is too cold normally the fish will appear lethargic. Neither can we enjoy good fishing if the atmospheric pressures showing on our barometer plummet. Although yes, undoubtedly we have all fished well with a new moon or a full moon, and in the final count perhaps we can deduce that on such days we have obtained the best results.

However, all fishermen are aware of how variable our luck can be. And this is probably one of the disheartening factors for some, although for the true enthusiasts this just incites us to continue trying. Fishing that is too easy would quickly become boring. Each new fishing season the fish in our waters diminish. The decade in which we went fishing with our fathers and brought home a bucket full of fish is long gone. Currently, fish are much less plentiful and on occasion we might return home with empty hands. But let’s not get too disheartened yet…..Suddenly, one day, and without any apparent explanation, the tip of our rod started to twitch time and time again, while fish of all species began to avidly bite, gobbling up practically everything we offered them. After a time, the same way it all began, the activity of the fish vanished completely and the waters returned to their earlier calm. These periods we have all experienced in our long fishing careers, during which suddenly the activity of fish increases markedly, are called solunar periods and they form the basis of the solunar theory.

Peak Days…..The sun and the moon are the two major sources of astral energies that daily bombard the earth and all her lifeforms. The closer they are at any given moment, the stronger the influence.The day of a New or Full Moon will provide the strongest influence in each month.

Peak Month…..June always has more combined sun-moon influence than any other month. During the 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 aNew 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 ever identical.

Peak Times…..When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes of sunrise or sunset (weather permitting) you can anticipate very good fishing.

Length of Periods…..Fish do not feed all the time. They feed most actively during a Solunar Period. Fish usually feed actively at sunrise and sunset, but generally the best fishing times of the day are at the odd hour feeding periods called majors and minors. Below is a link to a free monthly Solunar Table…..

Fishing Astro Tables and Best Fishing Times

 Prime Fishing Times (fish specie availability chart)

Here are the prime times to go fishing for each specie of  available fish for each month of the year

JANUARY       X X X  
FEBRUARY       X X X  
MARCH X     X X X  
APRIL X     X X X  
NOVEMBER X X         X
DECEMBER   X     X   X

 Lake Michigan (Illinois & Indiana)

March/April/May – Limit catches of 20-30, 3-6lb Coho Salmon are common. Very fast action. Brown Trout and Steelhead numbers can be very good too and we will often orient some of our gear towards large Chinook (King) Salmon as well.

June and into July – Variety time –Large Chinook Salmon and acrobatic Steelhead starting to arrive – Coho getting larger and good numbers can still be expected. Best overall chance to catch all five Salmon & Trout species in a single trip

July/August – Prime time for large, reel-screaming Chinook Salmon in the 12lb-30lb+ range. Trophy-size fish time!

Sept/Oct & Nov – Fishing for large spawning Chinook can still be excellent depending on conditions and catches of non-spawning Chinook can be outstanding. Otherwise, best time for big spawning Brown Trout and Lake Trout:

  There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic guess and others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home!


Thanks for Looking…..Good Luck!