Is moonlight good for you

Lunar calendar

Experiences from other anglers

“The influence of the moon on the eating behavior of certain fish species is obvious and plays a crucial role for me, for example when fishing for pikeperch. A full moon night is often a guarantee of catching large fish. On warm summer nights, my route therefore regularly leads me to ports. There the chance is particularly high in flat and stony areas, especially on bright nights. "
- Steven Carle - Guide at

“Basically, when I want to go fishing, I don't allow myself to be influenced by the weather or the phases of the moon. After all, only bait that is in the water can catch something. So you should always use the time you have for fishing. For me it is still clear that moonlight has an influence on the biting behavior of some fish. However, I only ever noticed this when fishing at night. The decisive factor is not the phase of the moon itself, but the light that emanates from the moon. So when eel fishing in connection with a brightly shining full moon it was always bad for me. On the other hand, pikeperch and coarse fish often bit more than average in bright moonlight. However, when clouds obscured the moon, I was sometimes able to catch eel well even in a full moon phase, which confirms my theory that only the moonlight and not the moon phase itself is relevant. "
- Veit Wilde - Guide and YouTuber

The 4 phases of the moon

As is well known, the moon orbits the earth and needs a good 29 days for an orbit. A distinction is made between four phases. Full moon marks the days when the moon can be seen almost completely. At the new moon, however, the celestial body is barely visible or invisible. The phase between the new moon and the full moon is called the waxing moon, and the phase in which the moon gradually and seemingly disappears from the sky is called the waning moon.

Anglers always remember:
When the moon is waxing, higher catches are to be expected. During the full moon, we recommend fishing close to the surface, while fishing close to the bottom during the new moon. The waning moon also faces waning bite hits.

new moon

The phases of the moon have been shown to influence the feeding behavior of fish and therefore at new moon ((Latin: interlunium) it makes sense to bring the fishhook close to the ground. At new moon, most fish are particularly active and hardly to be found on the surface Successful bites at new moon with the strategy of fishing close to the bottom.
Der Spiegel reported that, according to a study by US researchers, more pike bite than usual during new and full moons.

Increasing Moon

Scientists have found that fish eat a lot during the waxing moon and are accordingly more active than usual. For the angler this means: The moon phase, in which the moon is waxing, marks the days on which it is particularly worthwhile to cast the fishing rod. This also applies especially to the day and evening hours, again following the eating behavior and daily rhythm of the fish.

Full moon

There are anglers who believe that fish hide near the bottom when the moon is full. But biologists know that the fish swim closer to the surface of the water during a full moon than during the other phases of the moon. Accordingly, the chances of catching success increase when fishing near the surface when the moon is full.

Waning moon

When the moon is waning, fish act more slowly than usual and accordingly eat less food. This means for anglers: In the phase of the waning moon, the probability of successful fishing days is rather low. Mention should also be made of catch statistics that are controversial because of their methodology and published by Michael Plöckinger, which come to the conclusion that the chances of catching successes are roughly the same with the waning and waxing moon.

Special behavior of individual fish

Experienced anglers are aware that different types of fish also have different behaviors that affect their chances of catching. In the context of the phases of the moon, two examples will be discussed here:


The pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) as a shy predatory fish is a supreme discipline for anglers. When the moon is waxing and the moon is full, the zander orients itself towards the surface of the water. With bait fishing and more passive angling around 50 centimeters below the surface of the water, the probability that a pikeperch will bite increases. During the new moon and the waning moon, however, small bait fish or fish scraps should be used and actively fished near the bottom when hunting for pikeperch. Another tip: light-colored baits mimic the color that the pikeperch chases when it searches for food fish. Because their bellies are white and the pikeperch attacks its prey from below.


As a migratory fish, the eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a myth in itself. Basically, eels are nocturnal. Night anglers recommend watching out for eels when the moon is new and the moon is waning. Because then eels eat a lot and so the chances of catching success increase. Freshly killed bait, which is applied close to the ground and should drift slowly, has proven its worth. When the moon is full and the moon is waxing, the eel also comes to the surface and reveals itself there by a kind of smacking when it sucks up food. With a feed basket filled with minced fish or scraps of fish as bait, it is possible to get even cautious eels to bite close to the bank and just below the surface.