Fish activity in winter depends not only on changes in atmospheric pressure. There are many other factors, one way or another, affecting the intensity of the bite. Let’s consider the main ones. Atmosphere pressure. The influence of atmospheric pressure on fish biting has been noticed for a long time. Another L.P. Sabaneev recommended to cope with the readings of the barometer before fishing. This factor is especially pronounced in winter, when water bodies are covered with an ice shell and, due to a lack of oxygen, the adaptive functions of fish are noticeably inhibited.
Special studies show that the richest catches are when the pressure remains unchanged for 2-3 days, or slowly decreases, or, on the contrary, rises. It worsens, or even stops biting, if within 1-2 days it changes, then it drops sharply, then it increases. In fish, sharp fluctuations in pressure are primarily associated with the need to increase or decrease the amount of gas in the swim bladder, which apparently creates uncomfortable conditions for them.
The winds. In winter, despite the fact that the temperature of the water under the ice is relatively stable, the biting of fish is affected by air currents, especially extensive cyclones and anticyclones (they cause changes in atmospheric pressure).
Moon phases. I must make a reservation right away – I am far from blind faith in the infallibility of lunar calendars, graphs and tables, which have recently often appeared on the pages of fishing media. But it is also impossible to deny the influence of the phases of the moon on the life of fish and food objects that they feed on. The phases of the moon are new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter. Fishing practice confirms the conclusions of scientists that the lunar phases in one way or another affect the activity and biting of fish. For a number of flights, he kept a “lunar” diary and was convinced that this factor affects the bite. The main mechanism of the influence of the Moon on the life of fish and other underwater inhabitants is the ebb and flow. In inland waters, these phenomena are much less pronounced. Consequently, the dependence of the behavior of river and lake fish should be incomparably weaker. However, this is not the case.
It is well known that both spawning and periods of active feeding of many freshwater fish are associated with the lunar month, and also depend on what phase and sign of the zodiac the moon is in. Some scientists put forward a version that the reaction of fish to the lunar phases may be embedded in their genetic code even in the early stages of evolution, when their distant ancestors lived in the ocean and, naturally, were exposed to the effects of ebbs and flows, which was inherited. According to another version, the Moon causes perturbation of the Earth’s magnetic field and this is what affects the behavior of fish. There is no doubt that many living organisms are highly sensitive to the magnetic field and use this, for example, for orientation. Periodic changes in field strength determine periodic changes in their activity.
The influence of the moon can be explained quite simply. If we consider it in the role of a heavenly body. Fish biting at night depends on the degree of light. Some fish (for example, burbot) feel depressed on moonlit nights, others (pike perch, bream, chub) are better caught in the light of the moon. And if there is no moon in the sky on a new moon or cloudy weather, these fish prefer to eat during daylight hours. At the same time, no matter what versions we put forward, one cannot but take into account that, along with the influence of the phases of the moon, numerous natural phenomena significantly affect the behavior of fish: atmospheric pressure, rains, winds, seasonal changes, annual, diurnal, and daily feeding rhythms.
Is it possible to neglect such phenomena as floods, the appearance of ice banks on water bodies when compiling a lunar biting calendar? As you know, the first ice is a holiday for the fisherman, a period of intense biting of many fish. At the same time, thermophilic fish (catfish, carp, tench, crucian carp) are most active in summer – in warm weather. In spring and autumn, when catching both predatory and non-predatory fish, it has been noticed that the best bite is in the late morning and evening. In winter, during the thaw, the fish takes intermittently throughout the day. Large bream is better caught at night (from 23.30 to 1.30 and from 3.00 to 4.30). As for the pike, for a number of years I kept a diary in which I noted the most favorable days for this predator to bite. At the same time, he took into account such factors as barometer readings, air temperature, wind direction, moon phases.
According to my data, when fishing from the ice, the greatest activity of pike was observed when the atmospheric pressure gradually decreased or increased at an air temperature from 0 to -3-4 ° C, that is, during a thaw, especially on the second and third days after its onset. The pike preferred the west or south-west wind. Regarding the influence of the moon, I noticed that more often I returned home with a good catch when it took the form of a full disk. Be that as it may, at any time of the year or day, at any phases of the moon, unstable weather, strong winds and other natural phenomena not only worsen the bite, but can also cause its complete cessation. Practice shows that the influence of the phases of the moon is noticeable only in good, stable weather, when the sun and the moon meet at a full moon, that is, the moon is visible at sunset. In cloudy weather, when the sky is covered with dense clouds, the effects of the phases of the moon, apparently, are practically not felt by the fish and this is not reflected in their bite.
author – Kazantsev V. – Catching from the ice. All Secrets of Ice Fishing (Complete Fishing Guide)