Capt. Joel’s Fishin Holes

By: Capt. Joel Brandenburg

I’m convinced that the overall worst days of the year to fish are full moon (100% laminated) new moon (0% lamination) half-moon (50% laminated). Of course, various conditions apply, such as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, distance of the gulf stream, wind and rain conditions.

*Full Moon: An old fisherman told me once that fish look up to feed during full moon night and day. I’ve put it to the test, and I can without a shadow of a doubt testify, that the old fisherman was correct we get more top water strikes during the full moon. I find the daytime full moon bite to be extremely slow overall due the nighttime feeding frenzy. The gamefish get so full and lethargic that they look at your hooked pilchards like it’s got Covid! Many avid deer hunters know during full moon days the best time to sit in the stand is 12noon.

*New Moon: Many of the same characteristics as the full moon, such as extremely fast currents, and weird feeding patterns, but the new moon has suttle differences. The biggest difference is what that same old fisherman once told me fish look down to feed on the new moon. Again, after much research and development I can assure you, the old fisherman was on point. The other major difference between full moon and new moon is full moon night the fish gorge themselves and new moon night not so much.

*Half Moon: No or little current during the half moon turns off the gamefish’s feeder button. Most avid anglers know that saltwater fish feed in current so to ambush bait being swept by. No current gives the quick little baitfish an advantage over the gamefish and the gamefish knows it and that’s why they turn off the feeder button. On a half-moon, gamefish don’t feed up or down they just don’t feed at all. I do like deep dropping and bottom fishing on the half-moon because with no or little current it’s easier to keep my bait straight up and down.

I was in the funeral business for many years, and we always seemed busiest on full moon nights. The moon affects people, animals, and mostly fish. Know your moon phase and make adjustments to your presentation depending on the phase

— For a charter with Captain Joel or Jojo Brandenburg of Ana Banana Fishing Company in Marathon Florida Keys call cell 813-267-4401 or office 305-395-4212 or visit or visit us in person at Ana Banana Marina located at 11699 Overseas Hwy Marathon Florida Keys. Look for the big yellow Ana Banana sign with antlers around it.