To Believe or Not Believe E-mail
Written by Shane Kelly   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 18:57

Where does Fishing Wisdom end and silly superstition begin? New Zealand Maniyaks Shane Kelly and Bam Blaikie share some Deep Thoughts from around a New Zealand campfire.  It's all about catching more fish!

Solunar theory, earthquakes and superstitions were all topics of debate within the Maniyaks camp recently. The weather in Wellington has been pretty average since Christmas. With high winds and the odd southerly making it a very difficult time to get out on the water. Bam lives close to our fishing haunts and tends to subscribe to the “any time on the water is a good time to fish” theory and although I do agree with Bam's approach, I live a good hours-plus drive from the water so I tend to watch the weather, lunar phases and tides to help improve the odds.

So what are these beliefs and superstitions?

Solunar Theory- A belief that animals and fish move according to the location of the moon. There are two types of solunar period.

1. Major periods: Have approximately two hours duration although on certain occasions they may exceed three hours. They begin the 
moment of the lunar transit (when the moon is overhead) andthe opposing lunar
transit (when the moon is under our feet). Normally these are the moments of greatest fish activity during each day.

2. Minor periods: Are intermediate periods of lesser duration (approximately one hour), which coincide with the rising,

and the setting of the moon. During these periods there is also an increase in fish activity in relation to the rest of the day.

Fishing the tides is part of subscribing to solunar theory. When the tide rises, the water moves toward land and it is known as the flood or high tide. When it drops and moves back to sea it is called the ebb or low tide. The "slack" tide is the period when the tide moves neither way. It takes about 6 hours for the tide to go from low to high and 6 hours from high to low. Every 24 hours the tides occur approximately 50 minutes later. It is believed that fish are more active (on the bite) in current than in “slack” water, so the time to go fishing would be change of tide.

I use an “app” produced by SIS Software simply called fishing calendar this app provides reasonably accurate predictions on best bite times and a host of other useful tools.

Earthquakes- Wellington has had a few decent rattles recently and thankfully though none causing the kind
of destruction and devastation of the Canterbury quakes. It is a belief by some that the fish go off the bite after an earthquake I have personally experienced this with quakes occurring while I’m on the water and the fishing has gone off completely. Each time afterwards I’ve learnt of others experiencing the complete opposite with the
fishing unaffected. Unlike solunar theory there is no science to back up earthquake effect on fishing so I think we’ll move this one to the superstitions category.

Weather- We are very exposed to the elements on the kayaks so the weather plays an integral part to us all. Aside from telling us if we are going to be hot, cold, wet or dry it more importantly helps us to stay safe. You can’t beat local knowledge, knowing where to and where not to fish in certain weather. This can make all the difference to your experience on the water. When out of town it’s a good idea to ask a local about known danger spots. I also find that mentioning you are on a kayak opens them up to share a little more than they normally would. In Wellington, our biggest threat is the Southerly. Any wind is annoying, but the Southerly can be deadly. We use and to help us decide where and when to fish. While these sites are fairly good at predicting the weather for the day, it is not gospel and common sense should always be used. If you are in doubt you can be pretty sure you will be safer staying off the water.

Superstitions- An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.

Here are some beauties.

Bananas on the boat (or kayak!) is bad luck.

A cloudy day is a good time for fishing.

A fisherman always throws the first fish he catches back in the water for luck.

Carry a fishing rod into the house before you start on a fishing trip is bad luck

If the wind blows from the east you’ll catch the least.

If the wind blows from the south fish close their mouth.

Fish become excited and bite well when it is raining.

Fish with three or five lines, never with one line, to catch the most fish.

Fishing on Friday is unlucky.
 Fishing with crossed lines is unlucky.

Good days to fish are the 17th and 18th of the month.

If fish in a tank are at the top, it is a good day for fishing; if your fish stay at the bottom, don't go fishing, for it is a poor fishing day.

If you go fishing and see a big fish jump up, it will be bad luck for you all day.

If you talk while fishing, the fish will hear you and not bite.

Never tell anyone how many fish you have, while you are fishing, or you will be unlucky.

The person who swears while fishing will not catch a fish.

Throwing a pebble into the water excites the fish and makes them bite.

You will have bad luck, if you fish on Sunday.

Believe what you will, but many people will be a bit upset if you are on their boat (or kayak fishing with them) and pull out a banana for lunch.


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