Lake Tawakoni Solunar Tables

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Solunar Tables

Current Solunar tables:

November Solunar Tables
December Solunar Tables
January Solunar Tables

I've been asked to create solunar tables for Lake Fork. Since Lake Fork is so close to Lake Tawakoni, the tables only differ by a minute or two. So you can use these tables for Lake Fork as well.

Get your personalized table for your lake area.


In 1926, John Alden Knight theorized some folklore he picked up in Florida and began work developing his hypothesis. During the process, he complied a list of 33 factors that influence or control the day-to-day behavior of fresh and saltwater fish. His investigation took everything into account that could have any bearing on the matter. One by one, each factor was examined and rejected. Three of them, however, merited further scrutiny—the sun, moon, and tides.

Certainly, the sun could have no effect, seeing that its cycle was the same day after day. Besides, fish are usually active anytime, day or night. The effect of the moon had already been considered by other investigators and found wanting. So what about tides? A possibility. But there’s no tidal movement in a trout stream. Yet, the fact remains that tides have always guided saltwater anglers to good fishing. Could it be then—that the prompting stimulus lay in the influence of the sun and moon, which cause ocean tides, rather than the actual tidal stages or flow? Eureka!

When the original research was being done, only the approximate times of Moon-Up and Moon-Down were considered. Gradually, it became evident that there were also intermediate periods of fish activity that occurred midway between the two major periods. As a result, the more evident periods were called Major Periods and the two intermediate periods, shorter in duration, were called Minor Periods.

One compelling experiment occurred when Dr. Frank A. Brown, a biologist at Northwestern University, had some live oysters flown to his lab near Chicago. Oysters open their shells with each high tide, and Dr. Brown wanted to see if this was due to the change in ocean levels or to a force from the moon itself. He put them in water and removed them from all sunlight. During the first week, they continued to open their shells with the high tides from their ocean home. By the second week, though, they adjusted their shell openings to when the moon was directly overhead in Chicago or half a world way.

Knight published his Solunar tables in 1936. Then, as today, you need to calculate the precise activity times of each table, taking into account the geographic location (east or west) of a base point (Time Zone). When appropriate, Daylight Savings Time adjustments need to be made. The tables are rounded to the nearest 10 minutes.


To substantiate his theory, insofar as fish are concerned, Knight made a systematic inquiry into the details surrounding record catches—both of large fish and large numbers. He studied nearly 200 of these catches. Over 90 percent were made during the dark of the moon (New Moon) when the effects of the activity periods appeared to be greatest; and more important, his investigations were made during the actual times of the Solunar Periods.

Initially, only fish behavior was examined. But from 1935 to 1939, Knight included birds and animals in his study. And as he suspected, they also responded to the prompting stimulus of the Solunar Periods.


Through Knight’s exhaustive study, it’s now known that the sun and moon are the two major sources of the astral energies that daily bombard the Earth and her life forms; and the closer they are to us at any given moment, the stronger their influence. The day of a New or Full Moon provides the strongest influence each month.


June always has more combined sun-moon influence than any other month. During a Full Moon, the sun and moon are nearly opposite each other; only a few minutes occur with neither being in our sky. During a New 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 identical. During a particular month, peak activity occurs:

  • When a period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset. At that time, you can expect great action!
  • When you have a moonrise or moonset during the same period. Now the action will be even greater!
  • When the above times occur during a New or Full Moon. This will be the best action of the season!


Every fisherman knows that fish do not feed all the time. He also knows that for some reason fish go on the “bite” and take almost anything that’s offered—whether its live bait or artificial.

According to John Alden Knight, this sort of thing happens during Solunar Periods. Generally, fish feed at sunrise and sunset. But sometimes, the “real” fishing of the day occurs at odd-hour feeding periods. And if the weather and feeding conditions are right, the fish will be active for at least one to two hours.


For anglers who enjoy fishing at sunrise and sunset, the Solunar Fishing Calendar gives you the absolute best dates and times to be on the water at your favorite spot. As you will notice on the calendar, there are Major and Minor Periods that fall near the times of Sunrise or Sunset during a Full or New Moon. This is the time when fish will be on the bite, attacking anything they see or smell. Limits are almost guaranteed, provided fish are in the vicinity.

It’s no secret that fish and game tend to feed during dawn and dusk. But what adds to the activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset, plus the specific monthly period of a New (dark) and Full (light) Moon. When these times coincide, the action can be spectacular. In addition, a change in weather, during a Solunar Period, can increase the activity even further.


For best results, the calendar must be used intelligently. Every day will not show a clear-cut reaction to a Solunar Period. In the case of fish, barometric fluctuations, particularly when the trend is down, often ruin fishing. When it comes to weather, wildlife knows what to expect. Any bird, fish or animal can sense the approach of a storm. A cold front, moving through, will drive fish to the depths, rendering them inactive.

Adverse temperatures, abnormal water conditions, all sorts of things will offset the effects of a Solunar Period. Nevertheless, every sportsperson knows that it is beyond all reason to expect good fishing or hunting every day. The Solunar theory will point the way to the best activity that each day has to offer. But in no sense is it a guarantee.


The intensity of the activity also varies from day to day, according to different conditions. If the barometer happens to be steady or rising, and if the temperature is favorable—15 degrees above the water temperature—then you can expect lots of action during the period.


Another thing to remember in dealing with the periods is that the Solunar influence will vary in intensity according to the position of the moon. A New Moon (dark) means maximum intensity. Ocean tides reflect this intensity in their magnitude. Maximum intensity lasts about three days, and wildlife respond to it with maximum activity. After a New Moon, the intensity tapers off, until it is at its minimum during the third quarter phase of the moon.

Saltwater anglers argue that tides have a greater influence on fish-feeding habits than the moon itself. It must be understood, though, that tides are governed by the phases and transit of the moon. Certain marine phenomena occur with precise regularity during the lunar month and solar/lunar cycle.

Research has shown that a natural day for fish and many other animal species differ from our own. Their biological clock appears to coincide with lunar time—which is the time that it takes for the moon to reappear at a given point during its orbit of the earth. The average time takes 24 hours and 53 minutes. This is called a Tidal Day and explains why the ocean tides are about an hour later each day—and why most fish, freshwater species included, will feed up to an hour later, in relation to our solar clock, each day.


The key to accurate Solunar Times is the ability to chart the relative solar and lunar positions with respect to a particular location. Major Periods correspond to the upper and lower meridian passage of the ensuing gravitational force. Minor Periods occur when these forces are rising or setting on either horizon—i.e., the right ascension of the resultant force and the local sidereal time vary by 90 or 270 degrees. Major Periods happen when those forces are at zero and 180 degrees.


It goes without saying that if there are no fish or game present, you will not be successful. Plan your days on the water or in the field so that you are where the game is most likely to be during the Solunar Periods. We sincerely hope we have been able to improve your understanding of the theory — and how it can improve your angling success.

But always remember ... the BEST time to go fishin’ is whenever you can—and always keep in mind “catch and release.”

Ref: Moonup~Moondown ... Library of Congress #72-93383

Some believe our tables are the answer to many of those empty-handed fishing and hunting trips. Please email your tips to Lake Tawakoni Online.