The Solunar Tables have been published on the sports pages of The Augusta Chronicle since 1946. Just how accurate are they? And do they really work?
One answer from readers is that most swear by the tables and swear at the newspaper if they’re ever left out!
In 1934, the first Solunar Tables booklet was published. Since that time, it may surprise readers to know that the Tables’ popularity led them to be published in the French, German and Swiss languages, that they became popular in Australia, Canada and South Africa. Newspapers and hunting and fishing magazines soon subscribed due to demands of readers..
The most astounding thing, if you think about it, is that somehow the tables work.
Their creator was the late John Alden Knight, an avid fly fisherman from Pennsylvania, whose mindset was a bit peculiar. He was well aware that the best times to go fishing and hunting were at dawn or dusk. But times vary around the world. He persevered and after years of thought and research, Knight came up with a solution involving Sol (the sun) and Lunar (the moon).
He developed the Tables to feature the three or four times of each day of the year when wildlife activity is the greatest. The major periods sometimes last as long as three and one-half hours, the minor periods about an hour. He recommended that hunting or fishing begin 30 minutes prior to the respective times and continue 30 minutes afterward.
The value of the Tables is that plans can be made well enough ahead so that the sportsman is on the scene and ready when nature’s biological clock tells fish and game that it’s feeding time.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids, stripers and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. Residence: 1 (803) 637-6379. www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com — Surface temperatures on the lake are in the mid-80s and the lake is on the rise following heavy rain on Tuesday. I took off the 4th of July weekend and earlier this week, but took out Donnie Reynolds and his wife, Becky, from Covington, Ga., on July 2. They had a blast catching a limit of hybrids and stripers and some channel catfish. The fish hit live herring 35 feet down. The Reynoldses used to own a nice camper, but sold it and bought a tent. I felt sorry for them until learning the tent had three rooms and was air conditioned. That unit worked too well and the couple had to crawl into sleeping bags to stay comfortable. They said they also made new friends during a fish fry at Petersburg Campground.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional fishing guide specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass.(706) 339-4784 — Michael McComb and his sons, Tyler, 17, and Mac, 20, from Atlanta, fished with me July 2. The bite on live herring in 25 to 40 feet of water was so slow. We’d get a bite, catch the fish, and then have to wait several minutes before the next bite. My depthfinder was showing lots of fish beneath the boat, but they just would not hit. But they wound up with 18 stripers, hybrids, two catfish and two white perch. My son, Brad, his wife, Alicia, and daughter, Abby, trolled Capt. Mack’s Umbrella Rigs (regular size, mini Macks) and caught 18 hybrids and stripers last week.
William Sasser’s Guide Service (Capts. William and Bradd Sasser, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional fishing guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass.). Capt. William: (706) 589-5468; Capt. Bradd: (706) 267-4313. — Capt. Bradd: Hybrids and stripers have moved off main river channel points at the lower end of the lake is 25 to 30 feet of water. They are beginning to move off humps in their typical July patterns. Some are moving deep (50 to 70 feet) in ditches, but are unpredictable in their feeding habits. Sometimes they just want live herring; other times, they’ll just hit cut bait. Best bite comes around daylight. This has been the best year to catch quality crappies. I sometimes wish I could talk my clients into skipping hybrids and stripers and concentrate on catching beautiful slab crappies.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Capt. Ralph Goodison Jr., Fripp Island, 1 (843) 986-4070 — The redfish bite is slow inshore, but nice flounder are being caught off the rocks on the south end of Fripp and on the shoals at the north end on incoming tides. Fishermen are waiting until dark to catch and release big lemon and hammerhead sharks in Fripp Inlet. Offshore, king mackerel are plentiful around the 6HI buoy in 60 feet of water, with vermillion, spadefish, black sea bass and triggerfish also being caught on the bottom. Red snapper season is today, Saturday and Sunday and again next Friday (July 17). Fishermen can catch just one red snapper daily or one person per boat. That means five persons in a boat can bring in one each. Few skippers are heading out to the Gulf Stream since offshore fishing is so good close in, That 46-pound king mackerel catch took place just a mile off Fripp.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, 1 (912) 897-4921. www.missjudycharters.com, 124 Palmetto Drive, Savannah, GA 31410 — Fishermen who like casting a top-water lure like the Zara Spook will find some great action fishing it in schools of jack crevalle. The fish also can be caught on live shrimp fished below popping corks. This is the season for tarpon to arrive in Wassaw Sound, with live poagie (menhaden) the best live bait. Veteran fishermen will troll large jointed plugs. They may not land many fish, but they’ll enjoy the spectacular skyward leaps of hooked fish, which usually will fling the plug out. Inshore, spotted sea trout, redfish and extremely large flounder are being caught, Kings are everywhere, Spanish mackerel are schooling near artificial reefs and red snappers can be caught around reefs in 55 to 60 feet of water. Remember: Just one red snapper per person today, Saturday and Sunday and one more time next Friday, July 17.