Moontime Carp – Part 3, Long Sessions

In the final part of this series (you can find part 1 & 2 here), I reveal how I use Moonphases and Moontimes information to increase my catch rates when I go holiday fishing to France. 

Prior to booking

Before I think about venue selection and contacting Angling Lines, I will look at the Moonphases for a particular month to see which week gives me the best possible times.  Ideally, I am looking for a Full or New Moon that falls midweek, i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.   That scenario gives me excellent fishing prospects for most of my week.

Why a Full or New Moon and not First or Last Quarter?  During a Full or New Moon, the most productive moontimes fall mostly during daylight hours, which is when I do most of my fishing (I rarely fish nights when I am on holiday with my wife).  For example, around the New Moon, the moon RISE is in the morning, the H.P (high orbit point) is around midday and the moon SET coincides roughly with sunset.  This gives me the optimum moontime fishing times coinciding with generally the “normal” best times for carp fishing at dawn and dusk.  I particularly like the H.P occurring during the middle of the day as this 4 hour peak period can result in unexpected catches at what can be the least productive time for catching carp.

French Trip – 12 to 19 April 2014

Moon times;

 Carp Fishing Moon Phases

My first trip this year is in April when I go to Bletiere and this is the table I put together.  This, in my opinion, is an example of a perfect week (at least Moonphase and time wise!) as the Full Moon (FM) falls on the Tuesday.  A Full Moon’s times are directly opposite the times during a New Moon, i.e. the moon SET is in the morning, the L.O (low orbit point) is around the middle of the day and the moon RISE is in the evening.

So that gives me a good start, now let me explain how I adapt my fishing to the times.

Key periods;

Carp Fishing Moon Phases

Baiting approach:

Now that I know when my best chances are during the times I am fishing (7am to 9pm at this time of year) I can plan my baiting approach.  Many anglers I see stick to “traditional” times to bait up, i.e. first thing in the morning and tea time, no matter what.  My experiences lead me to believe that this is not always the best approach.  As you can see from the chart above, I vary my baiting up times in-between the peak periods.  In other words, I am setting up my traps to coincide with the best available times.

I start fishing from first light but if there it is a key period at that time (as in Sunday through to Thursday) then I will not put additional freebies in and will just use stringers, singles or pva bags as I don’t want to disturb any carp that are in my spots and throwing in bait over the top of their heads is not going to help.  As you can see on the Friday however, because the moontime doesn’t kick in until 7.35am then I am quite happy to put in additional bait.

“Little and often”

What I never do these days, is pile in a load of bait in one go.  I much prefer to fish like match anglers do on a little and often basis, fishing to catch one carp at a time.  Bletiere has big head of carp so a water like this would be difficult to put too much bait in, however, I still don’t like to overdo it and will generally put in a large handful of whole and chopped boilies around each rod, each time I bait up.  If I have any action then I will put in another handful after each fish even if it is still in the key period.  If I don’t have any action then I will sit on my hands and be quite strict about not putting any more in.  Getting bored and impatient and thinking adding more bait in probably will not help.


I have been to Bletiere many times over the last few years and have had many a good debate with John London (the lake owner) about whether the noise of bait getting put in attracts or deters his carp.  John’s theory (and a logical one at that!) is that he feeds his fish all winter and the noise it makes acts a bit like a dinner bell and the carp will home in on it.  Therefore, if things are a bit quiet he may suggest to his customers to throw in some boilies, pellet or particle mix, but do so using a baiting spoon and do it noisily!

I have tried this on various occasions and have to say I’m not totally convinced but will say that after listening to his advice, when I do bait up (at my planned pre-set times are after a capture) then I will use a catapult or walk around and throw boilies in a few at a time so it makes more noise.  A happy compromise for me and my results at this venue have been very good using this method.

moon phases and carp fishing

41lb 1oz from Bletiere


The other area of my approach which following moontimes affects my fishing is timing of any re-casting.  Generally speaking, I don’t like to move my rods for the entire day once I have got my traps set.  If I am happy with my cast then I will not reel in unless, a) I have a take, or b) I reel in to go out or pack up at the end of the day.

However, if my wife and I decide to go out sight seeing, shopping or out for a meal then I will try to make sure we do this outside of any peak period and I like to return fishing and have my rods in the water and ready at least 45 minutes before the start of the next peak period.  I am very lucky to have an understanding wife!


That brings this little mini series to an end and I hope its been of interest and add a little something to your fishing.  As I have said before, this is not the be all and end all and there are many other factors that will affect your catch rates but being aware of the theory will not do you any harm and may just bring up a few surprises.

Duncan de Gruchy


6 thoughts on “Moontime Carp – Part 3, Long Sessions

  1. John London says:

    Really enjoyed your blogs on this subject Duncan and we will see when you are here next if you get the predictions correct,but to be honest I will admit (being a skeptic) that you are normally right about your times.Just make sure the beer o clock one does not change.
    John owner Bletiere.

  2. Duncan de Gruchy says:

    Thanks John – dont worry, the “beer o’clock” time is NEVER affected by moontimes 🙂

  3. Shaun Harrison says:

    Interesting comments on whether or not bait going in spooks or deters carp. I very much feel this varies greatly from water to water but certainly different methods of baiting can vary how the fish react. I discovered many years ago that baiting up with one boilie at a time spooks carp far more than scattering a pouch full from the catapult. Also, firing baits quite hard and low to skim in rather than fall from a great height also appears to attract more fish.

    Baits from a throwing stick never seem to upset them too much either but again I feel this is to do with the spinning boilie skimming in rather than crashing in.

    More food for thought…

  4. Duncan de Gruchy says:

    Hello Shaun
    I wholeheartedly agree that it varies from water to water. Sometimes, noise attracts and sometimes the carp run a mile!
    Your thoughts on carp spooking when baiting up with one boilie at a time and skimming the bait in to attract carp. I wonder why that is? Logically you would think it would be the other way round but I guess logic (at least our logic) doesnt always come into it.

  5. Shaun Harrison says:

    Happy birthday Duncan 🙂

    One of the waters I used to stalk a lot where it was proper eyeball to eyeball stuff watching fish take bottom baits I would try and melt into a tree and watch as the fish patrolled the margins and I found it fascinating how the tiniest thing could spook them but other obvious noises never did. A hand full of bait would have fish turn up from a distance yet a couple of single plops of baits would not.
    I have also seen it floater fishing where they suddenly appear when a few catapult pouchfulls are introduced to an area that already has bait in it.
    There are many things that are so difficult to understand why they may or may not spook and a lot of the time we can only guess and presume we know. I guess the important thing though is recognising all these extra 1% edges we can give ourselves.

  6. Duncan de Gruchy says:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes Shaun.
    Agree re the extra 1% edges making the difference. A long time ago I realised that there were no more massive jumps to make and its these odd little things that put an extra carp or two on the bank that very few other anglers do.

    All the best.

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