Worked night shift last night. Finished up 3:00am this morning. But instead of going home I went fishing until 6:30 am. I arrived at my spot at 3:41 am, which according to the solunar calendar is near the end of the minor period which was 4:00 am.
From 3:41 am to the end of that window I caught NOTHING. But being stubborn I stayed on and keep trying, moving around to different spots with not much luck. And just before I was about to give up and went back to my old spot to try a few more casts. I started getting some bites around 5:30 am but didn't hookup. After adjusting how I put on my bait I landed my first big bream at 33 cm. It was a lot of fun on 6lb mono. I fished for another hour for 2 more at 28 cm and 29 cm respectively. I think 5:30 was near the top of the tide and by 6:30 it was beginning to change tide.
Water wasn't moving much. Now I've heard the saying "no run no fun" or "no flow no go" which I understand the reasoning, and I also understand that's the wisdom from many experienced fishermen. So I have no doubt whatsoever they are right. But I can't figure out why I don't tend to get success fishing according to solunar calendar.
There's one more thing I noticed this morning which gives me some hope of catching a big one, and I'm planning to try it when I can time my next trip. What I saw was something like ... there's some big fish under the surface at a certain depth chasing the bait fish, and this was near the top of the rising tide. This is not the beach or rock. It's a river. I've been wondering what this means. Usually the major time coincide with receding tide, and minor time coincide with maybe the first third of the rising tide. That's when we have the flow. But a big fish chasing bait fish near the top of the rising seems to defy the collective fishing wisdom that says fish the receding tide.
My plan for next trip, if I get a chance to go, would be the coming new moon. So the condition will be that it's dark. I'll fish near the top of the rising tide with live bait or a freshly cut slab of tailor, dangled under a balloon with an LED light attached to the line some distance up from the bait. That's an experiment I want to try if I get a chance this coming new moon.
Fishing at river mouths, I also had good results near dead low or dead high tide. Maybe because the current is less strong and it's easier for the fish to move around.
5:30 must have been around when you were getting the first daylight. Change of light is always good. When I'm fishing from the shore I usually try to go just before sunrise or sunset, ideally on a day where majors or minors are also at sunrise/sunset.
When I do kayakfishing further offshore I found sunrise and sunset don't matter so much.