Does "PrimeTimes" Really Work?
By Rick Taylor


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The short answer is yes, most definitely. Just ask our PrimeTimes customers. Outdoorsfolks are often calling or emailing to thank us for helping them significantly improve their fishing or hunting success.
(Read some testimonials.)

Also, consider these facts:

1) Many of our customers have asked to have PrimeTimes sent to them automatically each year;
2) We have a high renewal rate;
3) We've never paid to advertise PrimeTimes...its popularity has spread primarily through word-of-mouth;
4) outdoor publications PAY US to carry the Astro Tables (PrimeTimes' abbreviated format); the list has included such heavy-weights as ESPN and BassMaster
5) Many other publications have asked to carry the Tables, but were unwilling to pay the fee, so we declined.


In 1999 I built our house right next to a pond in the country, so I could study fish and game in their natural habitat (see photos). Since it is not possible to be looking out a window every minute of the day, I rigged the place with electronics. For example, when the sonar unit on my desk beeped, it meant a fish had swum in or out of the small cove right under my office window. All I had to do was turn my head and document his behavior. We had big bass swimming around out there with radio transmitter implants continuously tattling their locations. The water temperature was constantly monitored at depths of 1 foot, 5 feet, and 10 feet. I had motion detectors strategically placed. Etc. Because I could observe 24/7 without being observed and without interfering, I feel this was the best research facility there could be for studying the true nature of fish and game behavior. (I did a seven-article series on this for BassMaster Magazine, starting with their Feb. 2000 issue.)
Based on these ongoing observations, plus my 35 years as a full-time outdoor writer/researcher (view my credentials), I can--with complete certainty, offer you this conclusion:

The activity periods of fish and game are greatly influenced by where the sun and moon are in our sky...and therefore can be predicted well in advance. This is what PrimeTimes does...with far more accuracy and scientific foundation than any other prognosticator.

PrimeTimes Catalog.


It's reached the point where I can predict the biting times of the bass in our research pond with more than 90% accuracy. To put this into perspective, when fishing tournaments during the 1970's, I averaged one keeper bass for every 45 minutes of fishing, and one lunker bass (over four pounds) every 3.5 hours. By the summer of 2000--on our pond and other waters--I averaged one lunker every 20 minutes!
Granted, it's our pond...I know where the fish are and have a pretty good idea what lures to throw. But that's the whole idea. By taking the WHERE and HOW out of the equation, we can better determine the WHEN.
Besides, once you establish that WHEN, the other two come much easier. For example, during the exceptionally harsh winter of 2000-01, our pond was under ice for 5.5 months, resulting in a total fish kill. Panicky and heartbroken, that spring I set out to restock it by fishing ponds and public waters around the area. Since I still had a publishing business to run, I could leave the office for only one or two hours at a time, so of course I followed PrimeTimes to the letter. In roughly 10 hours of fishing time, I restocked the pond with 82 keeper bass, ranging from 12 to 21 inches. That averages out to 8.2 keepers for every hour of fishing. (According the DNR, the average bass angler catches one keeper in every 1.5 hours of fishing.) Like I said, once you know the WHEN...


So, what makes PrimeTimes better than the so-called "moon tables?" A lot of things. But the main one is that PrimeTimes is the only true solar-lunar calendar. Moon tables just give you the times that the moon is overhead, underfoot, and (in some cases) on the horizons. PrimeTimes, on the other hand, also offers the all-important solar times of dawn, dusk, and high-noon. These solar times usually have more to do with fish and game activity than the lunar ones.
But PrimeTimes doesn't stop there. It clearly alerts you to those times when a lunar period overlaps a solar one, resulting in one of those great "double-whammy" periods. Double the influence, double your pleasure.
The bottom line is that PrimeTimes is head-and-shoulders above our nearest competitor. There really isn't even a close second. (View more details).

If you're an average outdoorsperson who just goes when you can, you probably have limited success. If you'd start using a moon table, your success may improve a little. If you'd start using the PrimeTimes Wall Calendar, your success rate would increase considerably, if not dramatically. And if you used the Ultimate PrimeTimes app, it would increase even more. (View the app's features.)


You may occasionally hear someone lament, "I used a moon table once and it didn't work." Well, besides the shortcomings of the standard "moon table" just discussed, these people may have expected too much, or they simply didn't give it an honest chance.
The fact is the influences of the sun and the moon on fish and game activity are just a couple factors on the list. Which one is the most or least important can change from day to day, even hour to hour. But over the course of a year, here is how that list of factors may play order of importance:
1. Fishing/hunting pressure. The simple fact is if others have already pounded the area, you aren't going to find much activity, no matter how positive all other factors are. On the other hand, find a fish-rich pond or deer-infested woods that have never seen humankind and you'll have a good day regardless.
2. The individual creature's current mental and physical state. The hungrier your quarry, the more likely it is to be active. And since this state of hunger is often difficult to predict, it is the list's primary wild card. Every other factor could be 100% positive, but if that hawg bass just sucked in a one-pound bull frog minutes before your lure swims by, you're out of luck.
3. The seasonal factor. Fish, especially, have their seasons of activity/inactivity. During the early spring, they are in a semi-feeding mood, hitting maybe once a day. During the spawn they hit mostly in defense of the nest. Right after the spawn they feed quite well. This feeding slowly tapers through the summer months as the food supply dwindles, then can pick up in the fall, as they try to store up fat for the relatively inactive winter season. So, if Primetimes says 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. is today's best time, a lot depends in which season it occurs. (As much as possible, PrimeTimes' "Best Days of the Month" chart takes these seasons into account.)
4. Water temperature & weather. Again with fish, the warmer the water (to a point), the more active they are. Sudden drops in water temperature can really turn them off, especially during the cooler months. A bright sun can warm the upper layers of a lake and turn fish on, while at the same time turn them off, because they may feel more visible to their enemies. For the same reason a calm surface can be a strong negative, while a rippled surface is ideal. Shifts in the wind's direction and force often relocates fish. Heavy rains mucking up the water clarity is almost always a major negative. (The predictions in the PrimeTimes'calendars can't adjust for any of these daily changes, but the app can.)
5. The sun. The sun's daily light cycle of dawn-to-dusk-to-dawn is always a strong factor in when most fish and game become active and then inactive during any given 24-hour period. It all begins at Dawn, when the environment suddenly gets bright after 10-14 hours of darkness, inciting many creatures to leave home and look for food. At Dusk the opposite occurs.
6. The moon. The final element is the moon, serving as an influence on both the best times to go each day, as well as the best days of the month or week. The energy of its overhead and underfoot positions provides a boost to fish and game activity, especially when one occurs at the same time as a solar period. Then, on a broader scale, how well it aligns with the earth and sun has a lot to do with each day's over all potential.
Note: All this is covered in more detail in the article, "Under the Solar/Lunar Influence."

PrimeTimes Catalog.

So, with these things in mind, let's say Jack, who hasn't had much luck fishing, decides to try one of those "moon tables." He's skeptical, but just going when he can hasn't been working too well, so what the heck.
The table says the major period today runs from 9:00 till 11:00 a.m., so he's out to the local lake at 8:45, and fishes till noon. Not a bite. By 1:00 p.m. that moon table is gracing the bottom of his bird cage.
Why didn't it work? Odds are Jack violated at least one of the other two must-dos ...he was never on the fish or he was using the wrong lure and/or approach. If Jack is like the rest of us, he didn't want to admit to his failure as an outdoorsman, so he blamed the incompetence of that moon table.
But let's say Jack was in a good spot with a good lure, and still struck out. Now it could be due to any one of the factors we listed above. Maybe someone else was there before him and thrashed the area to a foam. Maybe the bass had just gorged on a passing school of shad. Maybe it was early spring and the water temperature was only 45 degrees, which would mean the heat-of-the-day period of mid-afternoon would have been much better. Maybe a cold front had gone through a day or two before and dropped the water temperature five degrees. Maybe heavy rains had mucked the water up. Take your pick..
Okay. One final scenario: None of the above were negatives and Jack still did poorly. In this case, it very well could have been the moon table's fault. It led him to believe that 9:00-11:00 a.m. was the best time to find biting fish today. After all, it was listed as the only Major period during the daytime.
If only Jack had consulted PrimeTimes instead! He would have seen that so-called Major period was actually only the 3rd or 4th best period that day. Dawn, Dusk, and maybe High-Noon were probably better. In fact, it's a pretty good bet that Dawn was the best one of all, which would have meant Jack got to the lake a few hours too late. (View PrimeTimes' "Best Periods" sample.) PrimeTimes would have also shown him just how good this day was over all; maybe it rated only a 15 on a scale of 0 - 100, which would have translated into virtually no lunar influence at all. (View PrimeTimes' "Best Days" chart.)

So, back to your original question of, "Does this thing really work?" Yes, it sure does. But you have to treat it as A factor, not THE factor. At the very least, it will give you an edge.

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