Fishing and the myths surrounding it: reality or fiction?

Let's first agree on one point: anglers are recognized as being some pretty excellent story-tellers! However, you never really know if these stories are true or if they instead belong to the realm of fiction. With a sporting activity that’s so rich in traditions, it's not surprising to see all kinds of myths appear, defended by some and simply swept aside by others.

We tasked our best investigators to shed light on these famous fishing-related myths. Here are the results of our in-depth research!

Réserve faunique Mastigouche Réserve faunique Mastigouche
Réserve faunique Mastigouche Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq

The moon has an influence on the quality of fishing


Although it's hard to believe that a satellite so far from our waterways can have an impact on the quality of fishing, it’s nevertheless the case. The explanation is rather simple: during full- moon nights, the light from this satellite of the Earth is so significant that the fauna often behaves as if it were daytime. For example, fish can develop the habit of feeding during the night, which they normally don't do. When the morning comes and you cast your line, don't be surprised if the fish aren’t the least bit hungry.

The opposite is also true, i.e. when there’s a new moon and nights are quite dark, fish will not be very active during the nocturnal gloom. Your fishing days might therefore be a little more fruitful, since the fish will be more inclined to feed.

Bananas are bad luck on fishing boats


Myths are sometimes outlandish and of a completely mysterious origin. This is the case for the belief that having a banana on your boat could undermine your fishing success. What's even more striking with this myth is that anglers almost universally avoid this fruit while fishing. However, our team of great scientists (!) is of the opinion that there’s no cause-and-effect relationship between the quality of fishing and eating a banana on a waterway.

Réserve faunique de Port-Daniel
Réserve faunique de Port-Daniel Stuart Davis | © Sépaq
Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq

Fishing is a guy thing


For many years, fishing was a male-dominated sporting activity. It was often jokingly said that while the gentleman heads out to rustle up some fish, the lady stays peacefully at home to take care of the family nest.

Although this stereotype persists, it must be said that the situation has considerably changed. There are a growing number of female anglers, and initiation activities reserved for them are proliferating throughout Québec. Moreover, during the 2017 season in Sépaq fishing destinations, 64% of the fishing groups had at least one woman among their members! This statistic combines stays and days of fishing in wildlife reserves and national parks.

You need to choose the colour of the lure based on the fish you’re after


Discerning gourmets the world over will tell you that “you eat with your eyes first.” Need we believe that this dictum now applies to fish? Certain anglers mistakenly believe that more colourful lures can more easily attract the attention of certain species of fish. However, because of the turbidity of our water bodies, the colour doesn't really matter since the lure loses its brightness as it sinks into the depths.

The colour of the lure should instead be selected based on weather conditions, water quality, and the depth at which you wish to fish. A tip to remember is that if you don’t want fish to lose sight of your lure as it descends, make use of the phosphorescent variety, which has the advantage of storing light waves and releasing them when there’s little or no light.

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