Arkansas anglers hooked on chance to fish during solar eclipse

Arkansas anglers hooked on chance to fish during solar eclipse

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On April 8, most of Arkansas will be casting their eyes to the sky, but others will be casting their lines for a once-in-a-lifetime fishing opportunity.

“It’s been a big talk around here,” Chase Myers said.

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Myers works at Fish N’ Stuff in Sherwood and gets to tackle the question of what fish will do in total darkness. He confidently said the fish are going to be active for a few reasons.

“Total weather change,” he said. “I mean, air temperature is going to drop, wind is going to die down a little bit, barometric pressure is going to fall,” Myers said.

Anglers who fished on an eclipse explained fish have an air bladder that alters their depth depending on barometric pressure. There could be a very slight increase there making fish ready to bite. Fishermen already love sunrise and sunset for fishing, and look at the eclipse as a second occurence of it.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) isn’t sold hook, line and sinker on how optimistic these fishermen are.

“We’re a science-based organization,” AGFC spokesperson Trey Reid said. “We try to make all our decisions on fish and wildlife based on science, and the problem with an eclipse is science is experimentation and replication of that experiment. Well, it’s kind of hard to replicate a solar eclipse, especially in a given area.”

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However, Reid admits some animal activity will be altered, especially for those most active at dawn and dusk.

“Photoperiod, the length of daylight and darkness is probably one of the biggest cues for animal behavior,” Reid said.

He said anecdotal evidence has shown that during an eclipse insects come out in greater numbers and birds quiet as they go in to roost. He wouldn’t be surprised if whitetail deer start moving.

“Now, the thing to remember, it is such a brief, brief period of time,” Reid added.

However brief, just like people on land when it comes to the eclipse, anglers will be soaking it all in.

“That’s a whole another variable that a lot of us we haven’t experienced or fished in, so we’re all pretty hopeful that the fishing is going to be good during then,” Myers said.

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If diving headfirst into eclipse fishing, there is some very important safety advice. Navigation lights must be turned on for the few minutes of darkness, that way accidents can be avoided if people are on the move like they hope the fish will be.

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