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Best tide for stripers

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
What tide is the best for stripers in the surf? Back in the day I would just go anytime I could, just to be out there! Or, should I just follow the birds. I only have 3 weeks to fish, so I'm trying to pick your brains!!! But, I won't be happy until I catch & release a cow!!! It's bad enough I'm going through serious striper withdrawls, and on top of that nobody is posting anything, I'm dyin' ova hear!!!!
post #2 of 63
Some locations will produce better at high tide while others produce better at low. Some areas don't have enough water to hold fish at low tide while other have got so much water at high tide that the fish are all spread out. There will ALWAYS BE EXCEPTIONS, but as a general guide to fishing the more commonly fished beaches between the Golden Gate & Half Moon Bay the medium to higher tides have produced best for me. The key to being successful is to put your time in & see what areas are producing best on a given set of tides. Time of day & weather conditions are also going to play a big part in your success. Given my choice I will take an overcast day with calm conditions. Don't count on the birds to put you on fish. It can certainly happen but those days are unfortunately few & far between. Good luck. Mike
post #3 of 63
These are the best conditions for me:

1. Late July - Early August
2. Fish an incoming tide before dawn
3. light Wind From the northwest
4. 1/4 moon phase
5. Clear water
6. Use live anchovies
7. Hold on!
post #4 of 63
As I have said for 30 or so years the best time to fish is when the fish are there!
As Mike says certain areas fish better when there is more water but for the most part the only thing I worry about is how the weather and wave size will effect my ability to find fish. I laugh everytime someone gives moon phses, tide time, dates or specific times of day or night as the best time.
These are old wise tales that the fish don't follow. being able to work a plug in deep enough water or through a howling wind are better things to consider.
post #5 of 63

Are you really serious? Do you really think the items I listed fall into the category of tales?
If so, I disagree. Having fished the surf between the cliffhouse and halfmoon bay for 30 years and having spent considerable time back east fishing NY and NJ, I've found these conditions to be successfull for me. How one doesn't correlate night fishing with stripers is beyond me. You must be a boat guy.
post #6 of 63
In the day what you would want is a transition zone(Rocks adjacent to a beach)!!! This used to be very important because you could show up at any tide and fish both successfully providing you did it right. Low tide was normally fished from the rocks and the high tide was off the beach. Larger fish were caught off the rocks as big as 40lbs and the beach produced fish as big as 30lbs!! Like your post original first line quotes "In THE DAY"!! North beach was a example of this, you would have to climb out on seal rock (metal spikes were driven into it years ago) at low tide and be out on it for about 10-12 hours until the tide repeat itself. Mabe no longer legal(dangerous because of crashing waves) You don't want to get caught ! We used to have to rush back to the shore side of the rock to avoid getting swept into the ocean. Large pencil poppers were the lure of choice back in the day
post #7 of 63
Thread Starter 
I remember those days at seal rock, throwing white hair raisers with long curly tails. Then when you would hook a good one, you had to try and work your way to the beach to land it.
post #8 of 63
Originally posted by Pacifican:

Are you really serious? Do you really think the items I listed fall into the category of tales?
If so, I disagree. Having fished the surf between the cliffhouse and halfmoon bay for 30 years and having spent considerable time back east fishing NY and NJ, I've found these conditions to be successfull for me. How one doesn't correlate night fishing with stripers is beyond me. You must be a boat guy.
Pacifican I am 100% serious. I catch stripers on any tide, any time, any place no mater what phase the moon is in. It's all whooey in my eyes. I have fished and learned from the best. The only thing that matters is, "Are the fish there" Johnny's Rock and others Know full well I am serious about this. Give me a place and I will find something that will make fish hold in that spot. Or do you think they disapear when the set time is over. I used to just smile as guys would walk away from spots or not fish because of moon phase. Can certain times be more productive? Of course but if you lock yourself into a limited time you'll miss out on more fish than you think. Percieving that fish are only active at night is another funny one. Did you know that the top three biggest fish from the beach last year were all caught during mid-day? Oh and I guess you don't know my motto "Boat fish don't count"
There are other don't counts but we will go into that later.
Oh Sutro rock, you called it the old days when you had to get on it on low tide. No the old days was when you could walk on the rockwall to get on the rock. If there was space. Yet it is one rock I have never fished from. Throwing Bugeyes never interested me. I have never casted from there but have caught many of fish in that area.
post #9 of 63
It's true that you can catch fish day or night, high or low tide; The presence of bait among other things make everyday a unique situation. This is why striper fishing is so tough to master. But I believe there are a set of basic of situations that are conducive to catching stripers---one of them defintely being night fishing.
post #10 of 63
Stripers can be caught at any hour of the day & given the right location caught on any tide. HOWEVER... there is little doubt in my mind that the moon phase has a great deal to do with how well some places are going to produce. Why?..... because the moon phase has direct impact on what the tides will be. Dark moons & full moons have the biggest effefct on tidal movement. What the tide is doing can have a big influence of what the baitfish are doing (this includes sandcrabs) & what the baitfish are doing can have a big influence on what the stripers are doing & where they are doing it. Smelt runs are a good example of this. If you are an observant perch fisherman you will also notice that sandcrabs make themselves more vulnerable on certain parts of the tide that will trigger the perch to go on the bite. No, the stripers do not disappear each day at a specific time or tide, but it is very common for them to move into different locations as more sun gets on the water or the tide changes. Have you ever noticed how the fishing will USUALLY hold up longer on foggy or overcast mornings? The key to being successful is to put the time in & figure out where the fish go when they are not in the more obvious locations. There will always be exceptions & I think it is important not to get to regimented in our thinking about when or where stripers can be caught. There has been more than one ocassion when I left a spot becasue I thought the conditions would not allow it to produce, only to find out that 10 minutes later the guys who stayed there really smacked them. Mike
post #11 of 63
inside the bay you need to be near a high tide just to have enough water to fish in. but i find the best concentrations of fish on the outgo around rocky points or islands. the more current the better.
post #12 of 63
Chris in ninety percent of bay fishing I will agree.
The tides play a very important part in feeding stations and amount of water in the area. That's why Bay fish don't count!

Mike so if the moon is in some certain phase you don't fish?
Even if I called you? LOL
As for later in the day yes fish change where they are located but if you understand what causes that movement then you can interput how to fish for them. There isn't any tide, time of day, that I have never caught fish.
Even in bright sunshine at noon. Understanding what holds fish and why is more important than anything. In the Pacific Ocean wind and waves are more a factor than anything else.
post #13 of 63
Chris, I moon phase is not going to dictate whether or not I fish, but it will certainly influence where & when I fish. Especially down here in my neighborhood. Why?.... because the moon dictates what the tide is doing. No doubt the wind/surf conditions are also going to play a part in it. There are also alot of other factors that effect locations. A good example of that would be sand movement. A location that fished good one week on a minus tide might be all sanded in a week later & have to be fished when the tide was higher. There is a spot we fished together last year (long live the 9" Sluggo) that is a perfect example of this. Have you ever wondered why/how Bill T just seems to show up in locataions that hav'nt produced for awhile & get into fish?? Ask him if he thinks the moon has much effect on how the fish behave. Mike
post #14 of 63
Having the confidence to believe in what you think makes the fish hold always dictates to what you know. And if when a certain song comes on and then you have to fish a certain place and you end up catching fish does that make it any different than moon phase? What I know is I have never wondered about moon phase and can literly look out my back window and decide where I will fish for that period. 98% of the time I pick the very best location. Because every time Bill T shows up I am usauly into fish before he thought about the moon phase. Billy T has another sense of finding fish. It has nothing to do with the moon its his confidence and information he gathers.
as for the sluggo spot what about the tide makes that certain spot a excellant producer. Wave action!
The water is always better when the waves are not crashing that beach. Other places that same moon phase and what happens stops the ability to fish it. So using a certain moon phase as a key to when you go fishing is down right silly. Being able to decide where your going to fish by weather and water conditions will put you on fish faster than any preconcieved notion of moon phase. The sluggo spot with huge surf is a wash out in any moon phase.
post #15 of 63
I will try & simplify the point I am trying to make. The moon phase effects the tide & the tides heighth has a great deal of influence on what my options are as to where I can fish on that particular tide. If I know an area that produces good at high tide is dry as a bone at low tide its unlikely you'll see me there at low tide. Granted there are places that can produce good on any tide, but there are also several places that will produce better on certain tide levels. As for the wind & surf conditions obviously they are going to play a big part in whats fishable & whats not. Mike
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