;[quote ...... As you get further from the ocean the longer it takes for the tide to swing. There is alot of water all moving at once, and while it may be slack tide in the ocean it won't be in the bay until all that water stops and changes direction. Often times the tide has actually changed and the water level may still be doing the opposite of what the tide should be. Sometimes its still coming in but yet the water level is dropping. Sometimes depending on how fast the water is moving it might be slack on the top and near the bottom its still moving in or out.
......FWIW and just to add my .02 worth to this and to the qoute above and all everyone alse said, add to all that the effects of wind and moon phases on the tides and current.... and best of luck to us all tryng to predict exaclty what tidal flow will be doing in any given half hour to full hour period in any given location in the OC bay/inlet area. After hundreds of flounder and striper boat (mostly headboat) excusions over the last 10-15 years around OC, and being aware of the predicted tides, I've about given up on trying to "time" the tidal flow other than very generally following the tide charts. Can't ignore the predicted tides of course, but IMO, just when you think you've got it figured out, the tides/current will do things you did not expect. And I say that not as an expert on the issue, but as someone who has gone out with and talked to a lot of very exprerienced OC captains who as good as they are, can be perplexed by the tides more often than you might think.
Tide charts are a great tool, and should be considered as part of planning any tidal water fishing trip, but they aint perfect, and you need to be as flexible as possible to change fishing locations based upon what you experience when you get out there, especially for drift fishing for flounder for example.
That said, I have not exactly been bailing the flatties this year.....so what do I know...maybe next week I'll catch a few....boss finally gave me a few days off!! Edited by Beachfish - 7/20/11 at 8:24pm