RKG1

The effect of tides on fishing

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hey guys, I need to learn about tides and the effect on surf fishing. From the beginning.  Can you please direct me to any sources of that info?

Edited by RKG1

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There's no silver bullet here. The short answer is tide effects EVERYTHING. Best way to learn is to pick a "fishy" spot and fish the hell out of it. Fish all conditions, winds, moons, tides, etc and keep a log. Eventually some patterns will reveal themselves. The learning never ends...

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There's little substitute for trial and error, plus documenting the conditions. Record, or at least making mental notes of, the tide stage and time of day for each outing, and study them. Eventually a beneficial tide pattern will emerge if you fish a spot enough. Tide stages are particularly important in areas where water is channeled or goes through a narrower area, like narrows, rivers, and canals. I could say, "always fish the dropping tide" at a river mouth, but A) that isn't detailed enough and B) not always true at every river mouth. I know of one such river mouth where more numbers of bigger fish show on the early incoming than on the last of the drop. I fish a waterway where one spot fishes best on the early to mid drop while another spot a few miles away on that same waterway won't come alive until an hour before dead low. All learned through personal experience, plus watching others.

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Do some reading from Skinner, Daignault, Knee on this subject. Condition vs location based knowledge and techniques.

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I have been fishing for 50+ years, you never stop learning. A detailed log is important. Storms wil change structure, where you caught last year on a certain tide might not be the same spot this year. Beach replenishment isn’t helping either. 

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Look at the progression of the tidal coefficient throughout the month. I found out about it looking at my fishing area on tides4 fishing.

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Fishing form shore I find tides effect me more as to "Where am I going to fish right now." So you master a few spots at varied tides at first. Records I'm sure help. I don't do it. Long as waters moving and my spot for that day and tide gives me an opportunity to catch I'm good. If I've learned anything about fishing, it's that you have to expect the unexpected. High or low ya just don't know sometimes

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tides are a big part of the numerous types of "Bites" to consider: Tide bite, bait bite, Moon bite, etc. Remember the tide refers to the vertical rise and fall of water, the current is another type of "bite" that relates to tides. I have been keeping fishing logs for a long time. In general, as mentioned by someone else, moving water is typically (not always) more productive. Last Albie season fishing the East side of Shinecock, I (as well as others) new that the start of the incoming current would bring in that "muddy water" along the rocks (muddy with bay anchovies) and like clock work almost every day the Albies would follow, then poof, as soon as peak flow (incoming water) current started to slack the bite stopped or slowed down a lot. The ebb (outgoing water) current produced but not like flow (incoming). Currents are directly related to tides but how they relate is different for each spot we fish. The ways to get tides and currents are endless with todays technology, Apps, USGS, newspapers if your old school, are great sources. Absolutely keep a log. John Skinner has a great one for computers that he sells on one of his sites for cheap, and it works great. 

PS: I seem to catch bigger fish (Striped Bass) at the slack part of the currents. And I know that to be a lot of other anglers experience as well. 

Edited by mattyboyee

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I was just reading about tides and current, how it relates to structure, how moon phases and wind come into play, etc. Just a small chapter in Zeno Hromin's book  The Art of Surfcasting With Lures.

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