Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best Tides For Fishing

Which are the best tides for fishing?

I get asked this question a lot. Maybe more than seven times a week and I have a pretty standard answer - "that is a loaded question." If the person asking seems really serious I then go on to explain a few things that just might help them discover the best times for fishing.

What are tides
Tides are the movement of water (rise and fall) in the ocean caused by the tidal forces of the moon and sun acting on the oceans. Tides can move a lot (spring tides) or very little (neap tides) and in most parts of the world there are 2 low and 2 high tides each day. You don't need to understand the real specifics of it, but it helps to know that tides effect fish in various direct and indirect ways:

  • Tidal current pushes food into different areas
  • Tidal current can make it easier or more difficult for fish to swim/move into new areas.
  • Tidal current creates new channels and gutters for fish to stalk their prey
  • High tide exposes fish to new areas with potential food sources (eg. rock pools)
What tides are best for fishing
I am going to be a little vague here, but it really depends on what you are fishing for. Many anglers suggest the 2 hours before and after the high tide and other suggest the opposite. Some anglers suggest fishing big tidal movements (no run no fun - as the saying goes) and others prefer the littlest of tide movements.

Be sure to ask other anglers in your area for their advice, but don't be afraid to experiment yourself. If you do this it is a good idea to keep a fishing diary to look back over and work out the best tides that have been successful for your particular target species.

After keeping a dairy for years I now live by this motto - the best time to go fishing is when you have time to go fishing!