Tides And Fishing: How Tides Affect Fishermen?


You might think that you know everything that you need to as far lures, the best fishing spots, or even picking the best rods and reels goes. And while you may have your fishing gear stored well in your fishing backpack, this is not all there is to it. Something that every angler needs to understand is how do tides affect fishing. The majority of the anglers have some understanding of the tide. Most of what they know is that fish will go down to shallower waters and rise with the tide. They will also go down deeper as the tide falls. And that’s about it!

Understanding the definitions

Do you know how to define a tide? It is the rising and falling of the water’s surface periodically in estuaries, rivers, lakes, gulfs, inlets, seas, oceans, and bays due to the gravitational attraction of the moon and the sun.

If you are fishing along the coast, the tide will be important to you as it will entice the fish to take the bait, allows the fishermen to reach certain areas when the water levels rise, and also eliminate accessing certain areas during low water levels. Depending on what you are after you may need to release the catch and fishing pliers will come in handy.

The Difference between the Tide and the Current

Let’s consider an example. You are looking to fish an outlet of a marsh pond. Then you take a look at the tide table and realize that the tide will begin coming in at around 9 am. The water will be at its lowest at around 2 pm.

As a fisherman, you want the outlet to drain and since the water level is low, it is during the high tides that there is plenty of fish. This is what you need to know about tides and fishing. As the water in the outlet begins to recede, the fish are going to flow along with it swimming out through the funnel. As soon as you get to your outlet, however, you will find that the water level is higher than you thought it was going to be. In the next few hours, just a few feet of the water drained out. This is a problem and while you did well to consider the tide, you failed to consider the current.

The Current

Now it seems like you packed your fishing tackle box and headed out for nothing, doesn’t it? While fishermen will use the terms interchangeably, there is a very big difference between the tide and the current. The Current is the flow of the water and it doesn’t have to be a result of the impact of the moon and the sun.

The Tide

If only you had considered the wind, blowing at 15 miles an hour, from the south direction and that the wind had been blowing from this direction the last few days at 25 to 30 miles an hour, then the water would flow in the direction of the wind. It is this wind that was blowing counter to the tide.

As for the tides, these are a wave that moves slowly from the ocean towards the inland. On the other hand, a strong wind can end up pushing a lot of water into the bay and cause a higher tide. This tide can rise higher than times when the sun and the moon call for low tides.

When you are fishing, many types of fish are going to get excited due to the flow of the water caused by the tide. One example is the bass. In this case, make sure you have the best bass fishing rods. This naturally means that you need to plan your fishing when the tide is high.

Tides and fishing should go hand in hand. It explains where the fishes are most likely going to retain their structure. The tides will also cause the fishes to concentrate and move in circular motions. This creates a whirlpool and causes the nutrient-rich water to rise to the surface. However, keep in mind that the strongest impact of the tide is going to be felt at the harbor, estuaries, bay, and shallow waters. The tides will rise higher on certain days than on others. It all depends on the position of the moon concerning the sun. The biggest tides will happen when both the moon and the sun are in line.

On the other hand, when both the moon and the sun are opposite each other then the tides are not as high. Also, when the moon is orbiting close to the earth which is every 27.5 days, this is when the tidal range is at its highest. Likewise, there is a low tidal range when the moon is at its farthest distance from the earth.

Why does the Confusion Happen?

There are times where the wind effect and the side effect will cause a bit of confusion. During times when the tide is weak and the wind is strong, it can prove difficult to identify the movements of the tide. One great way to help you tell the tide direction is to identify a structure and then check if you can see signs of movements around this structure. You might find it helpful to wear a fishing hat.

If for example, you happen to be wading, you can simply kick up sand and observe which direction it moves before it settles. On the other hand, if you are on the boat, then you can use a fishing lure and observe which direction it is flowing.

The Importance of Making a Distinction

Often the feeding of fish has a direct relation with the tide movement. Around the world, the fish that are going to cling onto the coastal tide will eat from the flood tide which will bring tiny organisms that flow with the warm water in winter and cold water in the summer.

Sometimes the fish will start feeding at the beginning of the flood tide as well as the end of the ebb tide. This is why the diets of the fishes are different from one region to the next. The diet can be different just a few miles away. A saltwater spinning reel is resistant to corrosion as is your best bet when fishing the tides near the ocean.

One of the reasons why the tidal flows are so important for both the fish and the fisherman is that they provide the food, which may include plant parts and small marine animals. The fish will gladly gather and concentrate on where the food is available. If the tide washes in smaller fish, it is the larger fish that is going to follow the smaller fishes to eat them and they will leave when they have finished the food source.

The other Factors that Will Affect the Fishing

After you’ve become confident with tides and fishing and when you understand how tides affect the fishing location, you will find it much easier to catch more fish. Keep in mind however the other factors that will affect your fishing other than just the tide. One thing that you want to hold as a rule of thumb is that when fish are looking for their food, they will try and conserve energy. They are not going to expend their energy by swimming against the current. Whether caused by a strong wind or caused by the tide, the fish will move in and move out of an area with the movement of the water. And once you catch your fish, a fish fillet knife will help you quickly prepare your meal.

If you are a surf angler, then tide fishing is perhaps one of the most important skills that you could ever learn. You want to watch out for the start of the tide. It brings with striped bass, channel bass, bluefish, and plenty of other great fish. The baitfish, which the larger fish feed on will be able to move faster when the current is weak which allows them to escape the bigger fish. However, with a strong current, this is not so putting the odds on the bigger fish.

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Learning how to use the right rod and reel and use the right bait is all great, but if you want to be successful it’s important to understand how tides affect fishing and the movement and feeding habits of the fish.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!