Tidal flows


Piscatorial predilection
A question for you guys that fish the salt.

Which change is better to fish, a heavy flow rate change or a moderate one?

As an example: Tomorrow there is a low to high listed at 5.1 to 7.6 respectively. is that better than say a 2.1 to a 10.5 change? :confused:


Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I like a lot of water moving over a long period of time. A low-low tide, followed by a high-high tide, or vice-versa, is my favorite situation for a lot of water moving over a long time through a day, and a lot of current to fish in.

Lesser changes in altitude of water yield less current over a briefer time. It's not bad, just less opportune for some things in some places.

Truthfully, I fish any time I can get and try not to worry about the tides. But If I have very little time- only a few hours- I will be more concerned with the tides and what opportunity exists at what time. Then I will be paying closer attention to the tide tables.

But even at dead-low tide you can fish, and find fish, if you just work at it. They dont stop feeding just because the water is low or slack. But often their feeding behavior in a given place or area will change. That's for you to figure out. There is no way around doing the work, spending the time on the water. That's what it's all about.
I don't know about for SRCs, but for migratory silvers in late summer, I like the big tides. Just seem to catch more fish on those days. It could be however that I on points that are between where they were and where they are heading. Perhaps the heavier current days, more fish pass in a given amount of time. Don't know for sure, it's all speculation, but it works for me...

I fish Hamersley Inlet as my home water. If you aren't familiar with that piece of water it can have currents of ut to 5 knots on a steep tide. I prefer to launch my pontoon boat from my ramp near Mill Creek and fish the out-going tide. The inlet runs like a river and I fish the eddys and the wash board gravel beds where the chum fry and candle fish congrigate. The cutts and silvers use the eddys to ambush their prey. By the time the tide changes, I fish the eddys on the other side of the inlet. It's like having a river that flows in two directions. When I fish from shore at my place to Libby Point I always fish the out going tide as well, I don't like fishing with the tide at my back, and pick up a few oysters on my walk back home. The main point is, I have found a way to find the bait that the cutts and silvers are after. On Hood Canal I practice the same thing. I fish the downstream side of a point or creek outwash. I've been told by bioligists that bait fish need low current to stay in a school.
From the cheap seats...
Papafish, Bob's got it right, IMHO. I consider a strong current optimum as it puts the fish in more predictable places to ambush the bait that will be less spread out and will be pushed over the ambush places, also in a more predictable manner.

But generally, I go out when I can, so I fish regardless of the tides. Sometimes I just need to be thigh deep in water and have the feeling in my hand of a rod loading up for a long cast, and catching fish is incidental.

However, if I'm really busy but I know a great tide is coming up during the course of a week, I will do everything I can to get the few hours free to hit it in the morning before work, or to get off early enough to get down to the beach for the last few hours of the day, especially with summer coming up. Sometimes I get in trouble for it, but you have to have your priorities straight, and there are simply times when you just have to go fishing.