Tide and time of day: when do you go?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by newcaster2, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. newcaster2

    newcaster2 New Member

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    Tides and time of day have been the two factors most mentioned by posts on this forum, mag articles, fly shop people I've queried, and books I've thumbed through as important for deciding when to go out for SRCs.

    Specifically I've heard that I should time it based on the "most active time in change of tidal level." So I find tide info on the web:

    For example:

    Day High Tide Height Sunrise
    Low Time Feet Sunset
    6 High 1:03 AM 11.5 5:21 AM
    6 Low 8:38 AM 0.5 9:08 PM
    6 High 4:32 PM 10.1
    6 Low 8:28 PM 7.8

    Low tide being at 8:38AM, based on what I've read and been told by fly shop folks, I would plan to get there around 7AM, since the time of @ 1 hr before and after hi or low tide point would be the most active in terms of tidal mvt (I think....).

    Am I correct here? IS this how I should use the hi or lo tide time info? I am not sure.

    Once the tide hits a low @ 8:38AM does it stay low for a while and then come up, and if so how long in general? or is it a constant process: it hits a low and then immediately starts to come back up again?

    And then, time of day: darker the better, right? Does tide trump time of day, since not all hi or lo tides occur at night time?

    Because I do work long hours and have kid and wife at home and have to time my trip to the beach judiciously, I would really want to figure out when to go out, even though I would LOVE to spend all day and night and take detailed records.

    Thanks for any help on this, and perhaps you could share how YOU decide when to go out based on tidal info and time of day.


     
  2. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    I like to fish moving water and so it doesn't matter whether it is going in or out. That being said, some beaches fish better on floodtides and some fish better on the ebb.

    6 High 1:03 AM 11.5
    6 Low 8:38 AM 0.5
    6 High 4:32 PM 10.1
    6 Low 8:28 PM 7.8

    Using your example, I would arrive just after the low slack. It will probably be around 10am when the water begins to "move." Move is a relative term. The Narrows will flow like a river. Some beaches will simply "fill up."

    About 3:00pm, the water movement will slow down and many beaches will disappear and leave no backcast room.

    There will be no real perceptible movement of water in the 4:32 to 8:28pm tide. It is called a neap tide. There will also be more people, dogs, boat wakes, and afternoon winds and chop during the afternoon change.

    Low light will sometimes trump tide change. I prefer morning low light for the reasons mentioned above.

    Also, morning changes on the beach, for me, bring the same kind of peace and solitude that I can only find on a morning on a steelhead river.

    When's the best time and tide to fish? When the fish are there . . . as always. It's the only real formula I have found.

    Hope this helps,
    Leland.
     
  3. newcaster2

    newcaster2 New Member

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    Thanks Leland. Enjoyed your article in NW Flyfishing: it inspired me to get geared up and get into the salt!
     
  4. South Sound

    South Sound Member

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    Movement. Also extreme lows have not been productive for me since the structure of oysters and rocks seem to disappear in the negative tidal areas. Muck, kelp, and sometimes eel grass tend to be in the negative zone.
     
  5. newcaster2

    newcaster2 New Member

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  6. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Newcaster2:

    You are on the right track but check out the tide charts section that Chris has on the lower left corner of home page of WWF. He did an excellent job of setting it up for WWF users and is much better displayed(yellow shading denotes day light hours) and more tide sites than NOAA's.

    It is an excellent tool to plan when tidal conditions would be most favorable to fly fish on Puget Sound. Print out the monthly charts that are most suitable for the areas that you fish. The slope and length of the line from high to low tides or vica-versa will give a good indication of intensity of tidal current over time which you can expect on a given day or time. Ex. the afternoon ebb tide on July 4 would have little current except maybe at middle of tide exchange.

    Hope that this has helped you!

    Roger

    PS: Thanks again Chris for providing it for us. I now use it as part of my fishing journal.
     
  7. livetofish

    livetofish Fish to Live

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    I use a PHENOMENAL tide app for my Palm called Tide Tool. It's freeware, and has LOTS more stations (searchable, too) than the tool here at WFF. Data is available for pretty much anywhere. It has a good graphical interface (or you can toggle to table format), with solar/lunar data as well. Most importantly, being on my Palm, I can access it any time, just in case I get the urge to fish after work or when on the road or out of town. It is located at

    http://www.toolworks.com/bilofsky/tidetool/

    Since I also use my Palm as my fishing journal, Tide Tool is an absolutely indespensible "killer app" for my saltwater jones. :ray1:
     
  8. tomc

    tomc Member

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    I too have Tidetool for my Palm, and I love it! I got my Palm mainly for all the places that I row in the salt, and I refer to it several times a day when I am on the water. One thing though it doesn't work with my Garmin 3600 which is still Palm OS, and Garmin Support is less than I hoped it would be.
    Tom C.
     
  9. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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