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Tides for Fishing

Tides for Fishing

If you are interested in catching saltwater fish species, it's important to learn how tides affect fishing and when the best tides for fishing will be.

Fishing Tides

To start, you will want to know what causes fishing tides and have an understanding of how saltwater tides impact fishing. From there, you can learn how to read a tide chart that shows the water levels throughout a saltwater bay or estuary area at a specific time. Or, you can check tide tables that show daily high and low tide predictions for a specific spot that you want to fish.

What Causes Fishing Tides

Fishing tides are the vertical movement of water caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun. When this gravitational pull is at its highest point, we refer to water levels as being at high tide or the highest level of the tide. Conversely, when the gravitational pull is at its lowest, we refer to water levels as being at low tide or the lowest level of the tide. Saltwater tides originate out in the open ocean, and then move toward the coastlines where they are easily measured.

How Tides Impact Fishing

Now that you know what causes tides, you may be wondering how to fish the tides and how tides impact fishing conditions. Tides and fishing conditions are related because tides cause the movement of water. When there is an increase in current or water movement, fish are more likely to feed and are easier to catch. The water movement causes an associated increase in the activity of various marine organisms. These organisms include crustaceans and baitfish -- the primary food sources of saltwater game fish.

Best Tides For Fishing

If you want to find the best tide to fish, you will need to learn how to read a tide table that measures upcoming saltwater tides  in terms of feet. This type of chart indicates when the optimal tides for fishing will be based on the predicted tide schedule or periods of day and night when water movement will be at peak levels. In addition to reading a tidal chart or schedule, you can listen to a daily fishing tide report on television, on the radio, or online that will provide information on the best tide periods for catching fish. You can also visit NOAA's Tides & Currents website to learn more about tide predictions. If you are planning a fishing trip that is several months away, you can check long-range weather and tide predictions using a fishing almanac  or farmer's almanac.