Deep Sea Fishing: Knowing Your Tides

It may sound strange but one of the most important statements regarding fishing in the sea is deep sea fishing: knowing your tides. Having a thorough knowledge regarding the tides and their effect on your fishing can drastically improve your catch. This represents a key the experts believe leads to success in deep sea fishing. The captains of charter boats are aware of this secret and study the tides, the currents, and their effect on fishing. Unfortunately, many deep-sea anglers pay little or no attention to the tides while wondering why others are catching fish and they are not. Although many individuals realize the tide affects their fishing they do not understand why. 

Many anglers are wasting hours casting, trolling, and sinker bouncing when the tide is wrong. The deep-sea angler who understands the tides picks the best fishing periods and focuses their effort on those specific times. This eliminates a lot of wasted days and catches you more fish when you go deep-sea fishing. Deep sea fishing: knowing your tides does not have to be a science lesson. It simply means the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are responsible for the tides. The moon has more influences since it is closer to the earth. 

When the tide is up the water moves to the land and is referred to as flood tide. Ebb tide is when the tide drops and heads back to the sea. When the tide is still it is called slack tide and generally takes six hours to raise or lower. Every 24-hour period the tides are later by approximately fifty minutes. The degree they rise or drop varies and the highest tides are found when the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth and a direct line is created. This is called a spring tide and happens during full moons and new moons. This causes both high and low tides to be higher than usual. During the first quarter phase of the moon the tides do not fall or rise to very much and is referred to as neap tides. 

The question is which of the tides are helpful and which ones aren’t. Experts believe when currents and tides are moving it is more productive than when they are still. This means producing a good catch is nearly impossible during a slack tide. The idea is to take advantage of the tides when you go fishing. When you are targeting gamesters like weakfish, channel bass, striped bass, and bluefish, the incoming tide is your most productive choice. Small bait fish usually scatter during a slack tide because they can swim faster without the currents and get away from predators. Once the tides begin to move these fish are at the mercy of the current and the strong rips. This makes game fish and stripers easier to catch during this period. The beginning of the outgoing tide is another excellent time to fish for the same reason. The best time to go fishing in when the tide is changing whether it is low or high.

Carla Arbuckle
Carla Arbuckle

Carla is a staff writer for and She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and photographer. She can be found most weekends fishing and exploring the wilderness.