As you ready yourself for another angling adventure, stock the cooler, pack the tackle bag and rig up. There is one more thing to cross off the to-do list: check the tides. Having knowledge of tidal phases can certainly enhance your fishing trip where being unaware of tidal movements can derail a successful day on the water.
The moon’s heavenly presence and gravitational pull pushes water in and pulls water out, kicking up currents, causing water levels to rise and fall. The tides are on a clock—on average, a low tide and high tide occur every six hours. The fish like to flow freely with the currents, which are created by moving waters. It’s important to know how currents and tides work in conjunction to each other. With that understanding, know that fish rarely release too much energy. A good mantra to fish by is “Go with the flow. The fish do.”
When a tide’s pull becomes strong with the incoming or outgoing tides, fish will escape to structures such as pilings or rocky points to escape the strong flow. When the tides are high, you should target grass beds and shorelines where the baitfish retreat to. At low tides, fish will find the deepest pockets of water to hang, waiting for the ambush. Be mindful of your surroundings at low tides for hidden places, where structures lay beneath a high tide. A low tide will reveal branches or logs, rocks and pilings. During the next incoming or high tide, that will be a good place to target.
Never spend too much time in one place, either. As the tides move, so do the fish. And be sure to not fight the tidal currents. Going with the flow will be the difference between a frustrating day of fishing against the current and an enjoyable day of soaking up the surroundings with good biting action. Ultimately, knowing the tides’ movements is essential for a quality day on the water. I do love “go with the flow” fishing.
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