This question often circles in the mind of people who are not much aware of the fact that tides play an important role in catching fish.
And the best answer to this question depends on the type of fish species you want to try your hands on. But it has been concluded that surf fishing is best during the two hours surrounding a high tide. And this is the period where the water is both deep and flowing, and most fish species thrive under these environments.
It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have, when you go fish surfing it all comes down to the type of tides. Sure, experience matters but tides play a crucial role. Most people find that the techniques they were using which were working fine for them don’t seem to work at all someday. Why is it so?
And the answer is tides. Tides have a big impact on your productivity, so spotting the right tide for surf fishing should be on your to-do list if you want to get the most out of your trip.
Here in this blog, we will talk about the same and try to understand why it is important to know all about tides to maximize results.
How Many Tides are there Per day?
Before jumping on that, how tides are generated. So basically, tides are caused due to centrifugal or gravitational force on Earth from the Moon and the Sun which results in the fall and rise of water in the ocean or seas.
However, it doesn’t matter if the Sun is bigger in size, the moon has a higher impact on tides as it is closer to earth. In simple words, when the Moon is only over one-fifth of the Earth, the gravitational force raises the water on that quarter, while the centrifugal force raises the water on the other side of the Earth.
It has an impact on tides which concludes that the beach or shore faces varying levels of water causing two tops and two bottoms every day.
What Are High and Low Tides?
Now it is important to know all about the high and low tides. Ocean has two kinds of tides which are high and low. When the level of water is high on half of the Earth, it is high tide.
And, when the water level is low on half of the earth it is low tide. It means that every day there are 2 high and 2 low tides on earth due to its rotation.
What Causes High and Low Tide?
It is important to understand the cause of high and low tides. The tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational force. Even though the moon is significantly smaller than the Earth, it has enough gravity to impact a variety of objects on Earth, including the ocean tides.
All the oceans, seas and rivers closer to the moon are affected by this. Even the water bodies which are not closer to the moon can see the effect. This implies that at any given moment on Earth, there are two high tides and two low tides. And, daily, every part of the Earth experiences both high and low tides.
Are There Any Other Factors That Can Result in High or Low Tide?
Yes, other factors play a crucial role in high or low tides.
Aside from the two high and two low tides per day, there are frequent severe tides and small tides every two weeks or so which is also called spring and neap tides. The sun is responsible for this. These tides occur during the phases of the new and full moons, as a function of the alignment of the Earth, moon, and sun. Not just this, powerful waves, earthquakes, hurricanes, and varying air pressure ranges will all influence the tide level to a smaller degree.
Why Are Tides Influential When Surf Fishing?
It is important to have a knowledge of tides and how it operates and affects fishing as it will save a lot of time which we used to waste while catching fish. However, three things determine the fish’s behaviour and play an important role in surfing. These are feeding, comfort and spawning.
And tide affects one of the patterns which is feeding. Now you must be wondering how? Well, If you’re looking for predatory fish, you’ll find that they’re most likely to be captured at high tide when they attempt to catch baitfish. Especially in places where there are pockets. Many predatory fishes are on the hunt all of the time. The fish can also change their positions if the tide changes. At low tide, they’ll target places where baitfish are more concentrated. These are the places from which the baitfish can migrate on their way back with the low tide.
The waves become bigger and larger as the day progresses. Since stronger winds draw food and other species from the seabed into water columns and beaches, more fish will eat, giving you a greater chance to capture something. Food is often dragged to the shore by high tides from the seas. Many sea creatures mate and/or give birth at these hours, but there is plenty of planktonic food for other fish.
When night falls, the bigger predators emerge to prey close to the surface, granting you an advantage you wouldn’t have had in the day.
When To Go For Surf Fishing?
Other than this, you need to give proper consideration to timing as well. Below we are going to cast light on the timing to go fishing.
- Most SatisfyingTime of the Year for Surf Fishing – So the very thing is thinking about which time of the year is suitable for fishing. And the answer is surf fishing is best in the spring and autumn. However, you can go fishing in winter and summer too but the result won’t be that good compared to the season mentioned above. There are many areas where you can catch fish in all seasons, it won’t affect productivity.
- Best Time of the Day for Surf Fishing – Now what time of the day is best for surf fishing, and the obvious answer is between the hours of dawn to 10 a.m and two hours before sunset. These are the periods that the fish are fed and hence visible. However, it is still better to talk with the residents in your district, since they have the most up-to-date experience of the fishing situations in your area.
- Best Moon Phase for Surf Fishing – Furthermore, as you know that the moon also affects surf fishing then it is important to reconsider the moon phase too. The fresh and full moons are the perfect moon phases for surfing. Water flows further at this period, and the tides hit new depths. Furthermore, it is thought that during full moons, fish are more involved and eat for the majority of the night.
- Best Climate Circumstances for Surf Fishing – Onshore breezes are ideal for surf fishing, but they shouldn’t be too intense to interfere with water quality. When they get too strong, they have a similar impact to cold fronts. During tides, low pressure is also preferable to high pressure for surf fishing. If the environmental conditions deteriorate and then improve, you will be unable to surf fish for one or two days as the fish re-acclimate.
How to Spot the Best Tide in your Area?
Okay, so it is important to spot the best tide in your area and how you will do that. And the obvious thing is to give time to local media such as newspapers, news, mobile applications, websites and much more. It is important to see all about the weather when you plan to go fishing. These resources give you an idea about tides in your area.
Top Surf Fishing Tips
Other than this, to catch more fish you need to adopt some techniques and tips that work out well for many people out there. Here in this segment, we will cast light on some of the tips that are executable and important to keep in mind while surf fishing.
- Low-Water Survey – Taking a stroll down the beach at low tide, ideally, a low-water spring tide is the best thing to do when you are doing a survey. Try to pay attention to banks, gullies and hollows. Further, pay attention to if seabed changes at all. Also, make a note of any sign of shellfish beds. If the ground is weed or rough. If you pay attention to these it will give you a clear idea.
- Read the Surf – Storms can kill shellfish beds and establish new seabed features, as tides and waves change sandbanks and gullies. And at high tide, when one patch of surf looks a lot like the next and all the proof is hidden, it’s not really easy to link your notes to what’s below the surface. So it is important to know how to read a surf. To understand it, you can take a closer look at water swirls around a submerged rock, you will definitely see something different or pattern there.
- Avoid Crack-Offs on the Cast – When surfcasting, shock leaders are required; otherwise, a crack-off is much more possible. Of course, crack-offs aren’t just a waste of fishing gear; they’re still very risky for everyone else on the beach. The shock leader’s breaking strain is proportional to the lead’s weight, not to the main line’s breaking strain. The greater the kinetic energy of the weight, the greater the load it will produce on the cast, and thus the greater the breaking pressure of the leader must be. To avoid it, create surfcasting leaders out of one of the specially designed nylon monofilament lines which are low-stretch and abrasion-resistant.
- Rough Fishing Ground without Tackle Loss – No doubt, crabs, shellfish, small fish and other food chains are supported by rough terrain, so it’s not a place we can continue to miss for our baited rigs. But the tackle cost can be high. Hence we are suggesting some tips like using a rotting bottom to tie the lead weight, which is a small stretch of light line. Then, if the lead becomes stuck and you have to pull for a split, you’ll just risk the lead. Other than this, invest in a planning lead. There are lead weights that have been flattened and are intended for use in rugged terrain. On the retrieve, their nature forces them to prepare upwards, removing any obstructions on the seabed. Further, using a powerful and stiff rod also seems a good option for rough terrain.
Other than this, safety precautions must not be overlooked in any case. If you cast with a bait cast reel instead of a spinning reel for surfcasting, you’ll know that the spool will slip under your thumb while casting, particularly in wet weather. To avoid this, cut a finger from a rubber glove and place it on your thumb. This would also shield you from the leader knot, which can do serious harm to your thumb otherwise.
The Bottom Line
That’s all! This is our take on the “What is the best tide for surf fishing”. Ask any fisherman the same question and they will tell that whenever you’re ready. And it is actually true, you can go fishing anytime but what’s the point if it is not beneficial and has a minimum outfit. In our opinion, it is best to do smart work and not follow the rat race. All the points mentioned above are worth your time and they will surely result in better outputs if executed. It’s great to have more in-depth experience and understanding of fishing.
So don’t be a part of the rat race, be the race and let everyone follow you. In case we are missing anything here, you can write us back in the comments section.