How to Read a Tide Chart for Catching Fish Safely

If you want to fish, it’s essential to know how to read the tide chart. The tides can significantly impact the waters you fish and make your trips efficient or completely inefficient.

Some places, such as Hopewell Rock in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, can look different depending on the tides. As you can see, the difference in water level can go to your favorite fishing spot or eliminate your fishing.

Fortunately, there are more gradual changes in water levels in most places. You need to figure out how to find the best tides for fishing in any location if you want to catch fish like a pro.


What is the tide table chart?

The tide chart shows the daily forecast of local tides leading to high and low tides for the day.

When reading the tide chart, the goal is to find out when the low and high tides of the day are. If you plan to go for a beach walk and want to have lunch on the beach, it is best to have lower tides during the day. If you are considering leaving the port, it is best to wait for the tide. If you’re planning a beach camp, it’s a good idea to know what the uptrend will be. That way, you can choose a location much higher than the high tide line.

what do you need to know about the tides?

Here are some important concepts to get the most out of your fishing trip:

  • Tides – Tides are water level movements caused by various factors. Water levels are affected by the moon, sun, and earth’s gravity. This affects when and how the fish moves and is essential to us when planning a fishing trip. There are many tides of information available.
  • Low tide – Low tide is the lowest point of the water level.
  • High tide – High tide is the highest point of the water level.
  • Rising tide– Tidal tidal flow means that the water level is rising.
  • Falling tide – Tidal tide and flow mean that the water level has dropped.

How to read the tide table chart for fishing?

The format and features of the tide chart may differ, but in most cases, the same three essential pieces of information (date, time, tidal height) are organized in a grid-like structure.

Step 1: Know what you are looking for

The tide chart is mainly arranged in two ways. You can find the date and time you want to know the tide of the tide or the type of tide you want (or don’t want) to encounter when you reach the beach.

You can know, for example, when the tides are high and low on Saturday afternoon when you go swimming. Or, if you want to surf but do not think about a specific day, you can find out when the tide conditions are suitable for surfing shortly and choose the date and time that suits you.

Step 2: Understanding the chart data

An essential part of reading a tide chart is an in-depth understanding – intended – map data. It is critical to read a tide chart because it is the number by which tidal heights are measured. Don’t be afraid; it’s not as complicated as it looks!

Simply put, the map data is the average of high and low tides. Tide charts take note of the depth of water at a specific time, then add this to the Map Data to generate these average tidal heights. On a tide chart, the altitudes you will find are the measurements of water above or below the map data, which is usually the lowest average tide. The tide will seldom drop further than this point.

Step 3: Pay attention to the tide and time

Find out when the high and low tides occur and observe the height difference between the two. Altitude is displayed in meters (m) or feet (ft).

The high tide value is the higher of the two, and you can see the height of the tide at the highest point on the map data. Sometimes there is a plus sign (+) before the rising wave.

The low tide value indicates how low the low tide is below the map data at the lowest point. Look for small numbers and, in some cases, negative numbers (-) to identify low tide.

Time can be expressed in military time. If not, be sure to determine whether the tide is morning or evening to avoid unnecessary surprises.

Causes of the fishing tide

Fishing tides are vertical water movements caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. When this gravitational force is at its highest point, we call the water level high or high tide. Conversely, when the force of gravity is lowest, the water level is called low tide or the lowest level at low tide. The saltwater tide begins in the open ocean and moves towards the coastline to be easily measured.

The effect of tides on fishing

Now that you know what causes the tide, you may be wondering how to catch the tide and how the tide affects the status of your fishing. Tidal and fishing conditions are interrelated because the tide causes the movement of water. Increased flow and water movement make it easier for fish to feed and catch. Water movement causes a corresponding increase in the activity of various marine organisms. These organisms include crustaceans and forage fish. This is the primary food source for saltwater game fish.

Why is the high tide significant?

The range of the tide is important because the best fishing takes place in moving water. Remember that water is most active during the tide and flow of the tide. Forage fish become more active and consequently feed on larger fish.

According to most expert fishers, there are some key points to consider when looking for the best fishing spot.

  • Find a place where the high tide occurs about an hour before the tide rises.
  • Also, about an hour after high tide, a surge should occur.

By looking again at the information in the table above, you can gather a lot of helpful information.

Here are some key points from this chart:

  • The wave rising on June 18 will be around 6:30 and 19:30.
  • Low tide occurs around 01:00 and 13:00.
  • The ideal time to go fishing on June 18 is around 17:00 (the tides between 05:00 and 10:00 are pretty broad).
  • If you need a morning cruise, you should be in the water around 6 am.

The tides can have a similar effect on deep-sea fishing trips. The tides determine where the fish maintain their patterns and structure and where the food is concentrated. The best place to look when fishing in the deep sea is where baitfish are focused on the circular motion of the water. Circulatory movements help nutrient-rich deep seawater rise to the surface. This can occur in bays, harbors, islands, and coral reefs.

Constant tidal flow provides the fish with a balanced feed flow. The stream can drift along with all kinds of living marine animals and plants and concentrate on these small eddies. This usually happens when a structure blocks water flow, whether it’s a row of rocks or a natural reef.

Fish congregate in these areas where food is concentrated in one place. Similarly, when small fish and plants are pushed by the tide’s tide, the more extensive fish feed after these tides and leave when the tide returns.

you might also like: How do fish finders work

Things to remember when reading the tide chart

Be sure to use the latest tide charts, as the tides change every day. The tides can vary significantly between sites very close together, making sure your tide charts are as region-specific as possible.

Finally, the tide forecast is precisely that… it’s a prediction! In addition to the moon, sun, and gravity, other factors such as local weather and wind patterns also affect tides. Please note that beach tides may not follow the tide chart strictly. Also, always be careful in or near water.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to fish?

Whenever you can go fishing, this is the perfect time to go fishing!

When is the best time to go fishing on a boat?

Whenever you can go fishing from the boat, this is the perfect time to go fishing! If you don’t have a boat but are interested in fishing from a boat, check out the Boat Finder Tool to find out which boat is best for you and the area where you want to go fishing.

Does the tide matter in brackish water?

Exactly. Tides and currents have the same effect in brackish water as in saltwater.

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