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Time and tide wait for fish

22 Aug 2018
by Greg Hill
When's the best time to go fishing?

Time and tide wait for no man but they can make fish wait, to be sure.

Top of the tide, incoming tide and outgoing tide don’t have a big effect on the bite, but they should influence where you fish. Certain areas fish better on an incoming tide, others an outgoing.

During an incoming tide, fish over a reef or shell bed, hopefully the resident bait fish are more active then, and the predators are there for business. 

During the outgoing tide, fish in a channel; fish it from the turn of the tide and you'll pick up the fish returning to deeper water and grazing on the flushing bait-fish and goodies stirred up during the incoming tide activity.

High tide in the evening is generally a good time to fish because often there is a pre-sunset hot bite. Similarly, early morning hot bites stop when the sun is up and low in the sky.

Bite time is tied in with gravitational forces and both high or low tides fish better on a waxing or waining moon.

Tide, moon phases, time of day, gravity… you could drive yourself crazy trying to line up all the parameters for the best times to go.

Here's my new theory: if you've got jobs to do, or the in-laws are coming, it's a good time to go fishing; if it's 5-knots variable it's a good time to go. Fishing spots would be deserted if we only went out during the "bite times”. We go fishing for more reasons than just catching fish.

As well as best bite time, there are other things you can do to improve your results: use lighter gear, more attractants, and sharper hooks, for starters.

So the best time to go fishing is anytime.