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Several people have told me the best surf fishing happens on an incoming tide. My experience has been mixed, so I thought I'd ask here. What does everyone think, does the tide matter?

Thanks!
 

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Several people have told me the best surf fishing happens on an incoming tide. My experience has been mixed, so I thought I'd ask here. What does everyone think, does the tide matter?

Thanks!
Yeap,tide does matter... It can make a slough deep enough for baitfish,and what you are trying to catch to be there... It can also,on outgoing cause outsucks on the outside of the bar to be excellent spots to place a bait..

If you find the right combination of tide,time of yr,time of day,and structure you need to hit that area again,because it can be a deadly mix....
 

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Yeap,tide does matter... It can make a slough deep enough for baitfish,and what you are trying to catch to be there... It can also,on outgoing cause outsucks on the outside of the bar to be excellent spots to place a bait..

If you find the right combination of tide,time of yr,time of day,and structure you need to hit that area again,because it can be a deadly mix....
I never thought of it that completey, (water getting too skinny between bars for bait, etc.). Thats a healthy piece of knowledge right there DD!
 

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DD spoke to adding water to make it high enough for fish to feed. Here is the flip side, sometimes low tide drops the water level enough to be able to let you reach the fish. Might mean you can wade out to a bar to fish, might mean you finaly reach the deep water with your best cast. There is no universal best tide only the best tide for your beach.
 

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DD spoke to adding water to make it high enough for fish to feed. Here is the flip side, sometimes low tide drops the water level enough to be able to let you reach the fish. Might mean you can wade out to a bar to fish, might mean you finaly reach the deep water with your best cast. There is no universal best tide only the best tide for your beach.
Also said that a dropping tide will create outsucks where the outside portions of the bars could have fish...

I agree no tide is universal.. Matter of fact have caught many more drum on outgoing than incoming,out of a boat in the shoals...
 

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When I scout the beach I ALWAYS look for places I can fish at low tide. I like to fish wide bars and flats with narrow sloughs that have an entry, exit and/or a cut running out to open water. Fish will feed on the bar, on the edges of the bar and anywhere current and wave action works to their favor. Many times the fish will just move to the outside of the cut as the tide retreats. The key is to adjust accordingly as the fish do.

Low tide has many times been my preferred period when fishing at the ends of Portsmouth Island. Low tide exposes the outer bars and cuts and many times makes them "available" to reach even without having to wade.
 

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My tides...

When fishing tides in the surf I like a couple of different things. When the tide is coming in, I like to fish the inside edges of the bar, sloughs, and flats now covered with enough water for fish to feed. As it turns to go out, the fish tend to back out first, and "hide out" on the backside of the bar in places where they can ambush bait as it is pulled back out of the shallows.

This method has worked for me with everything except for trout, in which the only tide I have ever caught trout on, being creeks, rivers, or on the beach, has been a falling tide. As soon a the tide turns, I just pack it up and start fishing for something for something else now. Of course, when you're limited to fishing by foot, a lot of the areas (I'm guessing) that they move to when the tide turns, is now inaccessable by foot. :mad:
 
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