Don’t get me wrong you will still catch fish outside tide changes but the most productive times are leading up to or just after the tide change, an hour before and an hour after ideal.
For example on the weekend we went out fishing on Saturday, it was a slow start after some Friday night drinks and what is known in game fishing terms as “gentleman hours”.
We hit the water and headed straight to a local reef. First cast for Scott and he was hooked up, a great pan sized snapper on the 4lb bream gear. First cast for me, it too was a pan-sized snapper. We played it out like this tit for tat for the next 5 casts. We had such a ball and within the first hour had caught 6 snapper, 6 bream, approximately 4 trevally and some odds and sods such as wrasse, goat fish, squid and got done over by a small kingfish.
From there we moved spots and the wind changed so we altered our drift and the fishing slowed up. We were still catching fish here and there but nothing like we had in that first hour.
We had only fished for a total of 3 hours and ended up with 8 snapper, 6 bream, 8 trevally, 2 wrasse, a wirra and a goatfish.
It fixed the fishing bug for the weekend and led to a great feed for family and friends.
It wasn’t until we got back in, that I double checked the tide chart and realized that it was the high tide change at 9.14am. Ah ha! That is why the fishing was hot to trot to start with and then progressively slowed throughout the morning.
To add to this most people will target or successfully catch jewfish around the tide change. We have done this ourselves in local river systems. My biggest bream have also come around a tide change and of course up North in Darwin it is all about the tides.
So as winter approaches and you don’t want to fish all day in the cold, concentrate on targeting around the tide change. The catch rate will increase and you will be amazed at what you catch.
The challenge for you next time you head out is to take a note of what times you catch your fish and then consult your tide chart. Also make allowance if fishing up river for the delay in tide depending on where you are fishing and taking into account the delay in the tides as mentioned on the tide chart.
I would love to hear your feedback if you aren’t already targeting tides, what difference it makes to your catch rate by changing your time of fishing to target the tides.