Changing Tides

DSC_5321Well I must sound like a broken record but for me, fishing a tide change is the key to a successful days fishing.

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.

8 responses to “Changing Tides

  1. Hey Vicki … Totally agree … In fact my local fishes better on the run out when fishing mangroves rock walls etc and in some places the run in gets things moving at the lower part of the system
    I’m finding fishing 4lb straight through a bit frustrating … Line twist … Knots breaking (losing lures,!) how often do u have to check knots?
    Any clues … Articles to read … Or persevere
    Cheers Steve

    • Steve, fishing fluoro straight through requires more line management. At a minimum at the end of each session, you need to check the last meter or 2 of your line, and remove if damaged.

      I check my line after every fish, and if I get snagged. When I fish pontoons and pylons, and I tune my lures to swim into the structure, I find myself needing to check more regularly. I think you just get into a groove with it the more you use the straight through system.

      What line are you using? I find some brands more brittle and less abrasion resistant than others. Some brands deteriorate quicker.


  2. Cheers Greg .. I’m more concerned re line twist .. Not sure if I’m putting enough tension on the line retrieving… But I seem to be getting more loops and twist after half a session … The line ATM is fighting fluro .. Trying to track down some Diawa Brave that you guys have talked about .. I’ ll persevere as there are some situations where it is so good having fluro straight through .. I’m about to fish Tumut for trout so I’m going to use a 4lb mono/FC straight through

    • Steve, I have used a few different reels in my past and some are better than others when it comes to 4lb fluorocarbon and line twist. As Greg as suggested it is something that takes a little more line management.

      • Hmmm … I just bought Diawa Presso 1500 to be a dedicated trout stream (4lb) reel …do you have other suggestions ?

    • Steve if you can’t get Brave, try Sunline FC sniper. I have used this for a few years now and find it to be pretty good. Perhaps it has got to do with the memory of the line you are using?

      I don’t seem to have an issue with line twist. Managing your line is important. I try to keep tension on the line particularly for those first couple of wraps onto the spool after casting. Beyond that, maybe try a couple of different brands of line

    • Oh, and Steve I have a couple of old 1500 Luvias reels and run them as dedicated 3lb fluoro reels. Haven’t had an issue with line twist on them, using both brands discussed. Good luck!

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