Help in understanding tide charts!

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Batemaster's Avatar
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    Help in understanding tide charts!

    I cant believe I still dont understand this :k but can someone explain how to read and understand these tide charts. What I mean is when would the best time to fish be? When would the current be moving the best, etc...? Take this for example:

    Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
    /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible

    Sa 11 High 5:19 AM 1.8 6:33 AM Set 2:47 AM 70
    11 Low 12:21 PM -0.1 8:12 PM Rise 4:08 PM
    11 High 6:52 PM 1.0
    11 Low 11:37 PM 0.3

    Which would be the incoming and the outgoing? I know, I'm a dummy!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tarpon Nole's Avatar
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    You have incoming water in the morning till the high at 5:19.

    Outgoing till 12:21.

    Incoming till the next high at 6:52

    Outgoing till 11:37

    the 1.8, -.01 etc are the variations from mean tide

    1.8 feet is the highest tide of the day, -.01 is the lowest.

    1.9ft of water is moving out in ~7 hours.

    then you have a little more than a foot coming back in over 7 hours

    only .7 ft is moving out in not quite 5 hours in the evening
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/3040559223_8aa2780e08.jpg

  3. #3
    Senior Member Batemaster's Avatar
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    Looking at those times. What would be the best time to fish? Probably one of these: Incoming till the next high at 6:52 or Outgoing till 11:37?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tarpon Nole's Avatar
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    depends on what I was trying to do. I like a hard incoming to follow reds up on a flat, hard outgoing for snook around structure.

    This time of year it gets hot in the afternoon, so I'd fish that morning outgoing.

    Those tides aren't the greatest as we are in between moons right now. The full is next week if I'm correct.

    most importantly, fish when you can. you'll still find a hungry fish on a slack tide
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/3040559223_8aa2780e08.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member Batemaster's Avatar
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    Understood! Thanks so much. So incoming is high tide and outgoing is low tide.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tarpon Nole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batemaster View Post
    Understood! Thanks so much. So incoming is high tide and outgoing is low tide.
    yea, incoming is low>high
    outgoing is high>low
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/3040559223_8aa2780e08.jpg

  7. #7
    Member VintageMabry's Avatar
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    Awesome knowledge. Thanks to the guys that still share some know how!!!!!

  8. #8
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    *on the money

  9. #9
    Senior Member Permit Rat's Avatar
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    I would just add that if you like to fish the flats at all, a knowledge of "slack water," is extremely useful. Teall's used to include this in their charts and I thank God I paid attention to that aspect while the feature was included.

    Tide charts are really made for navigational purposes only. It is helpful for boats with draft issues in certain areas, to know how high or low a tide will be and when that low/high water will occur.

    But depending on the moon phase, an outgoing current might persist for as much as 2 hours after "low" water. So don't necessarily go to a spot (that you want to fish during an incoming tide) at LOW tide. You might be waiting for a while and I have seen this happen to guides and fishermen in the Keys on occasions too numerous to mention. On the flats, current direction can be as important or more important than water depth, so that is another reason to know the basics of this facet of the tides.

    Times of slack water are no longer included in any tide charts that I know of, so you'll have to do some searching. Maybe someone here already has a site that they use and would be willing to post it.

  10. #10
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    If you have an I-Phone, download Ovi's ap called tide graph. The tide data is displayed on a graph. You can move the cursor throughout the day and it will show you the rate the water is rising or falling per hour. You will be able to target certain fish holds based on rate of water movement. Its pretty sweet. Hopefully someone who knows how to post up images could upload a screenshot of the tide you posted as an example.

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