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What is Slack Tide? and Whats your favorite tide to fish?

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  • SpotshotSpotshot Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Slack tide is between high to low, and low to high where the water sits still.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    Spotshot got it right: It is the moment of no tidal flow. It occurs at the time of "High" and "Low" tides you'll see listed in newspapers, online, etc.
  • NOTyourSPOTNOTyourSPOT Posts: 232 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Spotshot got it right: It is the moment of no tidal flow. It occurs at the time of "High" and "Low" tides you'll see listed in newspapers, online, etc.

    But Spotshot said it's between the tides, and you said it's at "low" and "high"? Who's right? Both?
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    Both -- we are saying the same thing....

    Tide coming in.....slack high tide....tide going out....slack low tide.... repeat

    Make sense?
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Peak and trough, dude.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • NOTyourSPOTNOTyourSPOT Posts: 232 Officer
    I'm a chick, dude.
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 946 Officer
    Those guys explained slack tide. My favorite tide to fish depends on the fish I am fishing for and the spot I am fishing.

    Name a fish and I will tell you my favorite tides for each
  • tankardtankard Posts: 7,031 Admiral
    No matter what, slack tide is definitely NOT my favorite time to fish.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,962 Captain
    I'm a chick, dude.
    Who cares. Learn the tides.

    Fish eat in all situations save major weather exceptions. Find where and how they want to eat at each tide and they'll all soon become the best. Now you will probably find a style that suits you which will lead to that tide/location as the "best". I have friends who will kill it on incoming and cant catch fish outgoing and have some friends who love an outgoing tide. It'll take some experience. Also figure out if your target is an ambush predator or a forager of sorts.
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 946 Officer
    No matter what, slack tide is definitely NOT my favorite time to fish.

    I beg to differ. Grouper and snapper in tampa bay I like a slack tide, or very close to it.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,678 Captain
    While the term does mean when the current stops, slack tide does not necessarily occur at either high or low tide. The time of slack water depends on your specific area.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,010 AG
    While the term does mean when the current stops, slack tide does not necessarily occur at either high or low tide. The time of slack water depends on your specific area.

    Huh?

    If the tide is not moving, how can it not be at the time of a high or low tide (in the area you're in)?

    Unless you're speaking to the differences between high and low tide times at specific locations different from those you're fishing at (for instance, high or low tide for St. Pete Pier and you're fishing somewhere else) -- color me confused....

    The center point of slack water defines high and low tide, doesn't it?

    [edited to add, apparently it does not. See description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack_water -- I learned something today, so thanks! ]

    Misconceptions

    Slack water is a much misused term, often used to describe a period of equilibrium between two opposing streams when the water is anything but slack, but highly stressed. Although there may be no flow in either direction there may be many eddies, and since this so-called slack water occurs before high water while the tide is still rising, the tide may continue to rise even after the direction of the stream has reversed. Conversely, since it occurs after low water while the tide is rising, the tide may also continue to rise during this so-called low water slack period. Such conditions typically occur at river mouths, or in straits open at both ends where their entrances have markedly different physical characteristics. Examples include The Rip between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale at the entrance to Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia; the Menai Strait between Anglesey and Wales; or the Strait of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.


    At first glance, this seems quite counter-intuitive, but very interesting nonetheless....
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    If you have a boat, go to areas where the water's moving and fish places where the current flow is diverted by points of land, structure on bottom, dropoffs, etc. I like to fish during a falling tide where the water flushes food tidbits out of the marsh.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,962 Captain
    While the term does mean when the current stops, slack tide does not necessarily occur at either high or low tide. The time of slack water depends on your specific area.
    Just like the time of high and low tide will depend on your area. Meaning slack will be at high and low tide. There is "slack" time between the tidal movements. No?
  • VTXFRENZYVTXFRENZY Posts: 155 Deckhand
    Wow guys its not that difficult. Lol Slack is simply between high and low. Water comes in, it stops (slack) it goes back out, it stops (slack), it comes back in etc. As was said everyone is different. I'm not that picky as long as tide is moving and the sun and moon are right. If you search the internet you can find fishing forecast websites. They will "basically" tell you when the best times to fish are.
  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Huh?

    If the tide is not moving, how can it not be at the time of a high or low tide (in the area you're in)?

    Unless you're speaking to the differences between high and low tide times at specific locations different from those you're fishing at (for instance, high or low tide for St. Pete Pier and you're fishing somewhere else) -- color me confused....

    The center point of slack water defines high and low tide, doesn't it?

    [edited to add, apparently it does not. See description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack_water -- I learned something today, so thanks! ]

    Misconceptions

    Slack water is a much misused term, often used to describe a period of equilibrium between two opposing streams when the water is anything but slack, but highly stressed. Although there may be no flow in either direction there may be many eddies, and since this so-called slack water occurs before high water while the tide is still rising, the tide may continue to rise even after the direction of the stream has reversed. Conversely, since it occurs after low water while the tide is rising, the tide may also continue to rise during this so-called low water slack period. Such conditions typically occur at river mouths, or in straits open at both ends where their entrances have markedly different physical characteristics. Examples include The Rip between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale at the entrance to Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia; the Menai Strait between Anglesey and Wales; or the Strait of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.


    At first glance, this seems quite counter-intuitive, but very interesting nonetheless....
    I was just reading that as well.
    Very interesting.
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss


    https://captainsforcleanwater.org
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    While the term does mean when the current stops, slack tide does not necessarily occur at either high or low tide. The time of slack water depends on your specific area.

    Doc I think has the right idea.....the rest of you are a little off.

    YES...slack tide means no current movement.....always.

    WHEN it occurs, (like Doc said) depends on where you are, but more importantly, the moon phase.

    You have to remember.....TIDES ARE PUBLISHED FOR NAVIGATION PURPOSES....NOT FOR FISHING...even though we can and do use them for fishing. I will give y'all some examples from an area that I know better than most people; the Lower Florida Keys.

    SLACK WATER begins shortly after High Tide, no matter the moon phase. This means that the tide reaches its maximum height above the mean...and stays there until slack water, at which point, the current changes, and the tide starts into the outgoing mode. BUT DID YOU KNOW....THAT the tide will actually start to fall, while the current is still in the INCOMING MODE? Just for a minute or two, but this is true. It gets much more complicated where OUTGOING tides are concerned:

    FULL and NEW MOONS: Tides are usually higher, so the period for the incoming tide is longer. HIGH TIDE occurs, and slack water is soon thereafter. The tide goes out and becomes low at a certain point, and STAYS LOW while the current is still outgoing. At these moon phases the time of outgoing current until slack water is relatively short, depending on the area...from 5 mins. to about 20 mins. after the published low. Here's where it gets interesting:

    As the moon travels from FULL or NEW to the respective quarters, the time of incoming tide shortens and the time of outgoing tide lengthens....about 20-45 minutes or so. BUT...(at the quarter moons) the OUTGOING CURRENT can continue for up to 2 hrs. and 40 mins. AFTER published low water. In other words, the water is as low as it will get, but the current maintains the outgoing mode for that amount of time after the published lowest water. AND....at the bottom of these tides, the water will again begin to rise, several minutes before the current actually goes SLACK and then changes. Why, I do not know.

    I know all this, because decades ago, Teall's Tides actually published the times of slack water in their tide charts. I was one of a few people who studied this and learned not to go to a certain flat at the time of (say) low tide, because we as fishermen usually fish a given current direction and I knew that the current would not change (and the water begin to rise) for 10 mins....an hour....2 hours...AFTER the published low water, depending on the moon phase.

    I usually kept my annual Teall's Tide book with my booking/log book for that year and I still have all my log books. However, I checked and unfortunately I do not have any tide charts from 34-36 years ago, the ones that had the slack water times listed. Otherwise I would scan a page and post it here. It would be of the greatest value, especially for people who fish in the Lower Keys. But the principle is the same, no matter where you are, and the slack water differences stay mostly the same, year after year, for any given day of the moon phase.

    If anyone can do a search and somehow find some slack water charts, for God's sake, please post the link here. I have tried in the past, to no avail. Maybe something has changed since then.
    .......Rick
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman St. PetePosts: 946 Officer
    A seemingly simply question made so complex that everyone is confused.

    Here is my definition of slack tide: when there is no tidal movement
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,962 Captain
    A seemingly simply question made so complex that everyone is confused.

    Here is my definition of slack tide: when there is no tidal movement
    Bingo
  • aquaholikaquaholik Posts: 332 Deckhand
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Huh?

    If the tide is not moving, how can it not be at the time of a high or low tide (in the area you're in)?

    Unless you're speaking to the differences between high and low tide times at specific locations different from those you're fishing at (for instance, high or low tide for St. Pete Pier and you're fishing somewhere else) -- color me confused....

    The center point of slack water defines high and low tide, doesn't it?

    [edited to add, apparently it does not. See description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slack_water -- I learned something today, so thanks! ]

    Misconceptions

    Slack water is a much misused term, often used to describe a period of equilibrium between two opposing streams when the water is anything but slack, but highly stressed. Although there may be no flow in either direction there may be many eddies, and since this so-called slack water occurs before high water while the tide is still rising, the tide may continue to rise even after the direction of the stream has reversed. Conversely, since it occurs after low water while the tide is rising, the tide may also continue to rise during this so-called low water slack period. Such conditions typically occur at river mouths, or in straits open at both ends where their entrances have markedly different physical characteristics. Examples include The Rip between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale at the entrance to Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia; the Menai Strait between Anglesey and Wales; or the Strait of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.


    At first glance, this seems quite counter-intuitive, but very interesting nonetheless....


    Wow, Mike, spending all that time under the bridges of Tampa Bay, you would be the last person I thought that equates high tide and low tide to slack tide. That is just not true for Tampa bay and most estuaries and inlets. That's why if I want precise slack tide, I do not look at the "tide" chart. I check the "current" chart. When was the last time the water stop moving under the Gandy bridge(or the Skyway bridge) at the time of high tide or low tide? It still moves in or goes out 10-60 minutes depending on the moon phase after the high tide and low tide. Counter intuitive but you got to remember that the water level can be dropping or steadying even when the current continues to move inside. That's because at the mouth of the bay, the current there is moving out. And this is assuming calm wind.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,017 Moderator
    The reason that everyone is being confused is that Tide is the VERTICAL movement of water. Current is the horizontal movement. So, the current can stop, but the water level can still rise or get lower. Most people equate slack tide as the period when the current changes direction from incoming to outgoing or vice versa. And, for the most part, that is not a good time to fish. Most fish are lazy and want their food to come to them and the current is what rotates the table with the food on it, so fish moving water. There are exceptions as pointed out by stpetebaitman. Grouper and snapper in Tampa Bay prefer a slack CURRENT
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    LOL.... slack tide just like the full moon doesn't mean @$#... I have caught and known folks who have caught fish in the worst type of
    tides... Psssss "FISH" when YOU CAN.... trust me if you start throwing in tides/moon and all of that other BS YOU will never fish...
    Now I'm not saying that certain tides are better... I'm just saying if you have the time to go fish.... DO IT!!! because if you learn how to
    read the water.. in the long run it will help you out..... In fact I love going out at super low tides... this way I can see everything around
    me..... again the bottom line is "Fish when you Can" and let everything else sort itself out.... because if you become one of those person
    that said.... the "Tide/weather" suck and that's why you didn't catch fish..... than why even bother going out?? excuses are for the people
    that don't have the heart to go out in Any condition/tide and fish.....
    just saying... :blowkiss
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • knotbobknotbob Posts: 44 Deckhand
    Slack tide is when you have slack time to repair your terminal tackle and get ready for the water to start moving again. This is at the end of either high or low tide. If you are anchored your anchor line will be slack too.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Slack tide is when you eat a sandwich and have a beer because the fish ain't bitin.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,931 AG
    I'm a chick, dude.

    A bikini pic will prove this......let's see it.:wink
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 8,019 Admiral
    I'm a chick too....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Pics or it's a lie.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
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