Gulf Tides Question

Heading to the panhandle for the first time ever - will be at Destin week of 4/4 and getting really excited the closer we are to leaving! I've stayed in the vero beach area several springs and have had some success from my kayak in the Indian River, along with good action in the surf and some memorable trips to Sebastian's Inlet, but the fishery around Destin sounds tough to beat! (And it sure looks like we picked a good time to come!). Thanks to everyone who posts on this board -- lots of great info here to help direct my efforts!!

My question may seem strange, but I'm completely new to the idea of a single tide change per day like you guys see in the gulf. We generally stay on the east coast (including trips to the outer banks and, in particular, Ocracoke every fall) and Vero, as I noted above. But being new to the gulf, I'm curious: does the bite fall off for a LONGER stretch around slack tide because the tide cycle is so long? I usually take my cue from the fish, but as I'm planning the week I'm just wondering how wide a berth to give to the tide change? Do you plan a dead zone a whole hour on either side? More? Or is there less impact in the gulf altogether?

Thanks for any insight! Can't wait to be there...just three weeks to go!!

Replies

  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    Not the expert by far but yeah the dead time is usually longer since there is a big time difference between high/low.

    However I fish when I can and usually can find inshore fish. You might have to switch from fishing a flat or tidal creek to a channel, pass or bridge but fish will still be there.

    I think due to our weird tides fish will feed every 3 hours or so. Sometimes it might just be for a short period but think they feed shorter but in more frequency here.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • VerofanVerofan Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks, Swamprat. That kind of confirms what I was thinking. And I'm with you -- fish when you can and hope for the best!

    Interesting on the 3 hr cycle thing. And short feeding periods. That may help give me some perspective when the bite seems to disappear all a sudden. (And hope that it might come back as quick!)

    Talking flats, you mean on the bay? For specks? I've been getting the impression that they will be on the move and looking for gator trout on flats and grass beds may be a little premature for early April? Do I have that right? Moving to bridges sounds about right tho...even switching to target sheepies would maybe make sense?

    I'm reading everything on this board that i can find while I wait for the calendar to flip to April -- probably in information overload at this point already!
  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    You should be good for trout early April. Water warms up quick. Right now it is 64, 67 is the magic number both inshore and off. Sheepies might be sporadic but always big bull reds cruising a cut or pass just bout all year as well as a shark or two. Half a crab off the bottom is a good bet.

    Destin Pass area is a madhouse, busy right now. You can go a few miles West and fish Brooks Bridge. You can launch at a park before the bridge, hang a right at Santa Rosa St. You have flats and channel.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • VerofanVerofan Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the additional info! Sorry I was so slow to respond but I've been traveling for work and just got jammed up for a few days. I Found a link to water temperature readings from a buoy at Pensacola on weather underground and it seems the water temps have climbed steadily this week and last! The idea of gunning for trout from the yak along those flats is getting me more than a little excited for the trip! And I'll have my son with me from the tandem so I'm hoping he can get into one as well!

    I've also heard flatties could be migrating in around the inlets this time of year? Overlooked in the spring more often than not, bitaybe worth bouncing a gulp shrimp along the bottom a but perhaps??

    Thanks again for all the tips!
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Posts: 271 Deckhand
    Verofan,

    Caught a box full of big sheephead early last Friday and decided to go after flounder and trout. Went to three or four different often very productive spots and not only didn't even get a bite, didn't even see any type of fish activity. Based on last Friday I would say the flats haven't livened up yet and the flounder aren't in their usual 4 to 8 foot springtime zones. My son called me last night and said the Spanish were all over the bay yesterday so maybe things are starting to look up all over.

    FLCoyote
  • SCaveNJSCaveNJ Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    Verofan - thanks for posting this topic. Very timely. I am headed to the coast of Mississippi next week and was looking at tide charts today to plan my kayak fishing. I noticed the one-a-day tides and was scratching my head. I've never seen that before and I thought maybe it was a bug in my tide app. But then I came across this post and now I understand. Like you, I'm usually fishing on the Atlantic side of the world, so this tide schedule had me puzzled.

    Thanks & good luck on your trip!
  • VerofanVerofan Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the report, FLCoyote! I would be thrilled to get on sheepshead or Spanish while we are in town! And I have to hope the pompano bite will be on from the beach? With just two weeks (or less) to go until the trip, I'll be watching the reports closely. Like you said, maybe things will start to liven up even more! Certainly seems like the warming waters are in my favor. Hoping we catch it just right but pretty sure we'll at least catch something when we come!!

    ScaveNJ I posted this for the exact same reasons! I actually checked three tide sites before I started to put it together. Assumed I had it wrong! Hope your trip goes well. The week we are going seems to set up well with favorable tides every morning, so I'm full of hope!
  • VerofanVerofan Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    FLCoyote - one quick follow up. I would normally gun for sheepies around bridges and pilings but I also understand the jetty can be productive. We may rent a boat one or two days but if I'm in a kayak, where do you recommend (no honey holes, just in general)? Brooks Bridge is where Swamprat pointed me...and I like the idea of being near flats if the trout have started comin in...?

    On the flattie front I'm guessing anywhere along slopes and drop offs near the inlet are worth a shot as they should be moving into the bay with the warming water...sound close to in target?
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