Tidal Flow – Moon Phases

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Tides vary in height depending on the moon phase, peaking around the full and new moons.

In summer we have the big tides around the full moon during daylight hours however in winter, the big tides are around the new moon at night.

Regardless of what time of year it is, the tide height always peaks around the new and full moons.

These are important details you need to take into consideration when planning a fishing trip because it directly affects where you can fish; main channels and bar entrances become un-fishable on big tides because of the amount of water trying to get in or out of an estuary.

So by looking at the tide information when planning a fishing trip you can avoid these areas on the big tides or target them on the smaller tides.

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Unfortunately, it gets more complex than that.

Tidal flow, or the amount of current in a tidal estuary is the difference between the height of the high and low tide, not just the hight of the high tide.

For example if low tide was .5 of a metre and high tide was two metres, we have 1.5 metres of water moving through an estuary on that tide.

If low tide was 1 metre and high tide was still two metres we only have one metre of water moving through an estuary on that tide.

It is well worthwhile looking at the tidal data when planning to go fishing to help you decide what area suits the amount of tidal flow that day will have.

Another important consideration is the hight of the tide, not the tidal flow.

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The highest tide of the month, which often does not coincide with the strongest tidal flow, pushes water further up into mangroves, fish nurseries and shallow bait grounds that the rest of the monthly tides.

It allows predator species to move up over new ground and into areas that are not covered by water on smaller tides.

Even species that don’t move up into the shallows will sit at the funnel points, where juicy morsels, baitfish and other food are washed from the shallows into main stream areas.

Considering the tidal flow when planning a fishing trip and targeting the highest tide of the month, you are putting yourself in the right place at the right time increasing your chances of success.

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Dave

About Dave "Nugget" Downie

Dave ‘Nugget’ Downie was raised in the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and grew up fishing for everything from local trout on fly in the Snowy lakes through to land based game on the south coast.

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