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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been meaning to ask this question for years but can someone give a quick "Cliff Notes" version of which side of the tide is best to fish and why? Does fishing location of fish specie matter or is just a general rule when fishing the Bay? Thanks!
 

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In many cases like fishing the CBBT it is more about currents than the tide. Different fish have preferences and it can vary by location. If fishing inshore inlets, the falling tide can be best as the baitfish are being pushed out of the safer shallows into the channel where the predators are hiding.

If fishing the bay, use an app like http://fishcurrents.com or visit the NOAA site. Tide predictions are meaningless in the open bay as the current and tide are not aligned by several hours.
 

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The other post is right on. I would add that slack tide at the CBBT is the best time for Tautog against the pilings. I've also caught spadefish and trigger fish on the slack tide. As for the other fish, you need moving water, biecause it sweeps bait and causes fish to bite. In the Lynnhaven, I prefer a dropping tide, because bait is swept off the flats, and the big fish wait below in the drop offs.
 

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Cliffs notes. Short cuts. The fun in fishing is learning by spending time on the water. There is no substitute. You have to comprehend that you live on the land, you don't live in the sea-you just visit it for a while. Conditions that hold fish are never forever, they are constantly changing. Great fishermen all possess the ability to understand this and to constantly adjust their methods and techniques accordingly. It is this abiding mystery of the sea that withholds knowledge from most of us-and it is this very knowledge that will always separate the men from the boys on the water.
 

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I've been meaning to ask this question for years but can someone give a quick "Cliff Notes" version of which side of the tide is best to fish and why? Does fishing location of fish specie matter or is just a general rule when fishing the Bay? Thanks!
for 19.99 I will send tide cliff notes ....subject to reader error but very informative for cheat sheet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
South Paw, I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, I don't have the time at the moment. Having young kids in the mix, And trying to learn the Bay with a job and limited time, I was looking for simple opinions of the ebb and flow. I'm heading out this Friday and thank those that responded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To follow up on my last email....I'm only looking for opinions on ebb and flow and fishing conditions. I've had plenty of success in the Bay in the 8 years I've been here, not looking for "cheat sheets," just thoughts and opinions.
 

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Several helpful comments so far.
I'd add that predatory inshore species like current. They will position themselves to get a current break, whether it is an eddy, bridge piling, drop off or point.
Inlets provide a pinch point and ambush opportunities for fish to set up and feed.
General rule, ebb carries out warmer stained water and flood brings in cooler clearer water. Depending on mean water temps and weather conditions, both tide cycles have advantages. The key is knowing the glass is half full based on the tide and location when you're on the water.
 

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In many cases like fishing the CBBT it is more about currents than the tide. Different fish have preferences and it can vary by location. If fishing inshore inlets, the falling tide can be best as the baitfish are being pushed out of the safer shallows into the channel where the predators are hiding.

If fishing the bay, use an app like http://fishcurrents.com or visit the NOAA site. Tide predictions are meaningless in the open bay as the current and tide are not aligned by several hours.
I agree with Country Water that current seems more important than tides, but I think you need to add structure and bait to the forumla. Even flounder will find small depressions in the bottom and they will stack up on top of each another. Oyster beds, jetties, uneven bottom, bridge supports, islands, wrecks, tunnel tubes, grass beds drop offs, old piers, etc. often hold bait and predators waiting to ambush something. If there is no current try vertical jigging or live bait while holding the boat a still as possible, consider trolling while looking for bait or move to an area where the current is still moving. IE sometimes at the CBBT one area has no current, but it may be moving a couple of miles away. Join a local fishing club if you want to accelerate your learning curve a lot.

Many of the current apps are very helpful, but some are better than others.

Good Luck & Tight Lines,
Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 

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I generally go with fishing being best at 45 min. prior to and 45 min. following a slack water tide. Slack tide (currents) do not seem to produce much other than oyster toads.
 

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the right tide to fish

Take my advice sir: the right tide to fish is the tide that happens to be there when you can get out on the water to fish. If you wait for the "right conditions", involving your work, family, weather, time, effort, repairs, buddies schedules, seasons, wind, runoff, money, boat repairs, moon phase, etc etc etc, you will NEVER go!

Trying to find the right everything will supply you with an inexhaustible list of reasons to stay home. I suggest you ignore all of this and go when you can and as often as you can, no matter the specifics. That advice was given to me decades ago and it was as true then as it is now. happy fishing
 

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also some fish want clear water (flounder) and others don't care as long as it's running hard (stripers) so for clear water you want incoming or just beginning to fall.
Then there is the depth thing which is largely driven by the temps; flounder are in the shallows in the spring, deep in the summer.

Just as many like a falling tide sweeping bait off the shallows and out of creeks (hunt the drop-offs and mouths) on a rising tide they may chase bait up onto shallows or into marsh grass, or get them as bait is swept up the banks.

All in all, you want an edge (this is true for hunting as well). In addition to the edge made by channels, bars and structures, there's the edge of a tide line, light line and shadows, day/night, current sweeps. The worst place is a big flat empty area (compare Kansas to Virginia).
 
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