Every year I offer this “Tides” report so you might better understand the effects that the size of the tide, or current flow, has upon fishing effort. I will list below, the extremes of both the smallest and the largest tides in the upcoming fishing season. Anything smaller than 9 feet, I would consider a “small” tide, and anything larger than 11 feet, I consider a “large” tide. When judging and comparing the sizes, I take into account the combined heights of both the High and the Low. Due to the regular cycling of the moon, the sun and earth’s orbit cycles, the duration as well as the sizes of a tide can be predicted.
To do so, one needs to have in hand, a tide chart that shows the height of each tide, both the high and low, in feet and tenths of feet. I get mine from Cape Fisherman’s Supply in Chatham. Tide does vary greatly from one location to another, so it is important to use time estimates from the same location and then apply any variance to where you would be fishing. The tide charts that I use, figure their time predictions at Boston Light. I then apply any added or subtracted time variances, either before or after the times they list.
I find the time of slack water 1 mile outside the Chatham cut to be roughly 2 hours before Boston Light, give or take any variances applied due to the size of a tide. An comparison, might be the time of slack water inside Pleasant Bay, at the very far end of the bay, say at Meeting House Pond, to be a full 4 hours after Boston Light, because of the distance that water has to go, either in or out. In addition to distance, the size of a tide, has a bearing on velocity, or flow, as well as the duration of how long it takes to turn over, or change direction from in to out etc. We call that “the slack” or “slack water.” A large tide, has a shorter slack period than that a small tide. The reason is that there is lots of “impatient” volume waiting behind the slack, wanting to change direction and go the other way. The smaller tides have less volume and velocity slows considerably as it approaches the timing of the slack, giving the appearance of a longer slack period.
I’ve always felt that the smaller tides are better for bottom fishing, (cod, pollock, flounders) wreck fishing, (sea bass, scup etc) bluefish and bluefin tuna fishing. Striped bass love a current flow, and I have had my best luck on these game fish when the tide was flowing. That said, fish eat when they are hungry, and I have caught bluefin tuna at maximum current during the middle of a tide, and stripers on the dead slack. This list is just a list of the very largest and smallest extremes of the tides for the 2019 season to help you plan and reserve ahead your fishing trips. Tides that are not listed here are just average tides not worthy of an”extreme” designation, and we will catch fish on those days as well.
June 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 July 14, 15, 16, 24, 25, 26, 27, August 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 September 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 24 October 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,
June 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 18, 19 July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 30, 31 August 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 29, 30, 31 September 1, 2, 3, 4, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, October 1, 2, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
I hope this helps. If you would like to reserve one of these dates, just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell at (508) 237-0399 to ask any questions you might have.
Thanks very much,
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”