Monday, March 3, 2014

A Good Tide Question... and I hope a Good Answer

The e-mailed question from Lisa:

Hi Scott,
Just read your blog post on Bonefish Tides.  We have fished an area in Abaco called Casuarina Point.  This will be our 4th year going and before we never paid attention to the tides, but now would like to research our time better.  This is a calm ocean area protected by a reef and very shallow water with lots of sandbars, no mangroves to speak of, but there is a canal that the fish can go into and get into the mangroves there.  Just wondering what your advice would be in terms of picking a two week vacation at Casuarina Point.  Here is the january 2015 Tide chart for that area. Thanks for any input you can provide.  I realize that the wind has a lot to do with it and it is certainly often windy there.

My response:

Hi Lisa,
Since tides run on 28 day cycles, any two week period you choose will include a spring tide (full or new moon… tides are higher) and a neap tide (the waxing/waning a.k.a. half moon periods… tides are lower).
So, in any two week period, you will have some good fishing as long as the weather cooperates. Having grown up fishing Abaco, I can tell you January can be up and down depending on water temps and wind. It is winter, even in the Bahamas!
I would fish both sides of the lows in any case (spring or neap). Optimum time periods are 1/10-18 and 1/24-31. These are neap tides with morning lows. Neap tides mean less water, less water means it's easier to find fish and the fish aren't in the mangroves (may not be relevant in your case). Morning lows means the lows will be 50-55 minutes later each day so you can plan to fish both sides of the lows during those periods. Fish where they come out on the falling tide and where they go in on the rising tide.
Bottom line is I would snorkel around the 5th (morning high on a spring tide... full moon Jan 5) and the 20th (morning high on a spring... tide new moon Jan 20) and fish hard around the 12th and the 26th.
Hope this helps,

...and Lisa's very kind e-mailed comment:

Hi Scott,
Wow, thank you so much for your insightful information!  I really appreciate your help.  I appreciate your guidance.

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