Tips From The Bridge – Tides versus Currents

By: Parimal M. Rohit

Question: How important is it to understand tidal currents when fishing and what is the best way to know the condition of the tides where you are fishing?

Angler Brandon Hayward, editor and publisher of The Bight:

“There’s a difference between tide and currents. Some places (bays, harbors, estuaries) you know which way the water is going to moving based on the tide. But in open ocean, nobody knows exactly which way the current is going to be running — as in uphill, downhill, out-to-sea, in towards the beach, a combination of any of the two — based on the tide. 

“Tides play a huge role in certain types of fishing, especially for the white seabass that my charter business is built around. In a nutshell, certain spots fish best on certain tides. Usually. There are spots I know bite best on the high tide, with downhill current, while there are a few that want a low tide and uphill current. 

“The best bet is to keep detailed notes. I used to keep notes on a TideLogs calendar. Fishing is like a puzzle which always has a few missing pieces. If you can put most of it together, it’s possible to get an idea of the total picture.” 

Brandon Hayward is the editor/publisher of The Bight; and specializes in charters for coastal white seabass; however, his guide service ( also fishes for everything that swims in the Southern California Bight. His current focuses are lobster at Catalina Island, and big yellowtail along the coast.

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