Understanding Tides

(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)
(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)

Talk to any saltwater old-timer who consistently brings in more fish than everyone else and you’ll find that they really understand how, where, and when to fish. The “when-to-fish” part of that old-timer’s equation depends almost completely on knowing the tides.

The tides are caused by the gravitational attraction of the earth’s waters by the moon and the sun. In the same way that iron filings are attracted to a magnet, the earth’s waters are attracted to the sun and the moon. The complicating factor is that the sun, moon and earth are constantly moving in relation to each other, so the tides are constantly changing.

The good news is that since the movement of the earth, moon and sun are highly predictable, tides are as well. Furthermore, since the movements of the earth, moon and sun only change slightly, from year to year, the annual changes in tides are very slight. That means, if you make the effort this year to understand the tides, you will be able to use that knowledge every year in the future. Learning a few tide terms will help to take the mystery out of any material you may read describing the tides.


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