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Thread: Neap Tide?

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    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
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    Default Neap Tide?

    Hello all, maybe someone can help me with this. I've booked a charter out of Seward in mid-June. They tell me that we are headed to Montague Island for halibut, but I just read the tide tables and they say something about this timeframe being a "neap" tide. I don't know what this meens but I gather this does not bode well for me. Am I just wasting my time on this charter? Thanks for your help.

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    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
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    Okay I guess the lack of a "neap" tide is my problem.

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMCKEE View Post
    Okay I guess the lack of a "neap" tide is my problem.
    I didn't know what it meant either, GOOGLE is Great!

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/neap+tide

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    There's a good explaination of neap tides here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neap_ti...ings_and_neaps

    Short version, neap tide is when there are least extreme between high and low tides. I have NO idea how this affects fishing.

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    Member oldakcop's Avatar
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    Default Neap Tide

    The Neap Tide is when the transition from high to low, low to high tide is at it least. Translation: Less water movement. This means the halibut are less active. Halibut feed on the dead fish carcasses and other food things the ocean moves around with the tide (as well as chasing some live prey as they get older/larger). The more water that moves through a channel, the more food that is moved from one feeding area to the next. Halibut are simply lying in wait for the food to be brought to within range of them. As food is transferred around the ocean floor by the water movement, the nerve line along their white side (the one in contact with the bottom) picks up the vibrations in the sand and they are attracted to that location, where they then use their sense of smell to zero in on it. If the food isn't being moved around vigorously enough, the halibut don't move around as much. Hence, less active fishing. Well, that's my theory anyway......

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    You're not wasting your time at all. The nice thing about a neap tide is that it is way easier to keep your bait on the bottom and you can fish with smaller weights. There are enough halibut out there that a little less water movement won't be a problem. Lots of folks intentionally plan their halibut fishing around the smaller tide. You'll be fine.

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    Default Good Conditions for Blackcod Fishing

    I don't think the trip to Montague will be negatively affected by small tides - if fact I would suspect the opposite would be true.

    Small (neap) tides equal the best time for deep drifting for blackcod. With the slowest currents of the tide cycle you are able to get your tackle down into the depths beside deep structure where nice-sized blackcod (and Rougheye and Short-raker rockfish) can be found. We are talking 1200 feet.

    Normal tide conditions on either side of these periods move your boat along fast enough to make it a challenge to keep your gear down where you will have the best chance of success. Of course - backtrolling works but it is really nice to be able to shut the engine off and just drift for a change.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    You're not wasting your time at all. The nice thing about a neap tide is that it is way easier to keep your bait on the bottom and you can fish with smaller weights. There are enough halibut out there that a little less water movement won't be a problem. Lots of folks intentionally plan their halibut fishing around the smaller tide. You'll be fine.
    Exactly my thoughts. Have a great trip!!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Ditto Brian. We actually look for neap tides to go fishing as you can fish longer and in much easier conditions. Fighting a tide moving like a river is no fun. Never failed to limit out during a neap, so I don't buy into the "halibut aren't active" notion. Why would a fish brain tell them not to eat when the current is less? Seems to me it would be an easier time to swim around and scavenge for stuff and all the dead stuff they eat would actually settle down as easy pickings instead of blowing by in a huge current.
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    I'd worry more about getting seasick than I would about catching fish due to the tide levels.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMCKEE View Post
    Hello all, maybe someone can help me with this. I've booked a charter out of Seward in mid-June. They tell me that we are headed to Montague Island for halibut, but I just read the tide tables and they say something about this timeframe being a "neap" tide. I don't know what this means but I gather this does not bode well for me. Am I just wasting my time on this charter? Thanks for your help.
    A lot of good information said here. If I were fishing Cook Inlet I would prefer the neap tide, but when fishing Montague Strait and where the passages dump into the Gulf, I prefer some current flowing. It creates what I refer to as the "toilet bowl effect". All the food gets flushed out of the Sound. Anybody else experience this?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    in my neck of the woods we've always called them "holdup tides" I'm gonna baffle the boys and call holdups "neaptides" now

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    As long as weather allows you out, you are never wasting your time with a good charter out of Seward. The Gulf of AK is much less susceptible to the big tides causing problems than is Cook Inlet. You'll be fine!

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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    As long as weather allows you out, you are never wasting your time with a good charter out of Seward. The Gulf of AK is much less susceptible to the big tides causing problems than is Cook Inlet. You'll be fine!
    there are plenty of days out off of Cape Clear and the south side Montague where you will be sailing 3 lbs. weights way behind the boat. To answer spoiled ones question, there are some spots around the island that are great on BIG minus tides and other that fish really good on floods. Just keep taking notes on the tide and when you fish them.
    Boatless

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    Member akdeweyj's Avatar
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    Exclamation Neap Tides

    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    in my neck of the woods we've always called them "holdup tides" I'm gonna baffle the boys and call holdups "neaptides" now
    We called them "holdover" tides in BB. Ditto on alot of previous comments - They are actually the best tides to halibut fish some areas of Cook Inlet....more fishing time....less weight to hold bottom....much easier to check bait or get rid of a skate....the two biggest halibut I've ever caught in CI were on neap tides with less than 8 feet of water moving.

    Spoiled one - have you tried fishing any of the passages draining out of PWS into the gulf by Montague? Same idea as yours but less water & competition but there is some strong currents coming out of them.

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    Member LItoAK's Avatar
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    IMO a neap tide is great! as said your bait stays on the bottom and the fish will hang around a lot longer than an extreme high where the current is ripping. You can use lighter jigs (I like the Kodiak Customs) and you can do a slow drift over your favorite spot rather than anchoring or repositioning.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdeweyj View Post
    Spoiled one - have you tried fishing any of the passages draining out of PWS into the gulf by Montague? Same idea as yours but less water & competition but there is some strong currents coming out of them.
    The short answer is yes...many times over many years.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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