Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 2 SPRING 2016 - Page 13

Marshin’ Reds Introduction to (Continued from page 6.) Wells Daily Fishing Forecast Tidal Currents are the horizontal movement of tide waters. This horizontal movement is the most vital factor in marine life. Because currents control the movement of fish food, they are the only advance predictable factor in the movement of our gamefish. All the other minor factors which effect the movement of fish can only be determined on a day-to-day basis. It can be determined when and where the most fish movement will occur on any given day. You can decide whether to fish the deeper reefs, the close to shore feeding areas or the passes from the Gulf. The “why” it works is known to thousands of fishermen who have depended on the Fishing Forecast for 50 years. This explanation is mostly for new (to the Forecast) fishermen but regular users can benefit by reviewing information. It is essential to understand that fish and their food start moving IN and OUT as soon as a tidal current has gained enough horizontal speed to force them in the direction of its flow. The time required for a tidal current to build up to a horizontal speed of at least three tenths of a knot (forcing speed) can be from minutes to several hours. For this reason times given in the column, “Starts”, can never be correlated to the time of High Tide or Low Tide as given in sections of this book. The Forecast, therefore, starts with the time when a tidal current has reached necessary speed or Forcing Power to start a movement in the direction indicated, either IN or OUT. The second time figure represents the end of the Forcing Power as the current slows down to slack water time. Analyzing the two time figures, we start with the first column, the time when movement starts. This time figure compared with the last time on the previous line tells you the length of time since the current moved the fish. If the previous current moved IN, then the fish will still be IN until after starting time on this line. If they were moved OUT on the previous current, then they won’t start IN until after this first time figure. The starting time represents the time when a tidal current has gained speed and force to start movement in the direction indicated. This time figure represents the beginning of a period when you do not have to hunt for your fish. By just being stationed on a known and proven reef or channel leading to or from shallow water, the tidal current will bring the fish to you. (See no. 3 - next column.) These periods of movement will generally provide the best and fastest action of the day because the schools of fish will be concentrated and will always be feeding on their moving and exposed food. Because the best fishing usually occurs each day following the time shown in this starting column, the variations involved are worth studying. First, a study of flooding or incoming currents shows that the IN movement of fish will be slower and more gradual than the OUT movement on an ebbing current. Fishing will be slower with fairly long intervals between schools of fish feeding their way into H