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Is there a very general rule of thumb about the best time to fish from a beach?
And is it different for rock fishing?

There seem to be so many variables, for example :

Spring Tide/Neap Tide

Day/Night

Low water / High water

I would be very grateful for any advice.

Thanks
 

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whooo B I G subject may be worth starting a separate post for pysgotwr's local beach and rock mark(s)

and for any places that concau names.


In general
It is often similar on most beaches or most rough ground marks in an area
In my local area (Bristol Channel from Clevedon upwards) I have found that from half-an-hour until 2 hours after low tide and (to a lesser extent) over the top of the tide except for the hour or so the water is standing still at high tide is often good.

However this may be just because the flow in the middle of the flood or ebb is just too fast to fish effectively (though the fish are there and feeding....or at least travelling)

I have found that near-spring tides (about 3 or 4 tides before, or after the highest) seem to do better than the biggest Spring itself and Neap tides only seem to do well on those marks where there is a strong tidal current - e.g. Battery Point (too strong to fish well - no, more accurately, effectively - on a Spring)

Since the water is very muddy here, I believe the state of tide is much, much more important than daylight. It's an entirely different matter off West Wales (especially if fishing very close to the edge for Bass). Also it would be interesting to hear about marks on the Channel Isles (where the water is very clear, but there is also a big range to the tides)

If you can get out/get free to fish on the best tide & light times for your local mark it may make a big difference to how often (and how many) you catch. Local knowledge matters for that.
 

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Being in the midlands I have fished all over the place. I usually find that 1hr either side of high and low water is best but that often moves to 1hr after high and low water so I'm always prepared to fish longer than many. Higher/better catches tend to occur in the dark too.

John
 

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A few thoughts - sound a bit too simple - but takes a lifetime to put into practice - >
Fish eat !
So start to think what, where and when do they eat. Learn as much as you can about THEIR food.
Then go out and try to catch them . . . . It's called "angling" ........
Hint -
Their food is very sensitive to barametric pressure changes, so are they (rising or falling). Learn as much as you can about weather forecasting - and MATCH it to fishing successes.

KEEP A DIARY KEEP A DIARY KEEP A DIARY KEEP A DIARY
 

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I think the guy was after some hints sandpiper - doubt if anyone will give him a diary.

On that score I do keep note of tide heights against fish caught but only since I started mostly fishing in one place.

John
 

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One tip that I should have taken note of yesterday is that if, after a nice dry period, it absolutely p*sses it down for a few days, any beaches near major river-mouths can go off a bit. The drop in salinity due to all that fresh water running into the sea can force the fish to move off a bit.

I blanked at Borth yesterday. The estuary was the colour of Guinness and there was a telltale brown tint to the surf. Borth is close to the estuary - end of story!

Cheers - John
 

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A rule of thumb would cover all venues not particular individual marks.
Night is better than day.
Evening is better than afternoon, so too morning, but evening is best.
West, Southwest, South winds are good, the others not so.
Mid-range to near-spring tides are the most productive.
Change of tide, either flood to ebb, or vice versa, when it coincides with a change in light, especially evening to dusk, is very good, particularly for predatory species such as bass etc.
 

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With a rod and line I presume!
Yes, plaice are a bit of an exception as they do prefer the brightness of early afternoon and smallish tides.
However, as a 'rule of thumb' my previous statement holds.
These observations are made from 30 years of keeping records as to when I caught the most fish and the conditions of the different criteria. Moreover, this was not just for one location but from various venues round the British coast in both England and Scotland (never been to Wales)

Regarding change of tide / change of light, about 90 minutes either side of the change in tidal flow is the most productive time, a 3 hour period from about 19.30 to 22.30 during summer. It is nothing to do with a cloud passing overhead, but the natural fading of sunlight during the evening.
 

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Some very useful advise here. Highly appreciated.

With my short experience so far, 90 minutes either side of the tidal change is the best time to fish the river Thames. Also, more productive when the tidal change occurs late at night, around 10pm onwards.
 

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Hi

Novice here - on basis only fish on holidays so my experience may on this occasion be of value. somewhere like Pendeen sands where you can wade out 100 yds without getting knees wet I have no idea.

Normal beach because as a novice casting distance may not be so good incomming tide is good because U cast out - U move back letting line out as tide comes in and U are further out than the original cast.

Out going tide the reverse applies.

If the sun is out, you are on a beach & the view is not industrial who cares if you actually catch fish?

If I may relate an experience that confounds the experts - Saundersfoot harbour wall - stopped fishing when there was about 1ft of water at the base and threw my remaining mackerel over the wall. Next to me was a girl about 10 yrs with a kiddies rod. My neighbour on camp site told me later that 2 bass about 5lb were after the mackerel and the girl cast down and caught 1 of them. by rights she was fishing at the wrong time but she caught the best fish of the day from that mark!!!!!!

As a further humerous aside to above story - she was fishing alone no dad etc - on landing said 5lb bass her comment was "Oh another Mullet - thats all I have been catching this week" - neighbour put her right !
 

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i try to fish in darkness if i can for the majority of my fishing. i'll pick the best time of day/ night then choose a venue that will fish on the tide it will be at that time.

i will fish for macky, pollock, gars, mullet, and spinning in daylight.

it's all down to local knowledge about when a certain venue will fish best. it's down to experience and local knowledge i'm afraid.
 

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hello
i have started too keep basic small notes on locations, times and tides ,weather, sea state and catches .

this will prove too be useful and help you catch more fish.

i personally notice a drop in fish caught recently from fishing daylight hours...for me far more productive night fishing.

but as others have mentioned certain species ie Pollack : seem too feed better first or last light, so alot may depend on what species you are targeting,

good luck,

Andy.
 

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See what I meant by "whooo B I G subject may be worth starting a separate post for pysgotwr's local beach and rock mark(s)

and for any places that concau names." ? :)

I have noticed that my experience (in the upper Bristol Channel) clashes with advice given above:- I said the period of an hour over high or low water when there is no current was not good; several have said the change of tide is good.
Whether I'm totally mistaken or whether the experience I seemed to have is strictly local (to upper Bristol Channel on English side) I don't know.
But it could be that conditions to an area or an individual beach "overrule" the general rule of thumb principles ?
 
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