Even though the Carolinas are hundreds of miles from the sunny tropics of South Florida, temperatures soar over the peak summer months, with daytime temperatures in the 90s almost every day. Anglers looking to fish during the best conditions should look at tide charts and be ready to take advantage of rising water if they want to bust a limit of inshore targets.
Thanks to the moon’s gravitational effects, the world’s coastal regions are shaped by tides, periods of high and low water. A typical tide can bring 4 feet of change, but periods of high gravitational pull after a new or full moon can expand the range to more than 6 feet — a dramatic effect in many ways.
For starters, the change in water depth will eliminate or open up available habitat in coastal bays and estuaries. But the greatest effect over the summer has little to do with water depth. Inshore fish —redfish, speckled trout and flounder —respond to a change in the water’s physical properties during different phases of the tide.
Guide Jot Owens of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., is on the water at all phases of the tide and every water condition, and he’s paid to find fish for his clients — even on a rising tide that might send many anglers back to the boat ramp.
“I can’t plan my trips around the tides especially when I have clients on the schedule to be here every day,” he said. (910-233-4139) “Fortunately, I can catch fish on any tide. The tide affects my locations I fish and sometimes the species I target.”
“Water temperatures in the estuaries can easily reach 85 degrees in the summer, and fish become lethargic,” said Owens (910-233-4139). “But in the hottest parts of the summer, the ocean is always cooler than the inshore water, and a rising