sea fishing questions A reader recently asked “have heard the term up-tiding when reading articles in magazines and listening to anglers but what does it really”

The world of sea fishing has many facets. The common ones being, beach casting, spinning, wreck fishing and up-tiding. Most of these could be broken down into sub-categories, for example spinning could be dead baiting, plugging or gilling. Sea fishing has formed a huge collection of techniques each with it own name depending on where in the world you are fishing and how you are fishing.

The species being targeted, the skill you are perfecting, the platform you are using (shore/boat) and the environment you are targeting them in, all require you to use differing techniques. The term up-tiding is relevant to shallow water boat fishing (Generally 50 feet deep or less).

So what is up-tiding?

Well, its not rocket science and it’s really doing as it says, fishing up-tide of the anchored boat. But why bother? Well this can be answered in two ways.

  1. Firstly if you are fishing from a boat in shallow water the noise from the boat, often referred to as the foot print can effect the way fish feed and behave below it. The slapping of the tide against the hull, the sound of people moving around and mechanical actions will be reflected in the water and magnified. This noise will effect the fish. Have you ever been snorkelling near boats? You can here props and clunks from a long distance. They often only sound like clicks and ticks until the boat is above you, but they are very noticeable and draw your attention. A fish has amazing receptors that can detect the most subtle changes in it’s environment and this will cause them to change there behaviour. Course and Game anglers stalk their fish and use surprise and stealth as there main techniques, allowing the fish to be un-disturbed.
  2. A secondary reason and a valid one is that when you are fishing from a charter boat there are only so many places to fish from with out ending up with a huge nylon birds nest. By using up-tiding and down-tiding you can fish from the front/sides of the vessel as well as the stern, allowing more rods to fish from the boat with success.

Just because you are in the stern down tiding does not mean you have the short straw. You can use the tide to take your rig away from the boat and fishing working up tide, following the scent trails will find your bait first!!!

How do I up-tide?

This is a sort of hybrid between beach casting and boat fishing. You need to cast your gear up-tide at around 45 degrees minimum from the boat. The two factors determining the distance should be the depth of the water and the strength of the tide. Both requiring a longer cast. When you cast think about casting into the wind, the stronger the wind the more wellie you need to project your bait to the required location. The same goes for up-tiding, you need to cast longer than you require, allowing the tide to carry your rig back as it sinks.

Once your rig has hit the water allow line to spill form your reel. You need to achieve a large belly of line. This will let your rig to dig into the substrate allowing you to hold bottom and prevent your gear going down tide making a huge birds nest.

Up-tiding rods and reels

You can up-tide with almost anything as long as you are good at it!! The preferred gear is a stubby looking rod that is a semi casting rod rated to cast 4 – 8 ounces at least. Generally these rods are about 8 – 10 feet in length.

A reel that is matched to this will do. Consider heavy beach casting reels that help you to prevent over run with some sort of breaking system. Newbie’s will have to consider the wind and all the usual pit falls that come with beach casting and one of the larger beach casting reels should help you.

Remember as a point of safety that you need a shock leader and that should be 10lbs per ounce of casting weight. I know that there is not somebody further along the beach you are likely to kill but you could injury your boat mates. You also need to cast from out side the boat. I am not for one minute saying that you get out of the boat, but your gear should be outside of the boat when casting and make sure others are aware when you cast.

Rigs and baits for up-tiding

Grip leads are considered the norm. Ask your skippers advice as he / she will have the best knowledge about the substrate you are fishing over. Fixed wire leads provide more grip than breakaway wires and grip is what is required in this fishing scenario.

Any rig will do. The are no hard and fast rules. Consider your species and the bait presentation when sea fishing. Often rigs with more decoration and wider booms will attract fish but they will be greater effected by the tide and you could require a heavier sinker to hold bottom.

You need to consider that the larger the bait again the more drag it will create, requiring you to select a larger weight to hold bottom.

The bottom line is to create a balanced rig with an attractive well presented d bait for your chosen species, cast outside of the boats foot print. The bite will generally be indicated with the line going slack.

If you are a keen up-tide angler or have any questions regarding up=tiding please comment on this post.

image: alexcarvallio