Definition of an outgoing tide?

Ahoy Dopers!

Is it accurate to say that high tide is the peak of the incoming tide and that immediately after that point, the tide is outgoing?

For example if high tide is listed as 6pm and low tide is listed as 12am, does the outgoing tide start at 6:01pm and continue on until 12am?

That’s my understanding. Also known as ebb tide.

Hard to see how else it could be interpreted.

Thanks, I’m planning to fly fish for strped bass and they recommend fishing around dusk on an outgoing tide. Once you start reading too many tide charts, weather sites and fly fishing fora, you can get a little confused.

Except the change of the tide from incoming to outgoing does not take a minute. It takes a second if that.

Literally the water is moving one direction and then it is moving the other direction.

You won’t see this on the beach where the waves interfere with your perception of the water movement. If your there you assume the change of the tide takes a long time like 15-20 minutes before you notice it. But you can see it at a tidal creek or river where the waves do not interfere.

I live on the NH coast and seen it many times.

It may be worth consulting a tide graph rather than a simple table - if the recommendation is to fish on a falling tide, it may mean that it’s best to wait until the water is receding at pace - which may be a little while after the peak - and for some places with complex tide patterns that are very far from sinusoidal, you might need to wait until after a second peak (i.e. if it’s a double tide).

I’m not sure I’d say the “peak” of the incoming tide matches the high tide point. It depends on what’s important to you. If you’re leaving stuff on the beach and are worried about it getting washed away, then yes, the peak is the highest point. If you are crossing a channel and want to avoid bad currents, then the peak is closer to halfway between the low and high tide times.

Said another way, “peak tide” can refer either to peak flow rate which tends to occur about halfway between high & low tide, or it can mean “moment of high tide”. I can even imagine a not very literate fishing advice-giver speaking of “peak low tide” meaning the moment of lowest tide.

None of these would be technically correct usage, but a lot of fishing guys aren’t much into technical language correctness.

It sounds more like the recommendation is something to do with the best time to get a bite.

Yup. And despite my name, I have no clue whether the best time for fishing is related to water level, flow rate, or something else entirely.

IANA fisherman either, but around here the phase of the moon and the wind speed & direction seem to be key variables.

I have a sneaking suspicion it’s 100% random, but the human propensity to find patterns in random data causes fisher-folks to build up a series of overlapping and contradictory rules of thumb for which conditions foretell success.

Then again, you’d certainly expect that certain species of fish in certain locales would find some conditions more favorable for feeding than others.

Offhand, one would expect that a falling tide, in which the direction of flow is away from the land, would bring more food than an incoming tide. Water near land is going to have more nutrients due to runoff and thus be more productive, as well as food brought down to the sea by rivers.

On flat, sandy beaches, the tide rises and small fish can travel up the beach to eat invertebrates that hide in the sand in the intertidal zone. As the tide falls, the smaller fish head out to deeper water and the larger predatory fish feed on them - at least, it’s often like that around here - the best time for catching mackerel and sea bass is on the falling tide.