What can you learn from tide tables?


Quick Answer

Tide tables can tell you when the water level will be at its highest and lowest at a particular location. Tide tables can also be used to predict the height of water at times between high and low tide.

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Full Answer

The information about high and low tide garnered from tide tables can be used for a variety of purposes, including fishing, boating, surfing and other water sports.

Tide charts are very important in boating and nautical navigation. This is because they indicate the depth of the water at various times during the day and night. Ships may be able to traverse certain shallow areas at high tide that they are unable to at low tide. Knowing the depth of the water is very important in order to prevent the boat from running aground or striking rocks and other objects that could damage or even sink a boat.

Fisherman commonly use tide tables to predict when the fish will be biting. Fish often feed during the incoming or outgoing tide, but do not feed as frequently during the period called “slack” tide. Slack tide occurs when the tide begins to turn from incoming to outgoing. In this intermediate period the tide is not going in or coming out, and fishing is usually poor.

Surfers may also use tide charts to determine when and where they can catch the best waves. Waves break when the depth of the water becomes too shallow for the wave. This means that waves may break over shallow areas and underwater sand bars during low tide, but pass right over them during high tide.

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