Tides in the Gulf of Mexico - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Does anyone have a good resource on explaining the tides for the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace>Gulf of Mexico</st1lace>? I am familiar with how the phases of the moon control neap and spring tides for the oceans. The problem is that when you compare those to the tide tables in <st1:City><st1lace>Pensacola</st1lace></st1:City>, they don't match up. It looks like the dynamics of the <st1lace>Gulf of Mexico</st1lace> is more complicated. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">It is simple enough to just lookup the tide table but that doesn?t satisfy my curiosity. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:02 AM   #2
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

Is it the tides you want or do you really want a explanation as to the currents? The Gulf is a funny body of water and the currents run kind of screwy. Basically the currents run in a CW rotation from between Cuba/Mexico up the eastern coast of Mexico, East to North Florida, down the West coast of Florida, CW to between Keys/Cuba, up through the Gulfstream with many changing areas of sub CW rotations off of the Mexican coast line and SW texas.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I appreciate the explanations and I have also been curious about the currents. My thoughts on the tides are that fish should feed during the greatest amount of water movement which should peak twice monthly during spring tides (full and new moon). The problem is that our tides don?t necessarily seem to follow this principle and often have peak fluctuations during moons which is opposite of the text I have read. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I also understand that the fish feed heavily in the morning after a new moon. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Along with Snapper season opening in June, we have a new moon on June 3<SUP>rd</SUP> which, this time, does coincide with maximum tide fluctuations meaning the most water movement. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Combining a long closed season, with large tide fluctuations and a new moon, this theory says you won?t even need bait that morning; just slow down a bit and the fish will jump in the boat.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Of course all of this is academic because other more important factors determine when I fish; wife, job, weather, money (not necessarily in that order).<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o></o><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #4
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

By my calculations, with thenew moon, tide fluctuations, and a closed season, the fish WILL indead jump into the boat. If the waeather is right, they may even storm the beach like grunion. And all the Democrats will be there to throw them right back in! :banghead
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:28 AM   #5
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

Lunar phase does not control the tide phases in this part of the GoM.

In conjuction with the Solar Declination, the Lunar Declination (angle above or below the Earth's Equator) is what controls ourdiurnal tidal phases. (see attachment)

Each day the moon's declination progresses north (or south) of the Equator for almost two weeks until it reaches it's maximum (about 28 degrees) thenthemovement reverses. The net effect (for us) is the daily tide flow progression that mirrors this lunar movement (about an hour later each day) until the cycle's high or low spots(when we have NEAP tides).

But the Lunar Phase we see is the result of the moon's postion during these phases relative to the Earth and Sun.

Hope this helps!
Attached Thumbnails
Tides in the Gulf of Mexico-lunarsolardeclinationgraph-jpg  
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

That does help and makes sense with what I am finding. Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

Best resource I could quickly come up with - neat map showing the crazy tides in the Gulf

http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/MStide/tidedis.htm
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:47 PM   #8
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Default RE: Tides in the Gulf of Mexico

Great Stuff. Thank You. There really are a lot of variables at work here. I am glad we have tide charts to look at!

Thanks!
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