Understanding Tide Tables and Charts
Understanding tide tables and charts is quite easy once you
understand a few key topics. The chart below will help you see
how the currents move and just what to expect during the
changes. The Oregon coast has its' share of rip currents and the unexpected "sneaker waves" so the rule of thumb "never turn your back to the ocean" can save many lives each year.
Sunrise 7:16 AM PDT, Sunset 6:55 PM PDT
Moonset 11:50 AM PDT, Moonrise 8:58 PM PDT
High Tide: 2.25 P.M. PDT 10.00
Low Tide: 9.08 P.M PDT -0.07
High Tide: 3.40 A.M. PDT 8.00
Low Tide: 9.00 A.M. PDT 3.00
What does it All Mean
The first thing I'd like you to notice is the areas above and below the red lines. These periods are called slack tides and are perhaps the most important time of the tide periods whether it be high or low. A "slack tide" is the very short period (from 1 to 3 hours "generally") when the ocean is close to a balance in tidal movement. These are the times when crabbing on the "high slack" side will be the best and when clamming on the "low slack" side will be at it's peak. The main reason crabbing is at it's peak during these times is the fact that the currents are not moving nearly as strongly as they are further down the tide time line. The crabs can move easily without fighting the tide and therefore are much more active. Once the tides really start to move fast the crabs will often dig themselves under the sea bottom. This is when they'll tend not to feed nearly as much as they will the tide is rather calm. You may also do very well crabbing on the low slack tide provided the water you are fishing is deep enough.
I hope this better explains some of your questions about the tides. I strongly believe that if you use the information which I've provided on this site that you'll learn to know the best times for activities such as crabbing, clamming, ship watching, and tide pooling.