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High tides: Escape for a weekend of shore fishing

Every year, the high tides of the Atlantic coast bring together on the foreshore fishing enthusiasts. Wrapped up in oilskins and shod in boots, they are recognizable by their buckets, rakes, landing nets and of course by their magnificent catch of the day.

Lhigh tides 2020 are back. With them fishing lovers on foot are out. The last high tides which took place from March 9 to 13 were marked by a high coefficient of 117. In Brittany, Vendée, sur re island and the island of Oléron, in Cap Ferret, in Normandy, in the Basque Country, the collectors were satisfied. And if some people have sometimes returned empty-handed, the pleasure of the moment and the breath of sea air have by themselves largely rewarded their efforts.

What are high tides?

Tides are caused by the combined effect of the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun on the seas and oceans. Weather conditions are an amplifying factor. Wind, waves and atmospheric pressure have an effect on the phenomenon. We then speak of a premium or a discount. The lowest tides of the year normally occur at the winter and summer solstices. The strongest occur at the spring and fall equinoxes. The tidal coefficient represents the magnitude of the tide relative to its mean value. It varies between 20 and 120. The higher the tidal coefficient, the more the sea rises high and falls low, and above all more rapidly. High tides are tides with a coefficient greater than 100. These are the ones that best show the foreshore, this very specific biotope sheltering many species.

Shore fishing in Brittany

What to fish on the foreshore?

In the sand, spiders, knives, clams, and the tasty scallop await you. In the rocks, shrimps, currypins, mussels, abalone, sea urchins, cakes and why not lobsters are available to you! It is also possible to cross the road of some fish, such as sole, sea bass or even conger that must be taken with the greatest caution… Finally, it is also the octopus and cuttlefish that make the collectors happy. Something to make you want to put on your boots and set off to conquer our coasts.

And if you missed the high tides of February and March, all is not lost, especially as April promises to be auspicious. The campings close to the beaches are ideal destinations to learn about shore fishing.

Shore fishing practiced by a young boy

Regulation of shore fishing

Recreational sea-shore fishing must be practiced only on foot without any use of a boat or any device allowing to remain submerged, such as a snorkel or bottles. The product of the fishery is intended to be consumed or used as bait, only by the fisherman or his family. Collectors must also find out about minimum sizes and quotas before embarking.

Be sure to find out about tide times available on the website Tides schedule, respect general regulations and read the current prefectural decrees, which sometimes prohibit pickup in certain areas.

Shore fishing in the Atlantic

High tides 2020

  • February, from Monday 10 to Thursday 13 February: maximum coefficient of 108, Tuesday 11 February
  • Mars, from Monday 9 to Friday 13 March: maximum coefficient 117, Wednesday 11 March
  • April, from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 April: maximum coefficient 117, Thursday 9 April
  • Mai, from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 May: maximum coefficient 108, Thursday 7 May
  • August, from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 August: maximum coefficient 104, Friday 21 August
  • September, from Thursday September 17 to Monday September 21: maximum coefficient 113, Saturday September 19
  • October, from Friday 16 to Tuesday 20 October: maximum coefficient 115, Saturday 17 October
  • November, from Saturday 14 to Tuesday 17 November: maximum coefficient 109, Sunday 15 November

If you do not know the phenomenon of high tides, we suggest you discover this short and magnificent video made in Timelaps on the Côtes d'Armor.