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Many Yellow Fin Whiting fishers complain about Dodge tides. They find it difficult to catch fish during a dodge.

I feel the dodge tides present an opportunity to easily catch fish.


Dodge tides are small and always with a higher water height at low tide. They do not spread the fish out far and wide across the sand flats. The fish are held in a concentrated area for a prolonged spell. Most often the fish will be congregate on the lower food rich sand flats. On nipper and worm rich flats nearer to the weed lines. The experienced YFW fisher who has previously worked the same spots, having previously followed normal tides out and back in, will know the terrain and exactly where to go at their regular spots.


At times on a dodge the YFW may seem lethargic and uninterested in your offering. YFW are stimulated to feed by water movement. And normally there is little movement on a dodge tide. However the movement and stimulation can be provided by a variety of other small factors.


In the SA Gulfs the tide is amplified the further north you go. So a small tide movement is a bit larger if you chose a location further north in the gulf. The lay of the land, channels, weed beds, etc can accentuate what little movement there is. So fish those spots of slightly greater water flow. Like a sand flat near the opening of a channel that will experience any small water movement from that channel draining or filling.


Wind always stimulates feeding in YFW. And even more so on a dodge. Check the forecasts and fish a time when the wind picks up. Late afternoons are good. A strong sea breeze creates a wind tide, with enough movement to stimulate feeding on these otherwise listless “Dodgy days”.  In cooler weather periods, it is the smaller water body of a dodge tide that will warm up quicker. So dodge tides actually present some opportunities.


I had a good recent session on a dodge tide. One of frequent good dodge tide sessions. On this day, I started fishing at the bottom of the tide, early in the afternoon. The low tide was at the higher level of 1.00mt. The next high was small and about 12 hours away. There was going to be very little natural tidal movement. However the wind was predicted to turn SW and pick up on this arvo. Given that the opening to our Gulfs face SW,  SW winds in or gulfs always produce a higher tide. And do produce a wind tide. At the bottom of the tide, I was positioned to benefit from any movement. I worked an area of sand flats adjacent the weed line which had a number of channel openings in it.


Any water movement was going to be felt here. Fish were lingering around the area from the start. Lazily cruising around in the extra pools of low tide water that the dodge holds. They took some coaxing at first. But as the wind picked up, they certainly got a lot more aggressive. The water movement was noticeable even if a bit slow, if compared to a regular tide.


There was no need for small lures and timid fishing, with the stiffening breeze. The Sugapen 95 did most of the damage on this day.


Late in the session it got a bit too choppy. A switch to sub surface with the Ecogear ZX caught the last few fish. There were some very solid fish at around 40cm in the catch.



It finished up being a very satisfying day going to plan.


Cheers, Des

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11 hours ago, Territory Lad said:

It's about that time of year. Hopefully it's a good one and people get on to a few.

After a very cold start to spring, it looks like a cracker October long weekend ahead.

The water temperatures in the upper gulfs have hit 16C. That is like throwing the switch on, for the Flathead and YFW.

A Happy long weekend of fishing to all.

Cheers Des

PS. .....  and some favourable dodge tide conditions 😉

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