The Tides and Chokoloskee

Check here for local tides

Tides are caused by the gravitational forces of the moon and sun. The moon has one and one-half times the gravitational force of the sun because it is closer to the earth. Consequently, the moon is the governing force involving tides. The reason our tides come later each day is because the moon requires 24 hours and 50 minutes to travel around the Earth. While doing so, it moves in an elliptical path and this accounts for the varying currents we have each month.

When the moon is in apogee, the currents are weak, but when it swings to perigee, the currents are stronger. When the moon and the sun are in line with each other, this is when the moon is in its FULL or NEW phase. This is when we have spring tides-higher highs and lower-low tides with stronger currents. If the moon is in perigee during this time, the currents will be much stronger. If in apogee, the currents will be weaker.

During the neap tide periods, when the sun and moon are in right angles to each other (this occurs around the first and last quarter of the moon phase) we get the lower-highs and higher-low tides, along with weaker currents. If the moon is in perigee at this time, the currents will be stronger and weaker if in apogee.

To sum up, the tides and how the moon and sun affect them are very important factors in fishing the Everglades!