Dawesville Cut tides

Posted by Garen Elisarow 
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What are the best times to fish the cut in regards to tides and time of day. I have had many good sessions there all different times, but incoming seems to be the best. The big question though is what part of the incoming, still or 5oo miles per second?


Hi Garen , are you land based or boating ??.

Either way same ol rules Early morning or Sunset, late arvo.

I fish the Cut regular by boat , i generally play around both entrances and the bridge .

Incoming tide i generally do better up the estuary end , land based you can fish off the rocks with metal slices (let them sink).

Plenty of copper tailor around , salmon trout and the easy ol herring .

Becoming a big fan of the trout , very tough little fish for their size.

Out of a boat i just concerntrate on which ever end is flowing the strongest , out going in the morning will see me trolling stretch 10's just out of range of the rockhoppers for tailor.

Incoming i play around the bridge and troll slices out into the estuary along the boating channels.

Hard to say which is best , you just have to adapt to the conditions on the day, its a great little fishery that recieves a heap of pressure and just keeps producing.
Garen, I've mostly done my Cut fishing from my boat at anchor at the bridge, occasionally at the entrance.
In the stronger currents away from the edges, tides are all-important. You need to start fishing a couple of hours before tide change. Fish will bite best a short while before slack water either at high or low tide with high seeming to be best. Bite periods tend to be longer for lesser size of tide (nearer neaps), but the fishing isn't as frantic.
Fish usually shut down for a short while during the slack and then may have another go for a short period after the turn.
If you have one of those days when tidal movement is not happening for quite a long period, forget it. Nothing will happen without some water movement. You need to keep a sharp eye on the tides if you want consistent results.
Don't forget the tide changes occur as much as three hours after the ocean tide-turns nearby. That can vary with weather, tidal size and river-flow factors too.
I have seen herring caught in large numbers for long periods along the edges when I haven't been fishing myself. I didn't take notice of the tide movements for those days except that the tide was always moving while it was happening, as I would expect. I'd bet they were days of smaller tidal movement.
Blowies are often more of a problem nearer the edges because of easier water movement so you might find boat fishing a bit less frustrating. I've never bothered trolling for tailor in the Cut, I'd prefer to take bigger tailor. But we have nabbed them at anchor from time to time. And yes, juvenile salmon are great to catch, but don't forget size and bag limits. Better eating than herring in my books.
There are a few tricks you can use to enhance your catch when the tide's stronger, but I'm darned if I'm going to give away all my secrets here. Just think laterally.
Thanks Guys,

You mentioned that the tides can vary up to 3 hours after the ocean high tide? How does this work? So if a high tide at Mandurah is say at 4pm what sort of estimate for the high in the cut be? Some days it is really productive and others are almost fishless, I am just trying to make some sense of it all. Got to keep the kids happy! And the belly!

I am land locked unfortunately so I am forced to fish on the rocks, but thats OK, I guess. Does any body find much difference between the north and south sides. I usually fish the north side in various spots, and find it reasonable. When SWly is blowing though, is the south side just as productive, as it becomes mildly uncomfortable.


Garen, the tides in the estuary/river system simply have to catch up to the ocean water levels. There's an awful lot of water has to move within the system and out through two relatively small entrances for the levels to equalise.
Some days, during neap tides we actually get two small peaks and lows instead of one big peak and low. Sometimes the difference between slacks is so small it almost doesn't happen. So during those times there can be a period of almost no water movement. It can last for a few hours. If you just happen to be trying to catch fish during those times, you may as well go home or sit back and read a book until the water starts moving again.
Fish virtually always feed when there is some water movement. It brings the food to them in a couple of ways. So they save mucho energy. Millions of years of adaptation have taught them not to waste time and energy trying to feed when some periods are better than others. They feed when water movement is just right for their needs. No water movement is no-fish time. Too fast a flow can stop them too. That's why they tend to feed as flow slows for a tide turn. The greater the flow, the smaller the window of opportunity. Smaller flows can have them feeding for long periods.
You need to get onto the water well before the tide turns, because the fish feed up to the turns not on them. Get hold of one of the W.A. tide books from your tackle shop or newsagent. Not sure if it's still available but one of them actually had graphs instead of just figures which show the duration of the slacks.
Tides are not everything, but they the most important consideration. Then there's water conditions, fish availability, etc etc.
At least in the Cut, there's nearly always something of interest available to the angler.
One area to check when you're fishing the walls is any slackish water where fish can hole-up and attack into the passing current of tidal flows. These spots are found at either end of the channel, both north and south depending on tidal flow.