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Hi, I'm new to kayaking, specially in salt water. I don't see any conversation about having to fight the tide. Is the tide in NC not that much of a problem. Also, I have a Tarpon120, would a rudder help me enjoy fishing?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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I'm a relative beginner in the salt too. My perspective is that a lot of our launches are conducive to paddling either tide - you've got the option to follow the tide if you want to and you'll still find fishable water.

Tide is a factor - they do talk about it a lot at the Fort Fisher area. They seem to want the outgoing to launch and work your way down the jetties and islands, then let the incoming bring you back to the ramp. I haven't fished that area yet so I'm not sure how the paddling is if you catch the tides wrong.

The worst tide I've fought was out of Taylor's Creek in Beaufort. Had to get up & around Carrot Island to fish the back side and it was a job. I made it, but it never put the paddle down until I got around the corner and out of the rush.

I say yes to the rudder. Improves distance paddling efficiency and allows for less path adjustment while fishing a drift with wind or current.
 

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Tidal flow is going to be relative to how close you are to an inlet and how large of expanse of water you are in. In general the closer to the inlet the greater the flow and the narrower the water body the greater the flow. Also the depth of water will have an effect. Some tide charts will give you the change in water depth at high and low tide. The greater the difference between the two the greater the tidal flow. To complicate things more the moon phase will affect the heighth of hgh and low tide. In some places like the Neuse there is little noticable tidal difference, there it is wind driven.
 

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Hey P,I have noticed that I am more affected by the wind rather than the current.The current becomes more problematic when you stop to fish.A stake out pole or anchor will help with that.AS far as a rudder goes I don`t have one so I can`t help you there.....mark
 

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Remember that river systems with dams can have a "tide" too. If you are in a cove and the river cranks up it will suck the water right out from under you. Unlike natural tides you have no way of knowing how long you may be stuck there. You can`t just walk away. (quik-mud, we call it.) Pay attention. If the leaves LEAVE when you`re shallow, you better leave too..:)
 

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I can tell you that after having yaks with and without rudders, I'll never again own one that does not have one installed. Not only are they important while underway, but I also find them invaluable while drifting, being towed around by a large fish (turning boat broadside, etc) and doing surf landings. Fighting the current is one of those things we all do and is inherent in SW kayak fishing.
 

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The only time I've ever struggled with the tide is when it's a full moon tide and the wind is coming with it (like last weekend). In Fort Fisher the Cribbins area is a little tough because the creek narrows down and the force of the water is greater. You'll have to dig hard to get through the gates (the little rock walls) but it's only for a few seconds.

Other than that, tides are non issues with everyone, that's why you don't see any discussion on it.
 
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