Uptiding is the technique of fishing uptide from an anchored boat in order to avoid the disturbed water around the boat.
When boat fishing in relatively shallow water (less than 50 feet) many anglers believe that the noise of a boat at anchor as well as the anglers moving about on the boat cause an area of disturbance behind the boat that fish will avoid. In order to avoid this area the method of uptiding was invented. Uptiding has now become hugely popular, especially for Cod fishing in the Bristol Channel. Uptiding can also be a very usefull technique when angling up from the stern on a busy charter boat.
The tackle for uptiding differs from that of traditional “drop down” boat fishing tackle, in fact it more closely resembles stunted beach tackle. A 9-10ft rod capable of handling 4-8 ounzes of weight is a good starting point, matched to a suitable casting multiplier or heavy duty fixed spool real (if using a fixed spool a high quality drag is essential). With all casting make sure to use an appropriate shock leader, 10lb per ounze as a minimum. Most ledgering rigs are suitable (a simple running ledger being the best) but it is very important to use a break-away style grip lead as the weight, more on this later. You’ll find it much easier to cast if you hook your bait around one of the wire grips.
Once given the all clear to start fishing from the skipper you should first make sure to let everybody know on board that you plan to uptide, a swinging lead on a boat can be very dangerous, if possible you should cast from outside the boat, being carefull to avoid other anglers lines. You should aim your cast anywhere from 30-60 yards(depends on the depth of water and current, the deeper and stronger the further you should cast) away from the boat at an angle somewhere between 40 – 50 degrees. Let your weight hit the bottom and then continue to allow line out until there is bow in the line such that it is roughly 45 degrees downtide of your rods position on the boat.
The tip of your rod should have a bend in it. In effect you are using the tidal flow on the line to anchor the grip lead (that’s why it is essential to use this type of weight).
When uptiding a bite will normally be indicated by the rod springing striaght, this happens as the fish frees the grip weight and the rig flows downtide. At this point you should wind down till you feel the weight of the fish, lifting into this fish at this point is all that should be required to set the hook.
Uptiding is an effective method for most bottom feeding fish that can be found over relatively snag free bottoms.