Different behavior is observed amongst dolphins at different times of the tide. Closer to High Tide, dolphins often congregate in larger groups. Smaller pods of dolphins and single dolphin who have been out exploring and feeding at Low Tide will start to gather for social activity, mating, or sometimes fishing as a larger group in open water or deep water. At these times, with more water for fish to attempt escape, the dolphins are better off teaming up in large groups to herd the fish for a successful hunt
There are spectacular moments where you might be lucky enough to see several pods of dolphin meet up in a “super pod” with dozens and dozens of dolphin enjoying each other’s company. These “super pod” family reunions seem to be most common around high tide, and a great area to see this happen is off the northwest corner of Hilton Head, known as Dolphin Head. This area where Skull Creek meets the Port Royal Sound is a high traffic zone for lots of dolphins. It seems to be a “home base” for the superpod that we estimate at around 80-100+ dolphins on the most epic days. But even a sighting of a few dozen dolphins here is quite common. If you’re fortunate enough to have access to the private beach park inside Hilton Head Plantation (Dolphin Head Park), you can witness this from land. The best way to have a chance to see dolphin is on a boat ride with an outfitter such as a Live Oac dolphin tour in Hilton Head, who offer individual and small group eco tours on comfortable deck boats to see dolphins and other wildlife. The offer trips at all tides, but a high tide trip during certain parts of the year could offer a good chance at seeing a spectacular super pod of dolphins. Ask them about current dolphin activity and the best times for a dolphin watching trip, and they’ll steer you right.