The paper aims at introducing practical methods for power capture performance enhancement of a heaving wave energy converter in irregular seas. The optimum control solution requires tuning to wave frequency based on wave force information. However, identification of the wave frequency in irregular seas is considered to be a complex and difficult task. This is partly due to technical difficulties in determination of the wave force. Besides, there are no clear guidelines for identification of wave frequency from an irregular sea state based wave force information. In a typical application, one of the available sources of information about the wave properties is the wave elevation record. The proposed approach presents a method for estimation of the wave frequency information from the wave elevation data by using signal processing and filtering techniques. The proposed method uses filters to generate an estimation of wave force information, which is used to identify the local wave frequency by method of a time-series analysis of the data. This wave frequency information is then used in tuning the device. The details of the proposed techniques, the model of the wave energy converter, the simulated sea states and the related simulation results are also presented. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.