Fishing With Tides
How tides affect fish. One important key to fishing inshore are tides. A typical day will have 4 tides, although there are 2 tide days also. The best days to fish will be those 4 tide days, this doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish on 2 tide days as well. These tides are just slower tides and more drawn out throughout the day. So for the 4 tide days you will have 6 hr tides typically, meaning every 4 to 6 hours you will have a change of tide.
There is incoming tide, and outgoing tide. The incoming is a rising tide from low to high. With this typically fish move out to deeper water as the tide falls from high to low. So with that being said in the incoming rising tide, the fish will move in with tide. Depending on targeted species will determine how you fish these tides. For instance if you are targeting Snook and Redfish on the high tide at its highest point. You will be targeting these fish up in the mangroves as far as you can and even under the mangroves.
As they use the mangroves for multiple purposes, one for shade,and cooler water temperatures, also ambush points. These fish will hide under cover in and around the roots waiting for an opportunity for the next meal. Points,channels and potholes in or around grass patches and oyster bars are major areas of feeding zones. You will find big sand patches in the middle of a grass flat a feeding zone aswell , these sand patches are ambush points. The bigger fish sit on the edge the grass around these sand patches, waiting for bait to swim through and ambush.
You will always have a better bite when the tide is moving good. Moving water cause smaller fish and bait to get washed with the tide. This bait is not strong enough to swim against the current in most cases. This causes the predator fish’s natural instinct to find a good spot to sit, and wait for bait to be brought to them. These predator fish will find their feeding location and face against the the tide and wait patiently for there food to come to them. So it is a interesting fact that 90 percent of fish, are in 10 percent of the waters. When you find a feeding zone, there you will find more then just one or few fish there will be multiple and usually multiple species. Drop offs, potholes and structure are areas of feeding zones. Positioning yourself and how you fish these feeding zones are very critical to your success.
For instance if you are fishing with live bait you want to be upwards of the structure, drop off or pothole and free lining your bait to the feed zone, allowing your bait to look as natural as possible as approaching and going through the feed zone. If you are fishing artificial you want to fish downwards of the structure,drop off or pothole and cast past it bringing your lure through in making the lure look as if it’s a natural fish getting washed with the tide. These channels and deeper areas are good locations to fish on low tides and the beginning of the incoming tide. As the water reaches it highest point fish the mangroves and grass flats until an hr or so after the change of tide and fish your way back out towards deeper water on that outgoing tide.