Tips for tidal largemouth bass: timing is everything


Because tidal waters flow in two directions at various speeds and the water level is constantly changing, almost all prime fish-holding spots get hot at specific times, and if you’re not there at the right time you won’t catch anything. A spot the produces well late Tuesday afternoon probably won’t produce late Friday afternoon because the stage of the tide will be substantially different.


“When you catch fish from a spot, take note of whether tide is rising or falling and how far into the tide it is,” Prince said. “Those fish are feeding in that spot at that time for a reason.”


Unfortunately, there is no all encompassing “prime tide.” It’s a spot-by-spot thing, according to when the flow from a ditch, across a bar or into an opening creates the best ambush opportunities for the fish. Some spots are only good when the tide is coming in. Others when it is going out. Still others produce well when it’s moving in either direction, but the fish position themselves differently.


Examining a spot and its structure and considering likely water flow at varying tidal stages provides an excellent starting point to helps you devise a plan. However, consistency on most tidal systems comes only through time on the water.