Tidal Tactics

In the aftermath of Gustav and Ike, knowing how to spot tidal bass feeding zones is more important than ever.

A half dozen great egrets and as many blue herons were scattered along the edge of a small cove, and every five minutes or so, they would take a few steps back.

My fishing partner, Sam Swett, a bass tournament pro from Covington, explained our dilemma.

“Those birds are in there looking for the baitfish, and I’ll bet that’s where the bass are,” he said. “The only problem is that the tide is coming in, and that’s too shallow for us to reach.”

A frustrating day in the Delacroix marsh found us battling a gusty wind and restricted by a less-than-favorable tide. Nevertheless, the explosive strikes we saw in and out of our range, plus the dozen or so fish in our boat and as many more in our partnering boat, spoke volumes about the tremendous potential to be found beyond the sweet water.

Here’s the low down: Coastal brine pushes against the edges of inland waterways, encroaching where it can, but otherwise exerting a bully’s shove into rivers, creeks and marshes. Even where saltwater intrusion is not so profound, the daily ebb and flow will swell and contract adjacent waters.

This creates a dynamic environment where water level determines both opportunity and access. Suffice it to say, the feast-or-famine analogy looms large.

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About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications www.tightwords.com).