Inshore insights: Knowing where water moves first

Being in position after a slack tide is key

It’s common knowledge that specks use moving water to their advantage: They’ll lay in ambush just out of the current, and wait for bait to pass before lunging out and striking.

So it makes sense that if you want to catch speckled trout, you have got to know what the tide is doing.

But what happens when the tide doesn’t do what is predicted? Imagine it being slack when it’s supposed to be falling hard.

After all, there are natural forces like the wind and river in play, and at that point in time your fishing trip is dead — at least until the water starts moving again.

But where will that be?

Here is key knowledge to keep in your back pocket for when that situation inevitably arises.

Understanding how water moves

Water is a fluid that hardly compresses and, because of this, will change how it moves through different spaces.

When pushed through a smaller space it will speed up, but when flowing through a larger one, it will slow down.

This concept is called “flow velocity,” and is nothing more than a fancy $10 word used to describe how fast water moves through a space.

You can experiment with flow velocity by putting your thumb over a running garden hose.

What happens to the water? It shoots out like a firehose, right? Remove your thumb and it will slow down to a steady flow.

You can apply this same concept to discover where water will move first when the tide turns around.

Where water moves first

When the tide is slack you should start looking for bottlenecks between two larger bodies of water.

This includes passes and even bayous, though there are other spots you should try as well.

The tips of large islands, big points and the ends of rock jetties are great places to look, too.

Speckled trout must eat and any mistake can be deadly, so they have already located these spots and know to be there if they want to be fed.


Speckled trout utilize moving water to ambush passing baitfish.

Knowing where this water moves first —especially when the tide is slack — is key to salvaging a fishing trip.

Just be sure to be the first one there, because you likely won’t be the only angler headed that way.

Tight lines, y’all!

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit