Ask a Captain

What is the best tide stage to catch speckled trout on?

Posted In Ask a Captain

Dear Captain " What is the best tide stage to catch speckled trout on? "

Hi Mr. Morgan,

The tide plays an important role when you're trout fishing. Find the tides that are the strongest on the day that you are going to fish. When that water is moving, the trout are more likely to eat. If you are forced to fish on a very weak tide, or in very little water movement, you might be better off fishing around some areas that force better water movement such as a narrow, a bottle-necked cut, a creek or a canal. Two to three days before a new and full moon will be your best bet because the tides will be much stronger.

Now, each area that you fish will have different tides that the trout feed better on. This knowledge will come from time on the water in these areas. What do I mean by this? For example, if you fish a flat on an outgoing tide and you catch a bunch of quality trout, you would obviously fish that flat again on the same tide. If you fish the same flat on an incoming tide, and catch no trout or very little trout, you would not fish that particular tide again on that flat. You would try a different tide on that flat such as the outgoing tide, and see if your results are better. It's a process of elimination. However, some trout-fishing areas are good on both the incoming and the outgoing tides.


The tide might not be as important in this area because the habitat is much better (more lush and healthy grass) than everywhere else, plus, the water conditions are more conducive for trout (like temperature, clarity, or dissolved oxygen content), or there is just plain old more forage on the flat. You also will find that the first two hours of that outgoing tide is best, or the last two. Same with the incoming. These areas will also change during the seasons. That is one of the reasons I recommend getting to know other anglers, get involved in local fishing clubs, and hang out at your local tackle shops. You can learn a good deal of information before you actually get on the water.

Thank you for sending in your question.

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Captain David M. Rieumont

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