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Tidal verse Lake fishing strategies

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  • Tidal verse Lake fishing strategies

    My strategy for fishing tidal waters verses a Lake or Reservoir doesn’t differ much interestingly enough. Bass are Bass wherever you go in the country. They all relate to the same types of structure / cover and all of them have similar feeding habits they routinely exhibit when feeding. Bass in both bodies of water are influenced by the same environmental conditions that influence feeding as one to the other; IE. Available forage, light and water conditions, water temps, lunar cycles etc. They both offer large and small creeks and both offer Main River or Main Lake fishing opportunities.

    The major difference between the two is the rising and falling of the tide. Tidal movement constantly keeps repositioning the fish throughout the tide cycles: therefore it causes you to expend more effort in relocating them throughout the day. Of course a low tide positions and concentrates fish in predictable locations and therefore offers more opportunities in catching numbers of fish in a shorter period of time than on a lake.

    Other than these fundamental differences between the two, I search and target the same types of structure and cover based on the seasonal bass pattern for a tidal river as I do for a lake or reservoir. Points and edges are my two most favorite types of cover / structure to fish no matter what body of water I am on. Weather I am fishing a Tidal river or Lake and regardless of the type of structure or cover I am targeting; I am constantly looking for the higher percentage feeding areas that offer as many force multipliers as I can find. In military terms a force multiplier is anything and everything that gives a unit a tactical / firepower advantage over its enemy: IE. It could be a key piece of terrain, a heavy weapons platoon attached to it, having a dedicated artillery battery in support of it or air support etc. An example of a force multiplier I use in fishing terms is likening to a plain Jane feeder creek verses a feeder creek that has grass, pads, a defined channel, and on the outer edge / break line maybe an old cypress stump or log jam. Maybe even a duck blind or nearby dock etc. One creek has nothing and the other has multiple force multipliers that make it a high percentage area for feeding bass.

    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper


  • #2
    Good read as always Jim. One thing I have learned on bodies of water, especially lakes and reservoirs are (areas) that draw the fish in during feeding times. These areas are often times points that have shallow feeding shelves. You don't need any cover on them to be successful either BUT they are usually associated with a channel with much deeper water close by. It is a bonus if there is cover on a shallow shelf but not necessary. These are spots that multiple fish or a small school of bass will use usually early in the morning and the last few hours during the evening. I agree with you on the multiplier concept, it adds more in your favor on an area. River fishing can be the same.

    Good stuff Jim.
    1st Place VA East FOMNTT Potomac River 2006, VA East FOMNTT Big Bag 2006, VAO Frog Only Tournament Winner 2011