There are falling tides, rising tides and everything between. So which one is the best tide for speckled trout in October?
It's October, arguably the favorite month of every inshore angler in Louisiana.
The fishing gets really good this time of year, and many find themselves planning their fishing trips and, predictably, fretting over the tide.
Why shouldn't they? A really good speckled trout bite doesn't happen without the Big Three:
But current can be created when the water is rising or falling, so which tide is the best?
It's a difficult question to answer, especially when not in context.
One must include specific details to narrow down all the possible answers and arrive at the one that fits.
So, let us pose the question again, but with that all-important context:
Now we're on the right track!
In order to answer this question we must first review a few things, just so we are all on the same sheet of music:
During this time of year, white shrimp begin leaving the marsh.
Their destination? The Gulf of Mexico!
It's there they spawn, sending their fertilized eggs inland to hatch and grow in the safety of the marsh, beginning the life cycle all over again.
If you've ever seen a shrimp swim, then you know they lack the strength to swim quickly and over long distances, like tuna or striped bass.
In fact, this is the case with most creatures in the marsh.
Keep reading to get my theory on how they do exactly that.
It's my theory that white shrimp use a falling tide to leave the marsh.
As the tide falls, they rise off the seafloor and "go with the flow".
When the tide eventually turns and begins rising, they hunker down, take a break and maybe eat some food until the water begins falling again.
They leave smaller bodies of water, like a pond, using "streets" to eventually make their way to larger bayous and passes.
These larger bodies of water are less like a "street" and more like a "highway" because they move more water than all the others.
Yes, a lot of marsh has been eroded (or even built) but this doesn't change the fact that water still flows the same, or about the same.
This means we can be certain of where white shrimp will eventually flow.
This isn't lost on speckled trout, and you can count on them to be there with open mouths, ready to ambush their prey.
With the water temperature in the 80s we still see white shrimp inside the marsh, even as far back as the interior ponds.
Some have begun to move out at this point in time, as early as the first week of September.
Water temperature is in the mid 70s, triggering the mass exodus of white shrimp from the interior marsh.
In this graphic they leave their interior ponds and enter the main bayous to find their way to the Gulf.
Speckled trout are still moving in, but not yet heavily concentrated in large schools.
The shrimp are well on their way out of the marsh, having gathered in larger numbers due to the tide pushing them to the same location.
Speckled trout are easily found in places where shrimp pass through in large schools, and speckled trout aren't the only ones taking advantage of this.
Sometimes all you have to do is look for look for diving seagulls to find where the speckled trout are eating up!
This pattern is what allows inshore anglers (read: you) to catch 50, 75, or even 100+ trout limits in a "one stop shop".
With this in mind, we can move on to answering the question posed earlier.
It's my theory that the tail end of a falling tide is the best tide for speckled trout in October.
Let's illustrate this with the below graphic:
It's my theory (meaning itI could be wrong) that white shrimp know the difference between a rising and falling tide.
It is obvious they are able to leave the marsh and they couldn't do that if they were constantly being pushed back and forth by falling and rising water levels.
It's a safe bet they hunker down when water rises and resume "going with the flow" when it begins falling again.
It stands to reason more shrimp are "flowing" during the tail end of a falling tide.
This is because water is falling across a wider area and has been flowing longer, picking up and moving more shrimp.
In fact, this has been my experience. In recent trips I've limited out and left 'em biting, but only at the tail end of a falling tide, the best tide for speckled trout in October.
You can see these trips for yourself inside LAFB Elite, or enjoy the clips below.
A limit of speckled trout was quickly caught all on the tail end of a falling tide in all three of those videos.
Watch the entire Fishing Trip Review here:
Yes, two of these trips are in September, but they're still relevant because it's the beginning of the pattern we are fishing here and now in October.
Knowledge catches more fish than any tackle or equipment!
This includes knowing the life cycle and habits of not just your quarry, but also their prey.
When you combine this with an understanding of the best tide for speckled trout in October, you will catch limits of speckled trout.
Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
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