October 3, 2018

Best Tide For Speckled Trout In October (or anytime during fall)

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. 

best tide for speckled trout in october

The month of October offers easy limits for those who possess the knowledge in this blog post.

Why shouldn't they? A really good speckled trout bite doesn't happen without the Big Three:

  • Clean Water
  • Current
  • Presence of Bait

But current can be created when the water is rising or falling, so which tide is the best?

best tide for speckled trout in october

Windfinder has accurate tidal data that has helped me catch speckled trout throughout the year.

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:

What is the best tide...

...when targeting speckled trout...

 ...feeding on white shrimp...

 ...during the month of October?

Now we're on the right track!

Best Tide For Speckled Trout In October

In order to answer this question we must first review a few things, just so we are all on the same sheet of music:

  • white shrimp migration
  • "highways" of the marsh
  • predicting where water flows

White Shrimp Migration

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.

shrimp life cycle

Where White Shrimp Will Flow

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.

So how do white shrimp get from point A to point B?

Keep reading to get my theory on how they do exactly that.

Highways and Byways of the Marsh

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".

shrimp migration falling tide

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.

shrimp migration rising tide

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.

Bodies of water can be categorized by the amount of water they move.

Predictable Patterns

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.

Before Shrimp Migration

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.

Speckled trout are done spawning and begin to return from saltier waters located well outside the marsh to less-saline waters much closer to the dock.

Early Shrimp Migration

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.

Migration in Full Swing

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!

diving seagull white shrimp

You will know you are in the right spot when you see shrimp fleeing trout like in this picture.

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.

The best tide for speckled trout in october is this one

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:

best tide speckled trout october

Why is this the best tide for speckled trout in October?

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 in my YouTube channel, or enjoy the clips below.


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.

Questions? Something to add?

Chime in below!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • Hey David, thanks for commenting!

    Yes, that’s exactly what I do in my Fishing Trip Reviews, which you can view here: https://www.lafbelite.com/course-category/fishing-trips/

    I have FTRs for Delacroix, Lake Pontchartrain, Rigolets, Lafitte, Grand Isle and more.

    Take a look!

    But to be honest, the pattern that’s described in this blog post is now underway everywhere on Louisiana’s coast.

    Just because the Biloxi Marsh are my “stomping grounds” doesn’t mean this doesn’t apply to everywhere white shrimp and speckled trout swim on Louisiana’s coast!

    This is the the easiest pattern to catch them on, so please don’t overlook it.

    Tight lines, David!

  • I would be super interested in learning how to fish areas other than Biloxi marsh, So what would you do about learning how to catch in a new area specs n reds?

  • Hey Mark, thanks for commenting! I hear ya loud and clear and love fishing Cocodrie, too. They have it figured out down there, especially Coco Marina. Lots of fond memories.

    Anyways, be sure to pick Captain John’s brain and compare/contrast what you see here against his. You may learn something that is super key.

    Tight lines!

  • Excellent material Devin! Very educational for this Texas angler. My favorite fishing ever is S LA for specs and reds. Cocodrie is my destination this coming weekend for my 1st ever fall trip. Always spring or early summer past 15 years with Capt. John Pellegrin. Super excited after reading this article on shrimp migration.

  • Thanks Devin very informative, I live in north Louisiana only get to south once or twice a year every little bit of info helps.

  • I don’t have a Facebook but thanks for responding. I’ll just post to your blogs when I have questions

  • Ken, thanks for commenting!

    I hear you loud and clear, and I’d really like to get you pointed in the right direction to catch some fish.

    First and foremost, join our community at LAFB Inshore here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/154496828630117

    Then be sure to check out all the free courses here: https://www.lafishblog.com/courses

    Of course, don’t hesitate to comment anywhere here on the site.

    I’m more than happy to answer your questions so you can catch some fish!

  • I need a class on just fishing in general lol! I’ve recently picked up this addictive habit and I’m pretty much learning from random people on YouTube. Any tips for beginners? I’m all ears

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