There are falling tides, rising tides and everything between. So which one is best to catch limits of speckled trout in October?
Inshore anglers fret over the tide.
A lot. Maybe too much.
Any why shouldn't they? A really good speckled trout bite doesn't happen without the Big Three:
But current can be created by a rising or falling tide, so which one is 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:
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!
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.
So how do they get from point A to point B?
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.
Speckled trout are done spawning and begin to return from saltier waters located well outside the marsh.
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 congregate in places where shrimp will pass through in large schools.
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 best.
Let me illustrate this with the below graphic.
It's my theory (meaning I could be wrong) that white shrimp know the difference between a rising and falling tide.
How? Well, it's beyond me.
But, it's 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.
You can see these trips for yourself inside LAFB Elite, or watch the clip 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 how water flows through the marsh, you will catch limits of speckled trout.
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