November 19, 2018

A “False” Neap Tide Will Ruin Your Fishing Trip

This force of nature will ruin your fishing trip and, to make things worse, cannot be predicted by tide apps. Discover what a "false" neap tide is.

How many times have you launched the boat with high hopes of smashing the trout?

Maybe you saw an excellent tide prediction and knew there would be plenty of moving water to keep them biting all day long.

But despite this prediction, the tide never moved. The water stay put and trout never turned on.

What happened?

This blog post reveals exactly that, so keep reading to learn what is a false neap tide.

What is a false neap tide?

In order to answer this question you must first know what a neap tide is: a weak tide created by opposing gravitational forces of the sun and moon, resulting in hardly any water movement.

Stagnant, non-moving water spells disaster for an inshore fishing trip, because predator species like redfish, flounder and speckled trout depend on that moving water to ambush bait.

As water flows, bait is carried along to where fish are waiting before being gulped down.

But if the water isn't flowing, most fish sit tight and wait for it to move again.

After all, fish just want to be comfortable and have something to eat, so there's no point in making anymore effort than what's needed.

So for them, a spring tide is best.

Easy Predictions

Fortunately for us, neap tides are easily predicted.

One only needs a smartphone app for tides to ascertain when these will happen.

So it's easy to avoid fishing those days or at least prepare for them.

Not So Easy Predictions

Unfortunately for us, tidal forces do not exist in a vacuum.

There are other forces in play, the most notable one being wind.

Wind direction and speed plays a huge part in determining water levels.

In fact, wind from the right direction at the right strength is enough to completely cancel out a tide, creating a "false" neap tide.

Here's an example from the Shell Beach Buoy.

false neap tide

How to read the above graph

The blue line represents the predicted water level, and the red line represents what actually happened.

You can see that a falling tide with a range of about 1 foot was expected to happen during the daytime, but never did.

How can you predict a false neap tide?

The next blog post covers this in detail, so be sure to subscribe by email or on LAFB's YouTube.

You don't want to miss it, because the kind of fishing knowledge in it separates the pros from the weekend warriors.

Tight lines, y'all!

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.

You may also like

  • Sunday 10/20/19 the tide was supposed to start falling at 6:30 . We launched at 6:35 water was high and dead . Made it to the first spot and the crab ball was dead still , nothing biting , around 7:20 am the crab ball started to move a little and we seen 3 gulls working about 100 yards away , trolled over and nailed a trout and then another , spot lock untill number #50 came over the side by 8:45 am . Went closer back in the marsh I. Search for reds and the water was dead . Back at the launch for 11:30 am and water was dead there as well . It was ripping where we caught the trout . Crazy how it’s ripping over here and dead over there with in 2 or 3 miles as a bird flies!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never Miss Practical Fishing Tips & Tricks for Louisiana's Coast