Catfishing tidal rivers?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by wolfman, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Is there a big difference when fishing tidal rivers compared to inland rivers? Does the tide affect the feeding habits of catfish as far as when is the best times that the fish bite? Low tide vs high tide: which s the best? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Last and first hours of a tide change are productive. Tidal flow will dictate how ya fish bends structure and holes. Feeder creeks at outgoin tide will work well. Work your structure and holes with the current. Present the bait so it goes toward what ya wanna fish like ya do in your home waters. When the tide turns work the other side of your targetted area. Tidal water can be tricky. Simply apply what ya know now and use your plan of attack in accordance with water flow. Like any river, time and effort will help ya reep the rewards. Ambush points will change with water flow direction as well. What ya got up your sleeve Walt? LOL!
     

  3. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    George, If I ever got the chance to fish the James or Potomac, just wanted to get some tidal savy before hand. LOL
     
  4. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    I'm surprised more folks ain't chimed in on this one.
     
  5. mrmarkedwards

    mrmarkedwards Active Member

    Messages:
    919
    State:
    Delaware
    fishing tidal rivers to me breaks down to 2 different philosphies from land or from a boat

    from a boat i think the best tide is an outgoing because you can set your boat up on the second drop off so that as the tide drops the fish that were up on the flats move off and wait for food to move off the flats so you can catch fish through out the tide.

    from shore to me the best tide is the last 2 hrs of incoming since they'll move up on the flats in search of food. since i fish from shore my theory is that at the change of the tide i'll cast long at the start and as the tide rises i'll shorten the casts, also i have noticed that the bigger cats move up last so they're the ones i'll target as the tide peeks i'll get bigger cats the last 2 hrs of incoming and the first 2hrs of outgoing.
     
  6. muddyjet

    muddyjet New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Alabama
    I have better luck on a falling tide, especially if the rivers have been a little high.
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Walt, I don't have a wealth of knowlege, but in fishing 45 or so hours last week in the james and a lifetime of river fishing in Ohio These are some casual observations. 1st, the tide, in my opinion just gives you more options. You now, depending upon tide fish both sides of humps, both sides of ledges, have differing current breaks and eddy's, and overal many more times of day when the fishing is or should be good somewhere in the system. Predatory fish feed when bait is vulnerable. When they are shallow the eaters foll the eathen. When current disorient them they become more susceptible to being eaten.

    Pretend you are a baitfish. During an incoming tide you know the brute that wants to eat you is on that side of the structure. If you don't know this, you die. When the tide changes the brute changes sides. As a baitfish, you also are keenly aware of that fact also. Now, in times of transition, there is another period of vulnerability being if you the baitfish go around one side of the hump to switch and the brute goes to the same side as you it's goodbye you!

    In an inland river at least the current is constant and goes in the same direction, thus is more predictable.

    Like I said, it may be pure BS, but it sounds good.... :wink:
     
  8. shania

    shania New Member

    Messages:
    5,942
    State:
    San Leandro, Ca
    :0a27:

    I agree with this post "110%"! :worship: "Mark is right on the money on this one".
    I don't do to much fishing from a boat :)0a14: "maybe it's because I don't own one" - LoL), so I do a lot of my fishing from the shore up here. And when I do my fishing from the shore - and I can't wait for that time of the day to come - "Just for that same reason". But I would like to add something else to that - the begining of the incoming tide from the shore is pertty darn good as well.
    :wink:
     
  9. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Walt, I have had only 3 days on a Tidal river, but I learned alot. As long as the current was moving I.E. coming in or going out. That's when we caught the most fish. Slack tide between the two was pretty dead. I would fish deeper during slack and you can fish shallower ledges with current. Main thing is fish areas you find bait or bait balls. Or just call Capt Hugh LOL.
     
  10. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I have caught fish on both tides but very rarely between. Catfish are oppurtunistic(lazy) and they will position themselves were they are going to have to work less for more food. So in short check for current breaks and watch your graph and fish were you mark fish. If you mark fish in a hole get upcurrent from them and place your baits ontop of the hole. They can and will smell bait upcurrent of them but most likely will if you get it past them or down current from them. If you mark fish they are there just wait them out. If they dont feed on the outgoing tide ty them on the incoming.
     
  11. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I fish a tidal river catching speicies like striper, walleyes, bass, catfish etc. I agrre with most that when the tide is movinf whether incoming or outgoing, that when the fish will bite no matter what species. Slack tide dead!