If you’re like me and live on tidal waters, you will know the phrase, “Chasing the tide”.  For those that do not know this phrase, it is what it says.  In tournament bass fishing, there may come a time where you will have to fish tidal rivers.  Rivers such as the Potomac, James and Chickahominy are tidal waters just to name a few.  These rivers are located near the Atlantic Ocean and the gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth as it is rotating on its axis causes fluctuations in the rise and fall of the water in these rivers.  These fluctuations causes the bass and other fish within these river systems to position themselves to where it will be easier for them to catch baitfish coming and going with the current.  When the current is moving, it positions the fish better on the cover and structure that is available to them.  The last part of the falling tide and the first part of the incoming tide are the best times to target fish.  In a high tide, the fish become braver.  By that I mean they tend to “search” out bait fish more and move.  The fish are able to move to different areas that are not available to them during low tide, such as flooded timber, rocks, etc…

Having that said, in order to chase the tide, you will need to know the times and locations of where high or low tide is at.  Tide charts are a great way to get an understanding as to where these will occur.  Why is this important?  Let’s say that your best catch has been on an incoming tide.  Once the tide is at its peak, it goes slack.  When this happens, the fishing is harder.  So you will want to find an area upriver that the tide is still coming in.  This is where these charts help out the best.  Now, there is the possibility of you burning a lot of gas in doing so, but placing in the top 5 of a tournament is worth it, right?  In doing all of the “running and gunning” style of fishing, face protection is a must.  I use the Save Phace Tactical Diss-Diablo mask when shooting to my next spot.

When fishing these tides, it is imperative that you use reaction baits such as Boing “Boinger”, Red Dirt Bait Company white spinnerbait, or an Unfair Lures Rip-N-Slash.  These styles of baits will entice the fish to strike out of their predatory reactive response thus enabling you to catch fish.  The next time you are on the trail and you end up at a tidal river, try “Chasing the Tide” in order to increase your chance of collecting a check.