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Fishing Tidal Creeks

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Theres a tidal creek near me that I like to fish but havent ever really had any success.  Granted, I just got into fishing and until I found this place I was really just winging it and not approaching fishing with any sort of strategy. 


Anyway, on either side of the creek channel it is pretty flat and shallow (maybe 2-3 feet deep at high tide).  At low tide the water is maybe a couple of inches in some areas but during the winter, when there is no vegetation, you can see all the silt so there is essentially no water.  During the spring/summer/fall months there are tons of deadfallen trees laying in the creek surrounded by vegetation.  Aside from the channel there is almost no open water with the exception of a couple of little coves.  It seems like it is a perfect place for fish to be hiding out.  But Im not sure if its worth trying fishing the thick cover during high tide.  Do bass use these areas at all or do they typically stick to places with consistent water levels? Im bank fishing and the only areas to fish the channel are over fished.  Just looking for advise on whether I should bother fishing it and any tips on how.  Sorry for being so long winded!  :)  Thanks!

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I fish some tidal canals, I don't target bass but have caught some there.  When fishing tides it's good to know what to target on high, low or tide change.  In other words, you have to know the characteristics of your target species, you can waste a lot time being there at the wrong time.  When fishing tidal you may have a small window of opportunity.

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Here are some suggestions and information for you to consider.

Tidal fishing is excellent if you know the tide times.

You always want a falling tide to force the fish out of the grass and into deeper water. The bass also feed with current so a falling tide is best since they will feed.

Bass will seek shelter from predators and a good place to ambush a nice meal. This includes any type of structure they can find such as grass, wood, rock, drop offs, man made junk, dock pilings, etc. So if you can flip and pitch to any wood or grass give it a shot.

With that information in mind you may catch small "dinks" in lieu of the large ladies. The smaller bass will hide in the back creeks along with their cousins, the bluegills.

Here is what I suggest:

1. Fish for the bluegills and bream to be sure they are there. They are bass food and if you can't find them then there will be no bass.

2. Check out the size and health of the bluegills and bream. Are they healthy and strong?

3. Once you know the forage fish are in the creek up grade your presentions to shaky heads, wacky rigs, spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits and if possible, crankbaits.

Crankbaits can get lost easily in the wood and grass. Since you are on the bank I doubt you will want to go into the water to get your lures so kiss them goodbye.

4. Start to upgrade your baits. Go from a 6-inch worm or 4-inch Senko to a trick worm and a 5-inch Senko. Try a Swamp Crawler. Hit 'em with a Rage Tail crawfish, space monkey or Rage lizard. Go with a crappie size crankbait on a light tackle spinning rig and then upsize to a Bandit 100 or a KVD 1.5.

Go with a small and inexpensive jig and pig. If that works you can upgrade to a more expensive presentation if you think that will work.

You have to find the fish, if they are there. You may catch 50 dinks and never one over a pound.

Or the big mother of them all is back there taking it easy.

Be watchful of critters and always take your needle nose pliers; tell someone where you will be fishing; and take your cell phone with you.

Let us know how you do.

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And Jbone, if the high tide has water levels along the shore fish the high tide and the shoreline.

Bass will hit the shallows in search of food or to ejjoy some warmer water so take advantage of the high tide water.

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Thanks a lot for the advice I will give it a shot!  The water does come right up to the shore line at high tide.  I grew up in the woods along the creek but never fished it.  I know how to get places most other would never try, so Im hoping theres fishing hiding out away from all the pressure.  Cant wait for things to warm up!  THanks again!

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