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Pascagoula River Bassin

Tips for fishing tidal waters?

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I live on the Pascagoula River in Southeast MS, which is a very wide river  and is very close to the gulf. I was wondering if any experienced anglers had any advice on tournament fishing a river system such as this. I am about to become a boater in my bass fishing club, and since I'll be looking for my own spots now I'm wanting to start off on the right foot. I know during the heat of summer that bass move deeper, but being a river system there isn't much structure to target in deep water due to the moving tides... the same goes for vegetation. So where would I start in my search for a decent limit? Any help would be much appreciated.

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I fish tidal rivers in Virginia. They are usually pretty murky. I fish them pretty much the same way I fish lakes. My tidal rivers have very little structure in the river itself. But it has lots of blown down trees on the banks and I fish the ends of those as the tide is moving. There are also quiet inlets I like to fish.

I'm most successful when I fish with the tide, not against it. Bass set themselvesup to ambush baitfish as they swim in and out with the tide. For some reason, I'm most successful fishing on an outgoing tide rather than incoming, but I still don't know why that is.

When I'm fishing around the ends of the blowdowns, I have a lot of luck with firetiger and craw colored crankbaits - Rapalas and Bombers. Rat-L-Traps work well, too. Black worms, like Zoom Trick worms work well for me.

When the fish move out of the shallows into deeper water nearer the center of the river, I usually am successful with deep diving crankbaits. Deep diving Rapala DTs and rattling Shad Raps work well. I also get fish on heavily weighted plastics.

I really like fishing my tidal rivers, with their hard, gravel bottoms.

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Tidal fishing timing is extremely critical, tidal fish move a lot but can be very predictable. When you catch them pay attention to time and tidal level and get you a tidal chart. Some spots are good on high tide, some on low tide, and some spots are good in between. Your job is to determine when a spot is best and then to duplicate the timing in the future.

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Moving water both tide and current are the most important aspects of tidal river fishing.  Woo Daves had a great video a few years back that would help you a lot if you could find it.

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