Winter Crankbait Tips

Bass Fishing in Tidal Waters

Fishing Techniques
Tidal waters

Bass Fishing has jumped from the conventional little back pond image. Let's look into our past to see the future. First, we see Bass pictures with large strings of fish hanging on boards. Today we see large catch-and-release tournaments. We have a lot of pressure going toward lakes and rivers. Fishermen are now turning toward fishing tidal waters as an area that is not pressured as much. For years fishermen would launch their boats in the freshwater rivers and head for the salt water. One of the reasons for this was to allow them to flush their motors after a day on the salt water. In my area, I have found more and more fishermen are not heading for the Gulf but, in fact, fishing for Bass. One of the neatest things I ever saw was in Crystal River, Florida, when I looked into the water and saw a Bass about five pounds. Just below the Bass were two saltwater crabs crawling under the fish.

Something you need to consider - Florida Licenses: if you are fishing for Bass in tidal water areas, you could also be fishing in an area that supports Redfish or Snook. I asked about licenses and was told that if you have the potential to catch both freshwater and saltwater fish in the same area, you need both fresh and saltwater licenses. That is a fine line, or as they say, "You are walking on thin ice." I guess to be safe. You need both licenses, so use good judgment.

In Florida, I fish tidal waters the most in the Crystal River, Homosassa River, Chassahowitzka River, and the Weeki Wachee River. All these places require light lines and long casts. Why? The water is so clear it is like fishing in a swimming pool. In many cases, fishermen learn how to fish different styles of baits due to the clarity of the water. If nothing else, you can learn a lot about lure presentation. Take this information to the cloudy waters of some hot lakes, and you might clean house the next time you go fishing.

I use medium-heavy rods and strong reels (one will never know what will bite). I use a St. Croix Victory casting rod and a Shimao Calcutta 400 baitcasting reel. Add Berkley's Big Game line, and most of the fishing will become catching. I like using this combination for topwater baits like Zara Spook Puppies, Rapalas, or buzzbaits. I also catch salt and freshwater fish on spinnerbaits. For crankbaits, I like Rat-L-Traps. Big Bite Baits produces a line of baits that don't care about their location. Most of their products will bring in a trophy while fishing, either salt or freshwater. Z-Man lures also will do an excellent job for you in the tidal waters. There are so many great lures, lines, rods, and reels I could talk about them forever (you know I am a fishing nut). When everything else fails, use a product that you have confidence in.

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