Best Tide for Catching Speckled Trout

Published / Updated On:.
May 19, 2020
Best Tide for Catching Speckled Trout

If you look online, read articles, or talk to anglers who fish often you will probably get different answers from everyone about what is the best tide for catching Speckled Trout. In this article, we will talk about feeding habits and how it relates to tide movements so you can plan your next Speckled Trout fishing trip to put you on that epic trout bite!

Speckled Trout Feed Habits:

Speckled Trout are ambush predators.  You ever wonder why you tend to catch more trout with live bait vs dead bait or why lures mimicking live prey such as shad or shrimp produce better results over dead bait.  That’s because Speckled Trout prefer to wait and ambush bait as it is flowing by. Why burn energy chasing bait if the tide can bring it to you. If the water is moving, trout will be more active and more likely to feed.  When the water is not moving (slack tide), trout become inactive and do not feed nearly as aggressively.  However with every rule of thumb there are always exceptions to that rule. In winter trout can be found feeding on bait fish outside of currents or in slack water. This has to do with the lack of shrimp migration and minimal tidal movements which forces them to pursue bait fish such as finfish near cover, rock piles and oyster reefs. However, during the spring, summer and early fall when shrimp are plentiful and tide movements are strong, they will be primarily ambushing bait in moving water.

What Tide is Best for Catching Speckled Trout?

The most common answer you will hear is “just before and after tide changes” or “the last two hours of a rising and the first two hours of a failing tide”. Maybe the better question to ask is what kind of water movement is best to catch speckled trout. The short answer is you probably don’t want to focus on areas where the tide is extremely fast or extremely slow. Another words, avoid extremes. But rather focus on areas where the tide movement is not real fast but not real slow either. Obviously most of us don’t have flow velocity meters in our back pocket but you can figure it out by remembering a few simple rules.  During peak tidal movements shallow bodies of water and bayou’s / canals that create natural funnels will increase the speed of the water.  Bodies of water that are more wide open like bays and ponds back in the marsh will flow slower due to the larger space.


Fishing during a rising or falling tide will produce the best Speckled Trout results. Locating areas at different stages of the tidal range will help.  If you are in one spot where the tide is ripping through fast and not getting any hits, don’t just go to another spot where the tide is doing the exact same thing.  Find a different location where the water flow is a little slower. Conversely, if you are fishing an area where the tide is barely moving due to geographic location, move to an area where water is funneling in or out of to find quicker moving water. Try to keep moving until you find that sweet spot for tidal movement and you will have better luck catching Speckled Trout.  Wind direction and speed can also affect tidal movements so sometimes you have to keep moving to find the X.


If you are looking for a good time and want to get on some exceptional Speckled Trout Fishing, check out our Louisiana Fishing Charter Pricing to see the different Hook Dat Fishing Charters packages we offer. Look forward to seeing you on the water!

a little about the author
Capt Mike Del Toro
I am 43 years old born and raised in New Orleans, LA. I was fortunate to grow up fishing the inshore and offshore waters of Louisiana. I have fished both salt and freshwater my entire life all over the country and one thing is for certain. Nothing beats the beautiful pristine waters and marshes of the Sportsman's Paradise!
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