Understanding Moving Water Part 1

Moving water is key, especially for trout. Without a tideline to form bait and give them an idea as to where to ambush their prey, trout will sit tight and won’t be “turned on.” While there are always exceptions it is generally known that you need moving water to catch fish.

To see what tidelines are and how to find them please refer to "How to Find Fishing Spots Using Google Earth" in this course.

How do you find moving water?

The answer to that question depends on the conditions at hand and is a long winded one. It is essential to understand the bigger picture of how tide and wind work together to move water inside the marsh. Making a decision based off a single condition can be fatal for a fishing trip. So let’s look at tide behavior and fluid dynamics to see the bigger picture.

First off, the tide does not move the same everywhere at once. It can be falling on one side of the marsh and rising on the other. It is totally possible for the water to literally be higher and only 20 miles away be lower. Knowing this can make you a rockstar of moving water! It is feasible to start fishing on one side of the marsh and work your way to the other side and not see a slack tide until much later.

For example, look at the two tide charts below. One is for Gardner Island on the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and the other is for Shell Beach, near Campo’s Marina.

You will see that the Gardner Island Tide Table is about four hours ahead of the Shell Beach tide table but both locations are only about 20 miles apart. It is smart to fish the MRGO before beating feet to Bayou St. Malo and catching the falling tide there as well.

This entire area stretching from Breton Sound to Lake Borgne is unique because the tide has to travel from Breton Sound to the Chandeleur Sound around the Biloxi Marsh to the Mississippi Sound and eventually Lake Borgne. As you guessed, it takes about four hours.

You may not have this uniqueness in your area, but you can certainly move with the tide and avoid slack water.

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