Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide? [BEST Fishing Tides]

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide

Water movement has a great influence on fish behavior and your fishing success. From currents and waves to tides, all of that will make or break your experience.

Tides are daily occurrences around the world, but their level can significantly vary. In addition to that, moon phases will also influence the intensity of tides. So, how do tides influence fishing and is it worth fishing at low tide?

Fishing at low tide is not the best time for fishing, but that doesn’t mean that catching a fish is completely impossible. If you have the opportunity to choose the time of fishing, I wouldn’t advise you to go during low tide, but if that is the only time you can go, there are certain ways to make the experience worth the effort.

Tides are predictable occurrences and anyone can access information about tides in their local waters. That is an important factor that every angler should consider.

Moving waters will stir up nutrients and trigger feeding behavior you can take advantage of.

Here I will tell you a bit more about tides and their influence on fishing.



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Which Tide Helps Fishing Activity?

Explaining is it worth fishing at low tide can be done by explaining how exactly tides influence fish behavior.

Stagnant waters, like low or high tides, will make fish stay calm and uninterested for feeding. The reason is that nutrients and small baitfish are also stagnant.

When the water is moving, and tidal changes occur, like rising or falling tides, water fill carry around nutrients and the small baitfish will follow. With that movement, predators will also become active and prey on small fish. Actually, even larger, non-predatory species will take advantage of this situation.

So, fish activity is triggered by moving tides, and that means that rising and falling tides are the best for fish activity and for you to present your bait.

But, is it better to fish during falling or rising tides?

The answer is the rising! Incoming tides will bring nutrients closer to the shores on saltwater, and inwards in the estuaries and parts of rivers close to the place where they enter the ocean. Here is a fun fact about river tides. Some are influenced by the tides almost 1000 kilometers upstream from the estuaries! The best example is the Amazon River. But, that is something extraordinary, and majority of rivers will be influenced by tides just in the parts closest to the shores. Fish will follow and come close to the shore where the water will become deeper and suitable for fish to feed.

When the tides are falling, water, and fish, will start moving further from the shore. But this is also a great time for fishing, especially in estuaries. Water will start going out of the estuary and it will carry small fish with it. Predators will be lurking to take advantage of that.

So, the simple answer to the question from the beginning of this chapter is that rising and falling tides help fishing activity and the rising tide is a bit better than the falling one.

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - Best Tides

Do Fish Bite Better in High or Low Tide?

Best fishing tides were described in the previous chapter, but what about low and high, when the water movement stops?

Both times are a bit slow and fish activity stops. When the tide is high, water will be deeper and fish may be in the area you are fishing in, even very close to the shore. But locating, and making the fish interested in your bait may be hard.

Low tides are characterized by shallow water and fish that moved away from the shore. This can be a nightmare for fishing, depending on your location and specific conditions. However, during low tides, fish will be present in deeper holes and areas where the water remained deep enough. Actually, these places may be full of fish. If you are able to find a spot like that and present your bait, there is a high chance that you will get a bite. Just keep in mind to avoid shallow areas and make your presentations slower to match the activity of calm fish.

Both times are equally good (or bad) and which one will be better for you depends on your specific location, waters, fish species, and the amplitude of tides.

What are the Main Benefits of Fishing at Low Tide?

Some downsides may actually be turned into your advantage if you know what you are doing when fishing in low tides.

Here are the best ones!

Pools of fish – when the water goes away, some deeper pools may hold a high number of fish that are left there without an escape route to the ocean. If you can locate such places, you are in for an adventure!

Accessibility – although low tides bring some dangers, and I will mention those later, these conditions allow anglers to access places otherwise too far from the shore.

Lower visibility – low tide, especially on windy days, can cause water to become murky. That is excellent for hiding your otherwise visible fishing lines and equipment that may scare off the fish.

Too deep becomes the perfect depth – some places may be to deep when the tide is high, and at those times you won`t find fish there. When the tide is low, fish will migrate into those areas that now become perfect fishing spots!

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - Rocks

So, Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide?

Some anglers will say NO, some will say YES, and the only way to find out is to go out and try!

When I can, I try to go fishing during rising or falling tides, but sometimes that is not possible.

I had both good and bad fishing days during low tides and although fishing is not as good as during moving tides, it can still be a fun experience. Fishing at low tides will put your skills to the test, but no matter how good you prepare for that, a bit of luck is still needed to land a fish.

In some places of the world, low and high tides last for minutes and the water starts moving again, while in some other places, these maximum and minimum water levels can last for hours.

Also, the difference between high and low tide can be very small, or it can be huge. To figure out is it worth fishing or not, you will have to check out the tides in your local waters.

In oceans tidal changes can be enormous, while in rivers you may barely notice them. Although, there are some exemptions to these rules. It is up to you to decide.

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - Saltwater

What is the Best Bait to Use During Low Tide?

Now when you know that you can fish at low tide, lets see what baits to use!

As already mentioned, fish do not bite at this time as aggressively as they do in high tide. Go for smaller baits and lures, and slower presentations. Fish that are not too interested in feeding wont use their energy to chase a demanding prey, however they may bite a convenient that doesn’t require a lot of effort one if presented right.

From smaller shrimp or baitfish, to artificial imitations of those, everything will work, but only if you downsize and slow down the presentation.

Retrieve steadily and slowly and use finesse baits to increase your chance of success.

It also depends on the water depth at low tide. In shallower pools, where it may be very tricky to catch a fish, you cant try with topwaters or jiggs, while in deeper holes natural bait can work excellent!

What Types of Fish You Can Catch at Low Tide?

Now you have the bait, but who will bite it? Here are the most common fish species that can be caught at low tide:

• Redfish
• Tarpon
• Snook
• Goliath grouper
• Trout
• Flounder
• Bluefish
• Ladyfish

Some of those like tarpon may be located further from the shore and are ideal for those with a boat, while species like ladyfish can be found in deeper holes that now have limited access to the open water due to low tide.

Of course, what other species you will be able to catch depends on locally available species in your area.

How do you Know if it's Low Tide or High Tide?

Anglers who know the area well are able to see the water and immediately know is the tide rising or falling, or is it low or high. In some places, where differences are huge, anyone can see that.

But, in some seas and estuaries, these changes are slow, subtle, and they happen very calmly. So, the best way to know is to check local tidal info. You can search the internet and find out easily. In many countries you can find that info on websites that post weather forecast.

Saltwater tides may be found on nautical websites. Your options are unlimited. Or you can simply ask a friendly local angler to help you.

But the best way to find out is to have some of the popular apps on your phone. No matter where you go, you will always have information available, and you won’t have to search the web. Some of those apps are extremely accurate and updated frequently.

No matter which way of finding out you choose, I would advise you to always check the tidal info to maximize your fishing success, especially if you are fishing in unfamiliar waters or you are fishing beginner.

How to Prepare for Low Tide Fishing?

I already mentioned that you need to check local tidal info to see when the tides are low. I will mention some excellent apps in the following chapter.

And beside that, here are 5 more things to do:

• Check the weather forecast – some weather conditions are better than others, and fishing is usually the best before a storm or in low light conditions!

• Prepare suitable baits – as already mentioned, downsize and slow down!

• Inform yourself about dangers – every place has different tides and dangers that may lurk. I will mention the most important ones in the end, however it is your responsibility to learn everything there is about the place you are going to fish at!

• Use the wind – while boat fishing, fish down the wind, not in the opposite direction. Wind will stir up the water and conceal your line.

• Consider the time of year and temperatures – sometimes, when fish are slow and lazy, as in mid-summer or winter, you won’t have success no matter what you do. That is honest truth, and if it’s not working, don’t stress out and try another day!

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - Boat

What is the Best Tide App for Fishing? [Tides4fishing App]

So, I mentioned apps for tides, but to save you some time that you would spend searching and looking for reviews, I will tell you which one I like the most.

The best tide app for fishing is definitely tides4fishing app.

No matters if you are looking for saltwater fishing tides, or you want to land a fish in an estuary, you can use this app to find out about tides and more.

Every angler knows that weather (and time of day) has a great influence on fishing, so this app can help you with that too. It shows you the forecast, including winds, cloud coverage, humidity, and much more. It even shows you the lunar phases, so that you can consider them if you are ready for some night time fishing.

The app itself is FREE, but if you want it without in-app adds, and to unlock all the features, you will have to make a purchase. So, it is up to you and your needs to decide. I used the free version for some time, and I finally decided to buy it. In my opinion, it is worth it.

This app can be especially useful for those who are traveling for fishing. You will have all the data available in one place and you won`t have to search for the weather, tides, and other info separately.

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - App

What are the Safety Tips for Low Tide Fishing? [and Potential Dangers]

Before you check your tidal app and go on the water, here are a few safety tips about avoiding potential dangers you could encounter.

But firstly, I have to tell you that not all places are dangerous at low tide. In some seas and estuaries there are no dangerous tidal waves or stranded poisonous water organisms. One of such locations is the Mediterranean.

However, in some other places, it can be much worse. But you know how they say, “high risk high reward”!

Low tide allows you position yourself at places that are under water during high tides.

Here are the possible dangers and tips how to avoid them:

Tidal Waves – tidal waves may seem small but they are extremely strong. Those are not surface waves and the whole body of water is receding away from the shore, towards the deep water. The bigger the time span between those waves is, the higher the danger. Avoid walking through such water, or even fishing from a small underpowered boat, especially if you are not familiar with such conditions.

Stranded poisonous organisms – at low tide, some fish and other marine life may end up stranded in the small pools of water. Be careful not to touch them or walk with unprotected feet through such places, especially if you don’t know local species.

Speed of incoming high tide – you may be enjoying your fishing day at low tide, however in some places high tides can come swiftly and aggressively. Do not wander too far out at low tide and stay close to escape routes.

Rocks, holes, mud, and dangerous terrain – low tide will uncover some bottom parts that may be very dangerous and navigating over them on foot. Injures and falls are highly possible, so be careful!

Is it Worth Fishing at Low Tide - Wave


Is it worth fishing at low tide depends on your abilities and a specific situation. It is true that fishing at low tides is not the best time for fishing, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go fishing at all.

With a bit of experience, and even luck, you still have a chance to catch a fish. Low tides will enable you to see the bottom better and to find a perfect place to present your bait.

But, if you are able to choose your fishing time, go during rising tides. Extremes, both low and high, are just not optimal.

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