How Do Bass React To The Tide?

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How Do Bass React To The Tide?
How Do Bass React To The Tide? Photo by Kool C on Unsplash

So really, how do bass react in the tide? Before we start to get into the answer to that question, I think we should look at how the tide works. Ultimately, there is no rhyme or reason to bass fishing, in my opinion. I have fished all states of the tides in my lifetime of fishing. Of course, I can only give you an opinion on our area and what I have experienced over the years.

Why do bass like the tide?

Seabass are predators and love to ambush their prey. They love any structure they can hide behind, waiting for that vulnerable morsel to dare cross their path. Let’s face it; food is abundant for that bass to get its teeth into. Whether it be crabs, shrimps, prawns or small fish, I don’t think they’re in any danger of going hungry. Now could this be the reason we don’t always catch? Or are they just not there at all? These are questions asked regularly by bass fishing.

How Do Bass React To The Tide? My Two Biggest Bass Ever

In 2019, I had my biggest bass ever. Ultimately, not on the lures but peeler crab. That night was around April time, and there was still an ample amount of peeler crabs around. We had a bucket full, to be honest. Softies, for me, are always going to be the Joker in the pack when the bass home in to feed.

How Do Bass React To The Tide
How Do Bass React To The Tide?

How Do Bass React To The Tide? Weather Conditions

Amazingly, this was a cold night to fish. Realistically, I wouldn’t normally entertain an easterly wind like that, definitely not for lure fishing anyway. But I was in for a treat but had to wait until the ebbing tide to be rewarded. Yes, we had the odd fish as we fished the tide up, but it really kicked off about 2 hours after high water. In fact, the minute I turned round to try and bait up, my rod was hanging off the rod rest. Unbelievably, I still didn’t connect with some of those ferocious bites. The fish must have been having a frenzy in that water. But what made them react as they did?

11lb Bass PB
My PB 11lb

The start of the tide ripping through at full strength

So why did they turn up like that? Could it have been down the direction of the wind? Or just the strength of the ebbing tide after high water? That area we were fishing is a really rocky mark. Coincidentally, the fish were feeding over a great area of sand directly in front of us. I personally was only casting out 30/40 yards avoiding the rock because of the snags. This has changed my perception of just fishing the rocks and trying sandy bays for lure fishing in future.

How come bass come so close to feed?

I reckon as the water gets shallower, the movement of the tide exposes those vulnerable creatures that the bass love to feed on. You would think the rocks would be a safer bet for the bass, and maybe they are but not that night. I caught an 11lb beauty that night, and the following week another cracking 9lb 4 same conditions, same venue and fishing on the sand.

Getting back to the tide. This is why I reckon the bass are so close because of the volume of water over the shallower ground. In deeper waters, the ground will never be exposed, so not the same action or turbulent water. We know that bass love rough conditions, too, so this may be the answer to why they come in so close.

Fishing the flooding tide

One night, we had fished the ebbing tide right down to low water. In my opinion, actual low tide and ultimately high tide are rubbish for bass fishing. But that’s not always true. For me, it always seems to be dead. Amazingly, I’m not saying we always catch in between high and low or visa versa; we definitely do not. I have just found that the most productive times for catching are not high or low.

Moving on, we fished right through the low tide until we were just about to throw the towel in. Then, when we decided to go, my fishing buddy cast a line into what I would imagine being a LOSS OF LURE TERRITORY. Yes, straight over the groin with a sinking Savage Gear Sandeel Lemon back. Then instantaneously, bang! Fish on. The fish kept on coming for about an hour of madness until it was too dangerous to carry on.

So why don’t you just turn up and fish those states of the tides?

Great question, and to me, that makes so much sense. Amazingly, it never works out like that because the lower sets of tides will not be as strong. Meaning, the tides build in strength and then drop, and the cycle goes about its thing. Not the most scientific explanation, but that’s me, I’m afraid. Around the spring tides, the strength will be stronger because there is a larger volume of water. Here is a link so you can properly understand how this works.

Are the bass hanging around waiting at low tide?

Earlier, I mentioned that the bass just seemed to turn up. However, according to other fishing opinions, they are waiting around the rocks and will still be feeding. As I have mentioned in other posts, I would not dispute that; I’m all ears. In fact, that is great news, but where we fish, It does not seem to be the case. One fisherman mentioned The Chug Bug being a great lure at slack water. That’s well handy: because I have two that go right back to the eighties and haven’t seen the light of day since then.

Could That popping action be the answer to our slack tide dilemma?

I have used surface lures at low tide and had no luck whatsoever. So maybe, an exaggerated action with the Chug Bug could be a new tactic I will be itching to try. Could that explosive action spur that bass into life, or are they not there, I wonder?


4 thoughts on “How Do Bass React To The Tide?”

  1. Keith and the bass man, what a great resource. I am returning to angling, as ive an 11 yr old who is very keen, i mean obsessed and has re ignited the spark, i know we probably aren’t in the best area for bass as we are in the north east/south east Scotland, water is like gin, some big pollock and wrasse near us but awkward rock marks for me let alone a young lad, we will hopefully connect with some bass off the beaches at some point. The frustrating thing is i was originally from south coast lol.Great work lads keep it up. Tight lines

  2. Hi Keith just returning to fishing after 30 years do you think I can lure at high tide over the groins at minnis towards Reculver cheers John

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