Posted - 08/08/2012 : 10:21:47 AM
| I frequently hear people asking about how to fish in the currents that are formed from tidal flow. Many times people are coming from fishing smaller lakes and ponds where there is no current. I've heard many complain about it, but in reality the current is your friend when it comes to targeting inshore saltwater species.
To understand how to fish in a current you really only need to think like a fish. If you've ever spent anytime swimming in our rivers or at the beach you know that swimming against current can be very tiring and cause you to expend quite a bit of energy. Fish are the same way. They can and do swim in current, but they do not want to expend all of their energy swimming against the flow. They will find areas of deeper water near the shallow feeding areas where they can get out of current. The deeper water also gives them protection from predators. Looking for areas bordered by deeper water is always a good place to start.
Fish will also seek relief from current around structure of any kind. In our area these types of structure include rocks, docks, fallen trees and shell banks. You will often find fish on the down current side of these structures, especially in an area where an eddie forms. These eddies provide a place for fish to rest and also provide great ambush points for fish to wait on bait to come by.
Feeder creeks flowing off of larger rivers provide great fishing spots for several reasons. These smaller creeks are feeder creeks for the larger river and they also bring plenty wash plenty of baitfish out into the river. Normally the water flow right at the mouth and slightly down current from the mouth provides eddies and confused water that will often time slow smaller baitfish down or confuse their swimming making them easy targets for larger predators. Many of these smaller creeks also have nice shell points that extend out at the mouths. These shell points provide great ambush points for fish to feed.
Fishing docks and rock walls in rivers and creeks can provide some great fishing, especially when they are on the outside of a bend in the river. Generally the outside of the bend provides deeper water and the docks provide the ambush points and current breaks that the fish are looking for. A dock that has water at low tide will have more structure, such as barnacles and oysters growing on and around it. These natural habitats attract baitfish, which will in turn attract larger fish.
Fallen trees are another great structure that provides shelter for baitfish and will create current breaks as well. These trees are normally found on the outside of bends where the tidal flow has carved out the bank causing the trees to fall.
With all of these types of structures and conditions, the key to remember is to have your bait or lure follow the natural flow of the current. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one is that the predator fish are facing into the current. They cannot maintain position if there back is to the current they will just be pushed along. Bait will follow the flow of water as well. Casting up current will allow your bait to follow the natural flow of things and pass right by the ambush points the fish have chosen.