How the Tides Affect Tarpon Fishing

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The feeding habits of most inshore fish are affected greatly by the tides and tarpon are no exception.  The strongest tides tend to offer anglers some of the best tarpon fishing.  When the moon is full or new, the gravitational pull is at its strongest as the moon and sun combine.  During the full moon and new moon, high tides will be very high and the low tides will be very low.  These are the peak times to fish for tarpon.  Combine these tidal changes with lowlight conditions of the early morning, late evening and at night and you have an even better chance to catch some tarpon.

An incoming tide or outgoing tide will both be productive when tarpon fishing.  The key is moving water.  A slack tide is the worst.  An incoming tide can be a great time to fish the beaches, flats and backwater areas.  Big tarpon will move into these shallow water areas to put the feed on.  The outgoing tide can still be good for fish in the backwaters and on the flats just following the high tide.  As water levels continue to drop, the better spots to fish will be the bridges and passes.  Fishing is good on both the incoming and outgoing tides near the bridges and passes, but the outgoing tide tends to pull lots of bait through these areas and tarpon will be waiting to ambush these baits.  If you get a chance to get out and do some tarpon fishing, just make sure to fish during the tidal changes and don’t forget that the strongest tides during the full moon and new moon will offer some of the best fishing.


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