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 low light conditions of the early morning, late evening and at night and you have an even better chance to catch some tarpon.
Fish an Incoming Tide
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. As the tide gets closer to reaching the high tide, the fishing tends to be better farther back into these backwater areas as tarpon can now get into many of these areas to feed that they couldn’t get into during the low tide.
Fish an Outgoing Tide
The outgoing tide can still be good for fish in the backwaters and on the flats just following the high tide. However, as water levels continue to drop, the better spots to fish will be the bridges and passes. These areas will have more depth and they will be able to hold more fish as the tide gets closer to the low tide.
Fish a High Tide
The high tide is a great time for tarpon fishing. You can still find plenty of tarpon in deeper water of the bays, near the passes and the bridges. However, if you want to go shallow, the high tide brings tarpon back into some of the backwater areas where the fishing can be super exciting. Both sides of the high tide will work, but the fish may position themselves differently based on an incoming tide or an outgoing tide. On an incoming tide that is approaching the high tide, tarpon know they can navigate the shallow waters safely, so they can be found all over the place in the backwater areas. As the tide is going back out though, many tarpon will get out of these shallow water areas, so the better spots will be any choke point that funnels fish from a larger area through a smaller area to get back to the deeper water in the bays.
Fish a Low Tide
Low tides can be good times to fish because this will help you eliminate a lot of water. Most of the shallow backwater areas will not be as productive and some areas won’t hold any tarpon at all. This is when most anglers will head out to fish some of the better deep water spots such as passes, bridges and out in the bays.