Don’t forget the early season flood

Redfish will pull up on flats and tail on high water, even during the early spring.

Spring can force anglers to break out every trick in the book to get redfish to cooperate, in part because they’re spooky from the heavy winter fishing pressure.

Besides the return of blue crabs to the marsh as spring approaches, nothing else can make for great fishing like a flood tide. Tailing action isn’t limited to summer and fall. When a particularly high tide arrives, blue crabs and fiddler crabs will head for higher ground, and reds will follow.

Guide Jordan Pate said he tries not to miss any flood-tide days during March, when most anglers haven’t even thought about their tide tables.

“We see tailers on the flood tides in late March. The earliest I have ever seen them on the tailing flats is the third week of March,” Pate said. “As soon as the crabs become available, the tailing opportunities will start.”

Tailing fish will slide up onto the flats as soon as there is enough water to cover their backs, and they will follow the water as it floods every inch of high ground.

According to tide tables, the first tailing tides should take place in the morning hours of March 27-29. Tailing tides will return April 27-28, also in the mornings.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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