Most saltwater anglers believe that moving tides — incoming or outgoing — are the best parts of the tide cycle to fish. And they believe slack tide to be the worst, either slack high or low.
The exception is when fishing for tripletail.
These tasty and feisty fish can be caught on a slack tide and on either a rising or falling tide if the current isn’t moving too much, according to Mark Wright of Legends of the Lower Marsh Guide Service.
“When the tide is moving, it’s usually not too tough to still see the fish under crab-trap floats or PVC markers, but when it’s really ripping and the surface is very choppy, it can be a little challenging to see them,” Wright said. “But on the slack tide, it’s easier to see them, it’s easier to get into casting position without being pushed by the current, and it’s easier to spot the fish and watch them take the bait.”
In September, tripletail have two things in mind — staying in the shade, and eating — and lucky for anglers, these fish really don’t care what stage the tide is in. if an easy meal presents itself, they’re likely to take it, no matter what.
This makes tripletail a perfect fish in several ways. It means anglers can fish a whole day without skipping a beat during slack tide, and anglers targeting other species like redfish and speckled trout can add tripletail to the menu once the tide is full high or dead low and reds and specks slow down or stop biting.
“When you’re running up and down these crab-trap lines, you’re normally going to see some tripletail under these floats, but it’s even easier to see them at slack tide because there is very little ripple on the surface,” Wright said. “Live bait is still a great choice at slack tide, and it’s also a really good time for fly anglers to cast small permit crab patterns. It’s best to cast as close to the fish as possible, then use slow, short strips to keep the crab in the strike zone as long as possible.”