In my opinion, nothing challenges a bass angler like a tidal fishery. Heck, even pros like Kevin Vandam just got his ego crushed last month on the Potomac River, catching just over 8 pounds of bass total for a sweet 99th place finish. I’m sure KVD is still ahead of the house on that tidal fishery, considering he’s won there before, but nevertheless tidal fisheries can humble us all. That being said, if you fish tidal rivers on a consistent basis, over time you’ll stumble across high-percentage areas that seem to kick out a bass or two regardless of the tide stage or time of the year. And my favorite high-percentage targets are seawalls. Here’s why.
If you think about it, seawalls aren’t often just straight walls. The crevices, cracks, and deviations in the walls offer hiding places for bass and their forage. The base of the wall is usually atypical in that it may include a rock pile from when it was built, a cluster of underwater pilings, or even fish-attracting debris that people have “accidentally” dropped off the wall over time. Seawalls almost always offer shade as well, but there’s even more to it than these points that make seawalls such high percentage areas. It’s the hard line that seawalls offer both the bass and the angler. Basically, they make life simpler for both parties.
When the bass are pushing shallower during an incoming tide, they may follow a seawall to the shallows, stopping for a bite on key wall deviations, or they may just push to the shallow transition on some portion of that seawall. That’s why it’s wise for anglers to choose seawalls that offer a variation in depth. Some of the best seawalls to focus on are in industrial areas where there are multiple walls and depth transitions to choose from. The opposite effect then happens with the outgoing tide. Sure, some bass may entirely pull away from the wall as the tide goes out, but a high percentage of them will just follow the wall to where it offers deeper water refuge. What you’ll find is that certain 20 foot sections of the wall provide the perfect contour, structure, and depth to pretty much hold a few fish all year and at any tide stage. Figuring out which 20 foot sections are the magic ones, of course, involve putting in your time.
And by the way, when you dial in those money stretches on your walls, keep it simple: a black a blue jigs pitch cast against the wall rarely fails.