Increasing Shallow Water Fishing Productivity: Barometric Pressure, Moon Phase, and Tide

Fishing, Flounder Gigging -

Increasing Shallow Water Fishing Productivity: Barometric Pressure, Moon Phase, and Tide


We’ve had some really good questions from our flounder gigging customers so we’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to the topic.

  • How important is barometric pressure to shallow water fishing and flounder gigging?
  • Which moon phase is the best for shallow water fishing and/or flounder gigging at night? What time of the lunar year do these moon phases occur?
  • Which tide conditions are best for shallow water night fishing and gigging?
  • When will you guys have your 316 stainless steel flounder gigs back in stock?
    We just finished another round – order them here 


Barometric Pressure

One of the most overlooked aspects of fishing is barometric pressure. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division Assistant Director, Spud Woodward, exposes the science behind it. Woodward explained that a fish senses pressure changes through air in its bladder. “Fish that have small air bladders, such as kings, spanish mackerel, wahoo and dolphin, aren’t as affected by barometric changes as those with large bladders such as trout, redfish, tarpon, grouper and snapper.” Woodward continues to explain how changes in barometric pressure cause the fish to experience discomfort, and to appease the discomfort the fish will swim to deeper waters where the pressure is more constant.

Woodward did not comment directly on flounder, so we’ve done some additional research to expose the correlation. The Southern Flounder maintain its position on the ocean floor by maintaining a small body cavity and the absence of air in their bladder. However, most of the baitfish the flounder feed on are upright swimmers with small bladders. Based on these findings, flounder may not be directly affected by barometric pressure changes but their food source is, so barometric pressure changes should always be kept in mind. Low pressure fronts are more advantageous for fisherman than high pressure, but regardless, it is the mere change that causes discomfort in the fish so both will hinder the chances fish will be feeding. Key takeaway: be aware of barometric pressure changes, hit the waters before a front moves in. Pre-frontal bite is most aggressive with a dropping barometric pressure.


Moon Phase

When it comes to flounder gigging at night, moon phase is not one of the aspects that will make or break your trip but it may make for a hard time gigging flounder. After interviewing several commercial and recreational fisherman, the most common feedback we received matches with our personal experiences: a full moon makes it more difficult to gig flounder because they will spook very easily, but we still find success with a full moon. If you can spot and gig the flounder quickly, you can often catch them before they start moving. When they start moving they typically move away slowly and then, as you get closer, they speed up. Key takeaway: have quick reflexes in a full moon.


2018 Gulf Coast Lunar Calendar


If you neglect the navigating difficulty associated with a low tide for boats with a deep draft and primarily focus on flounder behavior, a low and rising tide is typically the most beneficial for shallow water fishing and flounder gigging. Flounder, redfish, and baitfish alike will come in as a low tide rises. If your boat drafts too deep for a low tide, we recommend finding some clear water on a high tide with conditions that match those in previous blog posts. There are several internet resources to find the tide in your area. One that I recommend is: You are able to find a lot of valuable local information from this government resource.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Earth rotates through two tidal “bulges” each lunar day and coastal areas will experience two high and two low tides every 24 hours and 50 minutes. High tides occur 12 hours and 25 minutes apart and it takes 6 hours and 12.5 minutes for the water at shore to go from high to low, or from low to high. The lunar day is 50 minutes longer than the solar day because the moon revolves around the Earth in the same direct the Earth rotates around its axis (Sumich, J.L., 1996; Thurman, H.V., 1994).

Key takeaway: be aware of the tide, a low tide and rising has high potential for success.


The new Swamp Eye lights will be coming out in mid-April and you will be the FIRST to know!

Some of the key upgrades include:
  • Higher quality LEDs that draw less power but are even brighter
  • Aerospace grade abrasion resistant and corrosion resistant wiring
  • WATERPROOF and more! 
We will have the full list of upgrades out in the near future. Due to the high demand, there is currently a wait list for these lights, so if you are interested please email us at to be put on the list.

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