Bass anglers who fish tidal waters must contend with complicating factors they don’t face in traditional freshwater lakes. The obvious difference is the water’s daily rise and fall, a variable that repositions fish and dramatically impacts their feeding periods.

However, another key consideration is crossover forage. Shrimp, mullet, mud minnows — all are common assumptions, but don’t miss the fact that tidal bass will also munch on small crabs. It’s no stretch from the largemouth’s well-known crawfish cravings, so look for ways of integrating crab imitations into your tidal repertoires.

One good option is enhancing soft plastic baits with crab accents. Blue crabs, for example, have touches of red and orange on their shells, so touching up the tips of your YUM Bad Mamma or Christie Craw might do the trick.

Also, the vibration and clicking sounds of spinnerbaits will mimic scurrying crabs, so keep these baits handy. A good bet for tidal waters is the Bomber Saltwater Grade Drumbeater, as the prominent Colorado blade puts off significant thump and flash that helps bass locate the bait in the often murky waters of tidal fisheries.

In clear tidal waters, bass will rely on traditional sight feeding, so spinnerbaits with one or two willow blades enhance the appeal with a baitfish ruse. When facing into the clear flow of an outgoing tide filtered by shallow vegetation, the fish are used to short windows of opportunity, so burning a spinnerbait down the feeding lane is usually best.

And don’t overlook the strategy of bottom bumping. Scampering crabs kick up little puffs of sand or mud, so use those shaky heads, dropshots or even a light Carolina rig to simulate such disturbances. When the bite’s tough, you might show your fish the subtle look of a Bomber Saltwater Grade Nylure Pompano Jig with a scampering, bottom-scrounging performance.