There are many fishermen who prefer using artificial baits when targeting redfish, and for good reason. With so many life-like lures on the market today, using artificial baits is highly effective. Whether the fish are in the top, middle or bottom of the water column, there is an artificial bait for the job. These fish happen to prey upon a wide variety of critters, and thus many different types of lures replicate that natural prey. In general, always try to “match the hatch,” imitating the baits that are currently within the area.
Lures for Catching Redfish
Redfish spend an enormous amount of time in the estuaries. As the seasons change, redfish behave slightly differently and are affected by different parts of the day. Having the lures to work the entire water column is essential for such a mobile and moody species.
Spoons for Redfish
Spoons are an essential piece of any inshore fisherman’s toolbox. Spoons are very easy to use, and can be reeled slowly over the grasses or hard-bottom to imitate a lost baitfish, or jerked for an “injured fish” appeal. Redfish seem to prefer the golden spoons over the silver, but will strike both.
Using a spoon will be most effective during the middle or end of the day when the fish are residing in the middle and bottom water columns. This is particularly true during the more dramatic summer and winter seasons. Spoons can be effective when redfish are on the beaches.
Targeting tailing schools is somewhat of an art, but casting a one ounce gold spoon into a school is almost a guaranteed method.
Soft Baits for Redfish
Soft baits are one of the most effective ways to target redfish because they imitate the natural bait very closely. These soft baits come in a wide variety of imitations, including shrimp, fish and crabs. These baits can be utilized on either a Carolina-rigged setup, or a jig head for bouncing of the bottom, or free-lined for a top-water approach.
Remember that smell is one of the primary hunting mechanisms that redfish use to find prey. Scented products are extremely helpful.
Topwater Lures for Redfish
Most morning activity will be in the calm shallow water. This is the time to pull out the top-water lures. Many types of lures exist – just be sure to imitate the type of bait the fish are busting. Top-water lures are meant for making noise and commotion on the top of the water, imitating an injured fish, which initiates the instinct to bite.
Artificial Flies for Redfish
As with any artificial bait fishing, when using a fly, you want to imitate the natural bait in the area. This might include fish, shrimp or crabs depending on the area and the season. Flies imitating these baits are available by many manufacturers, some specifically designed for redfish. When using the fly, care should be taken to present it fairly close to the fish, and in the direction the fish is looking. Since these flies are not going to be scented in any kind of way, you will be relying on the presentation alone for the strike.