Thursday, January 6, 2011
Best Redfish Lures--Part I
Another blade lure that works well is the spinner bait. This may also be classified as a dummy bait, as all that is needed is a nice, medium retrieve. Spinner baits are one of my go-to baits in emergent grass. One of my prefered techniques is to use spinner baits around docks--I'll throw them at docks as deep as 10'-15', as well as the shallow stuff. I also like to work them around pilings, stumps and any other structure in Redfish territory. This is a great search bait that may lead you to discover new Redfish haunts. Did I say docks?
Crankbaits are no secret in the pursuit of Redfish. This is one lure that the Redfish seem to absolutely swallow--I don't know how many Mann's -1's I've had to dig out of a redfish's crushers. Crankbaits are not as user friendly, as they sport two treble hooks that can snag very easily. One way I avoid snags is to sometimes switch to a bigger bill, or deeper diving crankbait. When I feel the bait hit shell or structure, I will stop the retrieve and it will usually float off. In my opinion, this is the secret of the crankbait. It takes a little practice, but with time you will be able to bump your crankbait slowly along, gently tapping shell or structure. Usually, the key for me to get a bite is to slow roll this bait maintaining light contact with the bottom. I have had days where I switch to a fat bodied shallow diving crankbait and use a medium to fast retrieve. This works best in open water where you have located Redfish, or have a pretty good idea that they are there. The Redfish will come a long way and absolutely hammer this bait, in many instances.
Last but not least in this segment are lipless cranks. This, to me, truly is the epitome of a dummy bait. Cast and retrieve at medium speed. That being said, I know quite a few fishermen who alter this method with a yo-yo type retrieve (repeatedly ripping the lure upward and let it fall), or kill it in certain instances-as previously discussed. One advantage of lipless cranks is that you can fish them at virtually any depth (did I say docks?). Use this lure similar to any of the many count-down lures you have in your arsenal. Basically, once your lure hits the water count one second per foot of descent. If you are in 6' of water, count 5 seconds and begin your retrieve so that you are in or near the bottom (strike zone). Here is my tip of the blog, since we are on lipless crankbaits--since 90% of Redfishing is done in shallow water, and often in grassy areas, I use a floating lipless crankbait (Bill Lewis Rattletrap-floating model). This lure will very rarely dive more than 18", remains fairly weedless and makes an awesome search lure as you can cast it a country mile. Often, if you feel grass or weeds, just give the lure a quick snap and generally it will pull free. Lipless cranks excel in fishing shallow creeks over oysters as well. Like the crankbait, if you bump shell stop your retrieve-it will float up and begin again.
This is the time of the year when, throughout the southeast, Redfish are schooled up in large numbers. Hopefully a few of these lures and techniques will work when they are being less than cooperative.
Be looking for topwater tips and the latest and greatest finesse baits for Redfish in a future blog. You won't know if you don't go.....
Capt. Tim Cutting
Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters
St Simons Island, Georgia