St Simons Island Fishing Report 3/7/15

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best Redfish Lures--Part I

As most of you already know, Redfish are not picky and will eat just about any live or artificial bait. In this article we'll concentrate on power fishing. These tactics work well for both blind fishing and for enticing a bite once you've found a school. The beauty of power fishing is that it is very simple, in most cases. Most of the lures discussed can be classified as dummy lures, but make no mistake-there are several nuances you can experiment with that will improve your catch ratio.

The gold spoon has probably caught more Redfish than all other lures combined. This lure consistently catches Redfish when many others won't.  Any angler can cast this lure a long way on both conventional and spinning gear.  The gold spoon can be worked through the grass and over oysters without fear of getting hung up.  Generally, a slow steady retrieve is all that is needed.  While this lure excels on sunny days, it will work in other conditions as well.  One variation I like is "killing" the lure, or stopping it.  This will cause the lure to helicopter or fall straight down, and often entices an immediate bite.  I like this technique in both emergent and submergent grass.  Typically, I retrieve the lure at a slow to medium pace, and will kill it in those places where the emergent grass is broken up, or where the submergent grass has a sandspot or pot hole.  Be prepared, as the bite of a large Redfish may be just a tick or a tap.  A couple of other techniques that require nothing but speed altercations work well also, such as slow winding your spoon to the point that it does not spin, burning it (fast retrieve), or steady with a couple of intermittent twitches.  You can vertical jig it in deep water, or you can wake it (similar to a buzz bait). There is no wrong way.  I like to use a ball-bearing swivel whenever using a spoon.  Typically, I attach a split ring to the line tie and a swivel to the split ring.  I then tie directly to the swivel.

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

1 comment:

  1. It's a very good thing that you shared that kind of information to us. This can surely help many people about that kind of lure which would enhance their minds on how to catch a red fish effectively.

    artificial lure