Using the correct rigging and tackle is the first step to getting the most out of your shallow water fishing adventures. Learn about Carolina rigs, soft plastics, and circle hooks. You can even try live shrimp to attract more redfish (also known as red drum). Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you’ll be well on your way to catching your first redfish. If you’re ready to try these tips, read on to learn how to catch redfish on the fly!
The most effective way to hook a shallow water redfish is by using circle hooks. These hooks are set just inside the fish’s mouth, so they prevent deep hooking. These hooks also increase catch and release rates, as they reduce the mortality of released redfish. Some anglers prefer the Gamakatsu Monster hook design, which is a high carbon steel wide-gap design that’s large enough for swimbaits and powerful enough to take on stubborn bull redfish. While a circle hook is a great option for shallow water fishing, a weighted worm-style hook is also an effective choice for deeper waters.
When using circle hooks, fishermen should avoid jerking the rod to set the hook, as jerking the line could cause the fish to rip the hook from its mouth. Many bottom fishermen use waxed string or rubber bands to fasten the hook to their bait. These are more comfortable for the fish, as they allow the hook to hang above the bait without getting stuck. Offshore anglers are also using circle hooks when trolling.
Redfish will bite any bait, including soft plastics. Slow presentations will attract bait activities like mud boils and birds. Slow presentations will also attract redfish. A slow presentation will allow the bait to get a better look and feel at the redfish. The soft plastic will be able to suck up the redfish’s interest and attract the predator. Use a variety of colors and sizes to attract the most redfish.
The trick to soft plastics is dead sticking, the technique of casting a lure that stays motionless on the bottom for an extended period of time. This method is effective if you have the right kind of scent to attract redfish. Berkley Gulp baits have a strong scent. Pro-Cure Super Gel will also enhance the smell of your soft plastic. It can be used in conjunction with jigs for the ultimate in catching redfish.
Many redfish hide in thick grass or matt areas. While traditional hard baits are not able to penetrate thick vegetation, soft plastic lures can. Soft plastics can be rigged to avoid snags and are a great choice for sight fishing. Soft plastic finesse baits can be fished over top of grass and can be paused. Alternatively, they can be fished over grasstops as a slow-water alternative to conventional hard baits.
Using a Carolina rig to catch redfish in shallow water is a proven way to attract them to your bait. Its simplicity makes it an easy and effective method that any angler can learn how to use. This rig is simple to use: you cast it to the bottom and reel it back in. Depending on how the bass react to the bait, you can adjust the soft plastic on the hook, weight of the sinker, length of the leader, and the rate of return.
To tie a Carolina rig, you must choose the right sinker weight. The weight of the sinker depends on the depth and current speed of the water. If it is too heavy, the bait will not get to the bottom and will end up over the heads of biting fish. On the other hand, if it is too light, the bait will flow with the current. The weight of the sinker is critical to the success of the Carolina rig.
While you’re casting a Carolina rig, remember that redfish are typically in deep water during warmer months. When redfish migrate to warmer waters, they are attracted to the plastic swimbait attached to a heavy jighead. This technique works best when redfish are swimming close to rocky structures and sandy bottoms. If you can locate a spot with these conditions, the Carolina rig will be your best bet.
If you are interested in catching shallow water redfish, live shrimp is a great way to get an easy bite. Redfish are active and will often tail vertically to find food. To attract these fish, cast the shrimp up current and you will likely find them near the bait. However, redfish can be spooky when tailing in shallow water, so be sure to place the shrimp in a close proximity.
While dangling live shrimp is a common way to get these fish, it’s equally effective when fished under a popping float. The shrimp will fall back to the bottom once the bait falls and will attract a strike. A few minutes later, the shrimp will be large enough to be used as bait. In shallow water, you can also try mud minnows fished on bottom.
When fishing with live shrimp, it is important to hook the shrimp through the head. Unlike other bait, shrimp take their prey headfirst. When they detect a fish, the tail kicks out of place and can trigger a strike. This is where you must miss the “black spot” – the shrimp’s brain – or it will not be eaten. If you can do this, you will have a much better chance of hooking a fish.
When using spoons to catch redfish, practice casting beyond the fish. While they will still bite a silver spoon, redfish prefer gold spoons. When fishing in oyster bars, look for weedless spoons. Non-weedless spoons will likely get snagged on the oyster beds. Spoons for this type of fishing can easily go through hundreds of baits, so be sure to practice casting beyond the fish before going for it.
For fishing a spoon, you will need a spinning reel spooled with fifteen-pound-test monofilament line and a standard leader. A quarter-ounce spoon is best for redfish feeding on baitfish, and a half-ounce spoon will do the trick if you’re targeting larger fish. The red-colored spoon hook can also be more effective if it looks like a bloody wound, adding flash and motion to your presentation.
If you’re targeting the pilings of an old dock, you’ll have a better chance of hooking redfish on weedless spoons. These lures come with metal weed guards that prevent them from tangling line. You can use these lures on long casts, and the lures can be trolled, jigged, and twitched on the bottom of the mud.
Fishing the tides
Knowing the tides can help you determine the best times to fish for shallow water redfish. The best times to fish for these fish depend on when the tides are going out and coming in. You can use Google earth to find new areas that you’ve never seen before. The gray tint on the ground means that water has been in this area before. Redfish like to feed in these drop offs.
If you are targeting redfish in tidal creeks, fish for them during low tide. Low tide disperses redfish from the tidal flats and marshes, and they concentrate in small groups in channels where the water flows out. Because redfish prefer the current, fishing during tidal outflows is ideal. If you are able to time your trip around low tide, you’ll be rewarded with excellent fishing in shallow water.
During high tide, redfish will be spawning. They will move to areas where there are more available food, including mangrove roots. You can fish these areas quietly, without spooking them. If you can find a large area, you can float a live bait with a popping cork and wait for the redfish to come by. Most redfish will eat the bait within two feet of the dock.
If you’re interested in catching shallow water redfish, there are several different types of baits you can use. The size of the lure can be crucial when catching redfish. The perfect length is three to five inches. A shrimp-like plastic worm will also work very well. When fishing for redfish, you can also use poppers or jigs. However, the size of the lure is not as important as its color.
In shallow water, redfish will often be visible as they tail or smash baitfish. If they have been darting away from bait, you can also look for mud plumes. If you’re fishing for redfish that are looking for crustaceans, shrimp or crab lures are excellent options. A redfish may also be visible popping baitfish on the surface and sharking through the water. When they’re active, you can use baitfish jigs, crankbaits, and worms to attract them to your lure.
A spoon is a popular redfish lure, but there are also many types of swim baits you can use. The Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon is a great choice if the bottom is patchy or grassy. The weedless spoon’s wiggle and vibration are highly enticing to redfish. It’s also great for shallow water fishing and can be fished in shallow water, so it can work well in most situations.