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There are few saltwater fish more popular with anglers than redfish. Whether fishing Carolina grass flats or the Texas Gulf Coast surf, you can count on these fish to hit your bait like a ton of bricks and put up a fight. They are an exciting inshore gamefish. And for many, they are also considered good eating.
But to entice these rugged inshore brawlers, you’ve got to have the right lure. While there are many out there that will catch redfish, there are certain ones that have proven their effectiveness over time.
The following are my top 10 go-to, best redfish lures. They have consistently helped my land some big reds in varying environments and fishing conditions and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you.
Let’s check out these top ten redfish magnets.
Bomber Paradise Popper
The first lure on our list is the Bomber Paradise Popper. Rig this popping cork with a soft plastic worm, shrimp or live bait to tackle the waters that reds like to inhabit. The cork mimics the surface action of live fish like mullet and other prey as they splash the surface when injured and in distress.
Jig, or pop, the line two to three times every so often to create a disturbance on top of the water. Then pause and allow the redfish to look for the bait under the surface before jerking again.
The commotion simulates the feeding or fleeing action of baitfish. Choose your cork carefully and understand the action happening under the surface after you cast. Incidentally, the popping cork will also catch snook, seatrout and a host of other inshore fish and is equally effective in shallow and deep water.
Hook a Yamamoto Senko or Gulp Soft Shrimp at the end of the line to increase your chances to score a keeper. Redfish seem to respond well to this technique, but you may find others taking an interest too.
Mepps Timber Doodle
The next lure is excellent for shallower shoals. The Mepps Timber Doodle, paired with a glittery two-tailed softbait, is a great way to take advantage of redfish biology. Reds have poor eyesight so when the sun is high use the glint of the metallic spoon to draw them in. The two-tails’ mimics a delicious prey item.
Target your rig in the pockets where the grass has a natural break. These are ideal spots where the redfish wait to trap prey that feed while swimming through the foliage, catching flies and other surface bugs.
It was a friend who exposed me to the Mepp’s line of spoons and spinnerbaits many moons ago. These are an excellent weedless lure reducing the time you are pulling off foliage you may hook. This allows you to cast more often and will lead to better results.
Fat Boy Pro
Our third lure is Paul Brown’s Fat Boy Pro. This is a heavy lure, easy to cast far and has a nice wide-body that gives it a vicious splash and sink combo action.
Deeper cloudy water with the light color varieties is ideal for redfish at the start of low tide as the baitfish are heading out into deeper shoals. The appearance of this lure will entice reds into biting. Reel this lure in quickly to produce a swimming action just like the real thing.
This lure has hardware that can stand up to the corrosive environment of salt water. It also has a rattle set at a low frequency within the body of the lure. This low frequency travels far under the surface so any redfish in the area will have no choice but to take notice.
Our fourth lure on this journey is Rapala’s line of rattling lures. Rattlin Rapala is one of the best lures for redfish that you will find and has many rattlers to choose from. The Blue Shad is a personal favorite of mine because of its light color. The attention to detail on these lures is incredible. This lure has a lipless frame and some weight to it that allows for nice long casts from shore.
These lures make a pattern in the water irresistible to reds. Reel it in fast to make the Rapala’s distinct swimming motion. The rattle is what really lures ‘em in. The sounds produced by this rattler will entice the redfish and draw them to investigate what is in their purview.
Bomber Saltwater Mullet
We are halfway through our list and up next is a lure that reds can’t seem to resist, the Bomber Saltwater Mullet. In fact, this versatile inshore lure will catch just about everything from redfish to striped bass. The mullet is a favorite food item of the redfish and this lure perfectly mimics their action and appearance in the water.
The Bomber Saltwater Mullet is a slow sinker, so cast and give it a pause before bringing it in. A jigging motion after casting when fishing in a shallow oyster bed perfectly matches mullet activity. Add some live bait to increase the intrigue while making your lure look like a larger baitfish.
Personally, I like to use squid tentacles on the end to give it the long trailing-tail presentation as it swims through the water. Just watch out for the ink-filled sacs on the sides. Squid is great bait because it holds together very nicely in water and doesn’t come apart like some other baits.
Chase Baits Mudbug
Starting off the second half of this guide is the Chase Baits Mudbugs line of crawfish style soft lures. They look just like the real thing. Cast this soft light bait into naturally moving water, especially at tide change, to allow the current to give it some life. The motion will show off the color and glitter of the mudbug, drawing the redfish’s attention.
The lure itself is made out of a tough TPE material to withstand multiple strikes. The hook is accompanied by a piece that hides the tip to avoid snagging in weeds and other vegetation down near the bottom. This will guarantee you don’t bring up a clump of grass that can spook redfish.
Give it a couple of quick jerks while you reel it in to simulate the tail forward swimming motion of crawfish and shrimp. Feel free to try other crustacean varieties including fiddler crab. Redfish will search the bottom of oyster bottoms for these shelled delights.
Here is a topwater lure that will produce some vicious strikes. The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk is a great lure with unique action. The Badonk-A-Donk, an ode to it’s swaying action in the water, has a low pitch and improved hardware to stand up to salt corrosion. When targeting surface prey and lures, reds need to rotate their whole body to get their bottom facing mouth up to the lure.
Give this lure a good cast and make some noise to let the reds know you’re here. Those bright colors are made for sunlight and the lower pitch will force this lure down a good couple inches under the surface. Lower sunlight reflects well off this lure so consider casting at the crack of dawn or at dusk.
This lure has a walk-the-dog style. Walk-the-dog allows a bait to be brought in at any speed. Many fish swim against the current to snatch anything that’s flowing down. Throw the Badonk-A-Donk downstream and walk it back.
This bait can also be sent into a school of mullet. Reds follow the mullet as a food source but are also attracted to the disturbance these schools make in the water while eating off the bottom.
We are nearing the end of our journey and in our number eight spot is the Texas-made MagDog 130SW. This is another excellent topwater lure that’ll keep the redfish snapping. This is a rattle bait with a large profile. The weight will optimize your cast and hit with a loud bang on the surface.
This lure is meant to be drawn in quickly for the best action, producing nice, strong strikes. Topwater lures for redfish are a lot of fun. You get to see them hit your lure. Don’t know about you but that visual is as exciting as it gets.
The level of detail and craftsmanship put into creating the MagDog 130SW make it look like the real deal – so much so that it will fool redfish.
Mullet are naturally forced to the surface from the herding action made by hoards of predatory redfish pushing them to the limit. Redfish will work their prey into a baitball easily seen from the commotion on the surface or diving shorebirds. Try and target your MagDog into one of these pockets and have a blast!
Rapala X-Rap Subwalk
Rapala’s X-Rap is another walk-the-dog bait. The action in the water is a bit bumbling, but with the shiny glinting appearance. Throw this lure on a clear day to draw in redfish. The action mimics a baitfish that is searching for food or new hiding spots. Pay attention to placement, as it is a key advantage of this lure.
Some baits need to be reeled in quickly, but the X-Rap can sit and hang in the water allowing the redfish to come to you. This lure is also outfitted with a feathery tail treble hook to represent the fluid action of a fishtail. Rapala is a trusted brand with its innovative designs and hardcore equipment. I always keep a Rapala or two in my tackle box.
Strike King Redfish Magic
Finally, you can’t go wrong with a spinnerbait in a river or brackish estuary, both home to the redfish. The Strike King Redfish Magic Saltwater SB Bait has some of the same action of a minnow with its attached soft bait – which is enhanced by tear-resistant plastic that can take a punch. The gold plaited spinner that accompanies the minnow soft bait is a great way to attract attention.
Multiple draws with this lure will surely turn some heads. First, the large splash will alert reds something is in their neighborhood, next the spinner on the top will throw light to keep reds interested and. finally, the softbait is there to get them biting.
Throw it far on a sunny day in deeper water. Make sure to also steer clear of vegetation as this lure commonly gets snagged in grass and seaweed.
The lures laid out above will assist in your hunt for redfish no matter where you’re throwing a line. Just remember, though, that having the best redfish lures at your disposal is not always enough, that repetition and knowledge of your fishing spots are also key. Good luck out there and don’t give up when one lure doesn’t work – try and try again!
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