The Best Redfish Lures of 2023

Redfish are an exceptionally popular target for anglers due to their voracious appetite and tendency to go after all types of lures and bait. The display of a brilliant red color make them easy spotting and perfect for sight fishing. 

These tail-dotted fish are stronger and bigger than their cousin, the speckled trout. In June 1992, David Weber achieved an incredible feat by landing the Louisiana state record redfish. This colossal redfish tipped the scales at an impressive 61 pounds.

Redfish thrive in shallow water near cover, making them readily accessible. Matted aquatic grass, also called grass mats, is a reliable indicator that redfish can be found nearby.

Without aquatic grass,it is highly advisable to focus on the shoreline for best results.

With all the fun to be had catching this very willing species, a diverse range of lures are available. In this article we will discuss some of the varieties you can get your hands on so that you can maximize your angling adventure!


red fish lures

What’s The Best Lure for Redfish?

In no particular order, we have compiled this list of effective lures that are sure to snag you a redfish or two.

Johnson Silver Minnon Spoon in Gold

The timeless Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon in gold is a true gem among lures. Despite its age and simplicity, it remains highly effective and easily attracts fish. Even in challenging situations, when the wind picks up and traditional hard baits become difficult to use, this lure truly shines. Its streamlined design allows for effortless casting against strong winds, and the wire weed guard ensures debris stays clear of the large single hook.

What's even better is the simplicity of its retrieval—just cast and wind. The spoon's captivating darting, rolling, and flashy action is noticeable in any level of water clarity, allowing you to explore a significant area quickly.

lures for redfish

Z-Man Kicker CrabZ

The Z-Man Kicker CrabZ is a must-have in your tackle box. The lure features charming little eyes, lively wiggling legs, and a trailing claw. Redfish are crab connoisseurs; thus, this crustacean imitator is an outstanding choice.

This sideways swimming wonder is effortlessly rigged on a weighted worm hook or jig head, offering convenience and flexibility. Instead of a conventional paddle tail, the Kicker CrabZ boasts a captivating single claw that generates abundant vibrations. You can rig the CrabZ for surface swimming, bottom crawling, or any depth in between, ensuring versatility in your fishing approach.

red fish lure

Berkeley Gulp! Alive Shrimp

Versatility is a key feature of the Berkeley Gulp! Alive Shrimp, allowing it to be rigged and employed across various fishing scenarios. Redfish employ diverse feeding behaviors, and scent plays a crucial role when looking for a snack.

When redfish face pressure or sluggishness and caution prevails due to water temperature, that extra touch of scent can be the decisive factor between a successful strike and a hesitant refusal. While many soft plastics perform admirably in such situations, the distinct advantage of the Gulp! Alive Shrimp scent elevates this lure to become one of the finest soft plastics for redfish.

redfish lure

Storm Wildeye Swim Shad

One exceptional characteristic of the Storm Wildeye Swim Shad is their ability to maintain a hook-up position in the water, which makes them perfect for navigating around oyster bars or exploring hidden pockets in the flats. Moreover, many of these baits feature tails designed to emit enticing vibrations during a simple, straight retrieve. 

Swimbaits have taken center stage in the arena of lures, particularly lifelike mullet or whitebait imitations adorned with weighted hooks. As the name implies, these lures gracefully swim on their own, requiring minimal manipulation from the angler.

lure for redfish

Bass Assassin Red Daddy

The Bass Assassin Red Daddy is an excellent example of spinnerbait.A t first glance, spinnerbait may appear peculiar and unconventional. However, its true allure becomes apparent when viewed from a fish's perspective beneath the surface. Spinnerbaits mimic baitfish through their vibration, flash, and lifelike appearance. These enticing features have the power to attract fish from considerable distances. The spinning blades emit a flash that imitates a school of baitfish, catching the attention of nearby redfish.

What truly sets the spinnerbait apart and makes it remarkably effective is its ability to navigate through dense cover without snagging. The spinnerbait design prioritizes this objective, thanks to the single upturned hook perfectly aligned with the wire arms. This ingenious design allows the spinnerbait to glide effortlessly through submerged vegetation, precisely where redfish eagerly search for prey.

fishing lures for redfish

Z-Man Chatterbait

The Z-Man Chatterbait is another excellent lure provided by Z-Man. This lure proves particularly effective on cloudy days when the fish's whereabouts are less predictable. By blind casting the Chatterbait at different depths, you'll often encounter the fish. The intense vibration and flashy pulses help generate more strikes compared to similar offerings in such scenarios. While subtlety can be advantageous in some instances, redfish often respond to their instinctual urges. They're likely to strike if something is flashy, loud, and encourages aggression.

Additionally, the blade design minimizes the risk of snagging on weeds, making the Chatterbait an excellent choice for grassy areas.

redfish fishing lures


What Color Lures for Redfish?

Scientifically, a lure with blue-green would be the best option, according to researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who used electroretinography to understand better how fishes see color. The studies show that Redfish can see a range from violet to orange, with a peak in the blue-green range. 

Color vision requires different types of cone cells to detect each of the three primary colors, and most fish possess at least two, while some have all three. 

Some anglers swear by gold, others with lighter colors to mimic whitebait. The individualistic and unique tastes of fish appear to run as deep as ours, so trying an array of different colored lures is bound to offer up the optimal result rather than insisting on using the same color in every situation!

What Are Redfish Attracted to?

Redfish showcase their voracious appetite by readily devouring crabs, shrimp, fish, and a wide range of delicious prey. They exhibit versatility in feeding behavior, typically targeting bottom-dwelling creatures and seizing opportunities to feed in the water column or even on the water's surface according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. An intriguing phenomenon known as "tailing" occurs when Red Drum immerses themselves in shallow waters, with their heads submerged and their tails elegantly protruding. During the summer months, it is common to witness large schools of Red Drum engaging in this captivating display on the flats.

What Month is Best to Catch Redfish?

Late summer through fall is widely regarded as the best months to reel in Redfish, although the optimal timing may differ based on your precise location. 

During the 1970s and 80s, Red Drums were commercially harvested as game fish without protective measures. Unfortunately, this led to overfishing, causing a decline in the size and population of these remarkable fish. Eliminating commercial fishing and establishing strict bag limits have proven instrumental in their recovery. Each state takes responsibility for setting Red Drum regulations, ensuring the conservation of this species. While specific regulations may vary, all states where Redfish reside have implemented slot limits (minimum and maximum size restrictions) and daily bag limits to safeguard their populations. To ensure legal fishing, make sure you check your state regulations.


Is Live or Cut Bait better for Redfish?

Choosing between live or cut bait can greatly enhance your probability of success. 

Mullet, pilchards, greenies, or pogies work wonders in the spring. Remember to try mullet fillet on a 7/0 hook if live bait is unavailable.

During summer, live shrimp or small crabs are a great choice, especially in bays, rivers, and creeks. Inlets call for pogies and shrimp.

Catching bigger fish during the spawning season (fall) is best done with blue crabs. Opt for 3" live or quartered big crabs without shells and legs.

In the winter, stick to shallow water and use small crabs and shrimp. Remember to handle the fish carefully, avoiding deep water-to-surface transitions.

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