What are the Best Baits and Lures for Redfish Fishing?

best lures for redfish and speckled trout

In the realm of Florida’s angling pursuits, the redfish, scientifically termed “Sciaenops ocellatus,” claims an eminent position. The motivations underlying this distinction are profoundly straightforward. These aquatic denizens unveil their mettle in the most captivating manner once they discern they’ve fallen prey to the angler’s wiles.

But it’s not just their valorous tussles that captivate enthusiasts. The gastronomic delight they offer, following a meticulous filleting and a sojourn in bubbling cauldrons of oil, further fuels the redfish’s allure. This culinary enchantment adds another layer to the mystique surrounding these marine creatures.

Lastly, these piscine wonders are omnipresent in Florida’s coastal waters, a ubiquity that beckons both novice and seasoned fishermen alike. Across the expanse of the Sunshine State’s saltwater domain, the redfish holds its realm.

Debates amongst fellow anglers persist relentlessly regarding the optimal selection of baits and lures to tempt the illustrious redfish. Allow me to extend my perspective, forged through four decades of traversing the seagrass meadows and oyster-clad alcoves of Florida’s shoreline. As an inshore fishing guide plying my trade along the Treasure Coast, I have honed my insights.

The redfish, often referred to as “reds,” has earned a special place in my heart. Their pugnacious nature, the exhilarating skirmishes they provoke, and the opportunity to engage in sight fishing within the confines of shallow waters contribute to their status as my favored quarry.

In the forthcoming exposition, my endeavor is to impart a compendium of straightforward yet effective insights and techniques, fostering a heightened propensity for capturing these elusive redfish. Let us embark on this piscatorial journey.

Watch the video below and catch more redfish.

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“Oyster bars and redfish are like a harmonious pairing, akin to the timeless combination of peanut butter and jelly. When you’re out fishing and spot an oyster bar, chances are redfish are lurking nearby. The prime choices for dead baits to entice redfish near oyster bars include shrimp, pinfish, and mullet.


Fresh, lifeless shrimp have played a pivotal role in landing over 500 redfish throughout my angling journey. Redfish have an undeniable penchant for shrimp! For a straightforward setup, opt for a fresh dead shrimp affixed with a small split shot, positioned six inches above it. Cast this upstream from the oyster bar and let it gracefully drift past the oysters.

In instances of light currents at your fishing spot, simply pitch the shrimp, pinfish, or a chunk of mullet towards the oyster bar without the need for additional weights. Then, patiently await the anticipated strike. Whenever possible, avoiding the use of weights or large barrel swivels is advantageous, as it reduces the chances of startling the fish. A more natural presentation significantly enhances your hookup success rate.”


In the dynamic realm of oyster bars and mudflats, an array of extraordinary live bait options emerges. Delving beyond the ordinary, these include the diminutive yet alluring shrimp, the industrious and distinctive fiddler and mud crabs, the lively and enticing pin fish, the elusive mud minnows, and the sprightly finger mullet. My personal penchant leads me to employ a technique that entails positioning oneself atop the mud flats, which invariably harbor a conspicuous deeper channel amidst their midst, and awaiting the moment when the reds, a prized aquatic species, navigate towards that very channel.

The reds, renowned as the initial piscine predators to grace the mudflats, make their grand appearance as the tide commences its gentle return. One must execute their arrival prior to the reds’ presence, as these creatures are known to exhibit skittish behavior in exceedingly shallow waters.

The strategy I favor involves dispatching a vivacious live shrimp towards the oncoming reds that wend their way into the channel before proceeding to scour the flats for potential prey. Once these reds venture onto the flats, you can adroitly engage in sight fishing, a thrilling endeavor for the keen angler. It’s imperative to note that in locations such as the esteemed Everglades National Park in the state of Florida, this window of opportunity typically spans a brief hour, give or take, before the majestic arrival of sharks and dolphins, prompting the reds to make a hasty departure on account of their safety. However, in locales less frequented by the presence of sharks, you can seamlessly employ this particular methodology for an extended duration, stretching into multiple hours or more.


In pursuit of an ideal lure for the given environment, it becomes evident that two options stand out with a 100% human score of recommendation. First and foremost, the Berkeley GULP scented imitation shrimp, or the GULP swimming mullet, both paired with a 1/8 oz. red jig head, take center stage. Another strong contender is the DOA CAL soft plastic shad, boasting a paddle tail and a 1/8 oz. jig head. My personal preference leans towards the use of white or natural-colored jigs. A steady, slower retrieval technique is crucial for optimal performance when using these lures.

For those who favor a different approach, the weedless gold spoon emerges as another champion in the world of oyster bars and mud flat red fishing. My strategy here involves a slow retrieval method, gently bouncing the spoon along the bottom to yield the best results.

Venturing into the shallow waters of oyster bars and mud flats, one discovers the effectiveness of top water walk-the-dog style lures for catching redfish. A wide array of lure brands can be employed for this purpose, as long as they effectively mimic a finger mullet. Notable options in this category include Zara Spook and Mirro Lure, which offer an extensive range of sizes and colors to choose from.

In my personal experience, I tend to gravitate towards white or natural-colored lures when targeting reds. However, it’s worth noting that fellow redfish enthusiasts have expressed a strong preference for pink walk-the-dog top water lures. To find the perfect match for your angling needs, I recommend experimenting with a variety of colors to see which one resonates best with the redfish in your fishing domain.

Best All Around Rod and Reel Combo for Redfish


In my estimation, the supreme all-encompassing synergy of angling apparatus for redfish encompasses a 3500 series spool interlinked with a 7-foot rod exhibiting either moderate or intermediate-to-high potency, along with a rapid-action configuration. Load the spool with 15-pound braided cordage, and affix a 20-pound leader.

During my four decades of angling pursuits, I’ve explored an array of distinctive fishing apparatus such as Diawa, Shimano, and Penn.

Among the present roster of reels, the Penn Spinfisher series emerges as my most preferred. They exude a remarkable smoothness, robustness, possess superlative drag mechanisms, and, most significantly, feature an impervious casing, ensuring that sand and moisture remain exterior to the reel’s interior.

These reels are the quintessential choice for surfcasting, wading expeditions, and even kayak fishing, particularly in circumstances conducive to the ingress of water or sand.

The investment in these reels generally surpasses the $150 threshold, an expenditure most certainly warranted.

In my personal roster of non-encased reels, the Diawa BG series commands my admiration. These are the reels I deploy on my shallow-draft boat, fully cognizant that they are improbable candidates for submersion or the infiltration of beach sand.

The anticipated expenditure for these reels generally eclipses the $100 mark, marking them as an exceptional value proposition, in my perspective.

Learn more in the Mirrolure walk-the-dog video below.


In the Southern reaches of the United States, the illustrious redfish emerges as a coveted aquatic species. The question arises: Why such reverence for these creatures? This adoration stems from their splendid combination of belligerence and gastronomic delight. Furthermore, their voracious appetite leads them to strike at nearly any morsel when driven by hunger.

It is my aspiration that the ensuing discourse serves as an instrumental guide to bolster your prowess in capturing redfish, or at the very least, to engender a most gratifying angling endeavor.

Should you ever find yourself gracing the Treasure Coast of Florida, I cordially invite you to secure a reservation for a kayaking fishing expedition under my guidance. The principal targets of our endeavor encompass the distinguished redfish, resplendent spotted sea trout, elusive snook, and the magnificent tarpon. Notably, redfish maintain a perennial presence, rendering any moment propitious for their pursuit within my locale.

Within our establishment, a splendid array of high-caliber sun protection performance fishing attire awaits your perusal. To explore our offerings in detail, kindly avail yourself of the “visit our store” hyperlink provided below.



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