Some lures seem to work 24/7 on the voracious redfish

Some lures seem to work 24/7 on the voracious redfish

Reds are gamefish that will eat just about anything that won’t eat them first, which is why they are so much fun to take on artificial lures. You can catch redfish on the flats, backwater estuary lakes, in the surf, jetties and bayous, all of which we have here in Southeast Texas. One of the more unique things about reds is that regardless of their size, they will eat anything from an inch-long fly-fished streamer to a magnum-sized topwater plug.

But there are some lures that reds definitely like over other baits.

The Super Spook with it’s unique side-to-side action drives redfish crazy. I can say from some pretty salty experience the Spook Jr. will catch reds just about anywhere you can find them. The top colors are chrome/blue, spectrum and bone/silver. When you tie this lure onto your line use a locking loop knot. Something like an improved clinch will hinder the “walk-the-dog” action of the Spook.

Something else to keep in mind is that topwater plugs will take reds in a variety of locations, like over shell reefs on the end of Sabine Lake, the jetties and definitely in the surf.

A Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow is another very good option for topwater reds. Capt. Jerry Norris has been running charters on Sabine Lake (located on the Texas/Louisiana border) for over 30 years. One of his g- to plugs is a bone or copper/black/orange Jumpin’ Minnow.

“The Jumpin’ Minnows come in two sizes,” says Norris. “One is 3-1/2 inches, the other is 4-1/2. I prefer the longer one because it more resembles a big panicked mullet. The bone color is good just about any time. But in stained water or in overcast conditions I’ll use the copper, black and orange pattern. Copper and orange are two colors that reds seem to prefer.”

About 25 years ago, a Cotton Cordell Jointed Red Fin was the go-to lure for numbers of anglers targeting reds. This is a noisy lure when worked on a jerk/jerk/jerk retrieve. A jointed Red Fin has a small lip that will make it swim just under the surface on a slow but steady retrieve. This is an excellent winter and late spring retrieve to use when reds are a little sluggish in colder water.

One of the all-time great redfish lures is the Johnson weedless 1/8-ounce spoon in gold or copper, and it’s still a salty favorite for anglers in the hunt for reds, especially on the backwater areas of Keith Lake. The flash of this lure is too much for a hungry red to resist.

A lure that I started using a few years ago, one that is a redfish magnet, is the Yum Money Minnow. The 3-1/2-incher is perfect. This is a soft plastic swim bait that is shaped like a shad with a round vibrating tail. When rigged on a 1/8-ounce jig head, this lure can be fished on 1 to 3 foot deep flats on a steady retrieve. For fishing deeper water along jetties, bayous and the surf, you might want to go with a 1/4-ounce jig head. Best colors are pearl/chartreuse and clown.

Jerk or twitch baits are reaction lures that are very good at getting the attention of prowling reds. Lots of these lures have been made over the years. Some seem to produce better than others.

One of the absolute best jerk baits Norris says he has ever used is the 5-inch Assassin saltwater shad.

“I don’t know what it is about this tail, but it’s very good at getting the attention of reds, trout and flounder,” he says. “It’s made with super soft plastic, which might be a part of its success. It feels like the real thing.”

Top colors are red shad, chicken on a chain or electric chicken. Norris says he’s used a red/shad Assassin to catch reds up and down the Gulf Coast, and swears it’s the best color combination he’s ever used. He says they work best on a 1/8 or 1/4 ounce jig head in chartreuse or unpainted.

Over the past couple of years, the MirrOlure Lil John Twitch Baits have come on strong as a top soft plastic for catching reds on clear water flats. This is a 4-1/4-inch bait with a tube shape that tapers down to a pointed tail. This bait is made for fishing with a lightweight spinning rig and 12-pound-test line. When this lure is twitched, it darts around like greased lightning. This is a lure that will provoke strikes from reds that aren’t even hungry. Top colors are gold, rootbeer, opening night and margarita. This is a great twitch bait to rig on a super lightweight 1/16 or 1/32 ounce jig head. That allows you to twitch it and let the bait sort of flutter down, which is when most strikes occur.

 

Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.

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