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J. Addington On April - 25 - 2011


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The Best Damn Redfish Lures. Period.


  Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m not being paid to endorse any of these lures so there’s no reason for me to inflate what they’re capable of. I’ve been fishing the Tampa Bay area for thirty-five years and through experience have found the lures which work best for me and for no other reason then I’m a super nice guy I’m passing this info onto you.

  Over the years one question I have often been asked by fellow anglers is what is the best lure to catch redfish. I always tell them the first thing they must do is ignore those silly commercials you see on your favorite fishing show. There is always one gimmick or other out there and it is always pitched as the next best thing by some male model (you can tell by his manicured fingers) holding a redfish all while some buxom broad standing

close by rubs on his bicep. The commercial is saying, “buy our lure and this could be you”.

  Believe it or not it’s a timeless message and it works. Billions are spent each year in the fishing industry on products not worth the cost of shipping. So before you douse yourself with cologne and head for the flats to catch redfish and blondes be sure to take a look below at my five favorite no-nonsense lures for Redfish.


Gold Spoon
Redfish primarily feed on the grass flats in 1-4 ft of water. This spoon needs to be retrieved so it stays in the lower to middle part of the water column.
Mirro Lure
Tie this baby on with some 30lb test mono leader and fish it near drop offs, pot holes on the flats and near mangroves. A moderate to slow retrieve works best for me.
Plastic Jerk-Bait
Let’s face it. Plastic jerk baits are some of the most effective when it comes to catching redfish, trout and snook. But when it comes to shallow water, plastic baits are the go-to bait and do very well for redfish. Further, the sound they make when they hit the water is often enough to cause redfish to strike.
Spinner Bait
The spinner bait used to be a mainstay of freshwater fishing but has made the transition to saltwater redfishing with a flourish. This artificial combines a plastic with a spoon and works like magic for catching the BIG redfish.
D.O.A. Shrimp
When I was first introduced to the DOA shrimp I was the worst skeptic you could imagine. The bait just looked hokey to me…way too artificial and it swam unnaturally through the water. Nonetheless, it has proven to be one of the most effective artificial shrimp lures I have ever used when targeting inshore species around Tampa Bay…including, of course, redfish.


  The answer to which lure to use to catch redfish is simple. Just ask yourself what lure most closely resembles the food Redfish are currently feeding on at the moment in your area? What is available to them? For example, in the winter months the flats around Tampa Bay are devoid of most bait fish so redfish have to depend heavily on crustaceaons like shrimp and crabs or even grubs. So in the winter months a particular lure might work better than another that did well last summer. In the winter starting with a white paddle-tail plastic jerk bait might be your best bet or a DOA shrimp or even an artificial Gulp saltwater crab. Of course you can still use a spoon or mirro lure and have some luck, but generally speaking the best lure to use is the one that most resembles the type of food that is available to the redfish in your area at the time you are going to go fishing.

  Taking all of this into consideration if you apply a little common sense and patience you can use these proven lures to catch redfish wherever they are found.

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  • http://www.rentuntilyouown.com Rent to Own Cole

    Thanks for the tips!

    I am going out to Fort Desoto tomorrowto try my luck with the reds. I will make sure to keep in mind what baits are currently around!

    • J.S. Addington

      My pleasure, Cole. Good luck at Ft. Desoto. I haven’t had a chance to fish there in a few years but have a Facebook friend who swears by the place…though I must confess after hearing it I checked his profile and found only two pics of him with redfish and they were both pretty small.
      On the flip side, I’ve seen Glen Pla do a lot of fishing shows out of Ft. Desoto, catching everything from Sheepshead to Redfish & Snook. I know it’s gotta hold some lunkers even if my FB buddy doesn’t care to offer much in the way of proof.

      If you catch something send it in and I’ll feature it on the sidebar! Good luck!

      • J.S. Addington

        P.s. I meant send in a photo, not the fish! hehe.

  • Bill

    Ft. Desoto is one of my fav places to fish in all of Tampa area and the pass between it and the island on the south end what is that called? Eggmont it has kingfish & spanish macks too.