Best Artificial Bait for Redfish and Trout

Kerry Evans Jr. with a 26-inch redfish caught on a CAL Shad.
Kerry Evans Jr. with a 26-inch redfish caught on a CAL Shad.

The past several months have been unbelievable in terms of weather. Record-breaking heat and cold have really confused fish. But lately, a more steady pattern of warm weather is beginning to take hold as spring pushes winter away. Wind has been our biggest foe, but with some good honey holes out of the wind, most anglers still can have banner catches of snook, trout, redfish, and flounder – especially if you are using the right bait!

Best Artificial Bait for Redfish

Anglers aboard my boat, the Flat Back II, have found some excellent red fishing on higher tides while throwing Eppinger Rex Spoons and CAL Jigs with Shad tails. Kerry Evan, Jr. put redfish to 26-inches in the boat while his dad, Kerry Evan, Sr. caught and released a hefty 7-pound trout that tapped out at 27-inches. All trout that we have kept to take home have had roe in them for about the past 3 weeks now. That includes fish down to the minimum in the slot of 15-to 20-inches. While the law allows one trout in your bag limit to be over 20-inches, we prefer not to keep any trout over the 20-inch max aboard my boat. These fish are all breeders and I feel it is best to throw them back so they can spawn.

Best Artificial Bait for Trout

In the past, CAL Shads have been my favorite and the most productive soft plastic for trout, but recently we’ve been tying on a DOA Shrimp and tripled our numbers of fish. The night glow with gold glitter color (#309) in both the shrimp and the shad bodies have been our top producers.

Best Top Water Lures

The MirrOlure Top Dog has been an outstanding lure recently as fish turned to hitting top water lures when the water temps hit the lower 70’s. Since then, temps have soared and the early bite for this bait continues to be phenomenal as well as days with overcast skies and some wind. Another exceptional top water lure is the MirrOlure 5M18. A smaller top water lure that’s gaining respect in the top water crowd is the 10MR lure. This short bait has a deep profile that has been very effective in imitating the small baitfish in the bay.
While this winter and spring have both turned the fishing upside down, from hot to cold, it appears that most of the cold is behind us and there will be many more ups than downs. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!