The Scientific Angle – Tips from an Angler PhD

Undoubtably, one of the most exciting ways to capture redfish is on topwater baits.  The visual experience and fun factor of a large redfish going after a topwater is hard to beat. However, if you really want to catch redfish, or any fish for that matter, the more senses you can appeal to the better.

Redfish are certainly visual predators, and they especially key in on smell. Thus, my preference when I really want to catch redfish is the Gulp Jerk Shad, and I’m partial to the Chartreuse Pepper Neon color for redfish. The redfish absolutely love them.

Also, redfish (and most others) have a sixth sense via their lateral line in addition the other common senses.  Savvy anglers will want to appeal to that important fish sense through subtle vibrations in the water column.  In the rare instances that redfish don’t want a Gulp, such as when they are keyed in on crabs, my second choice is the tried-and-true Johnson Silver Minnow,  ½-ounce in gold color.  The vibration given off by this lure is very appealing to redfish, and they will often turn and swim these down when they are refusing other baits.  Effectively capturing prey happens very quickly in the marine predator world and working a spoon fast can appeal to the reaction strike tendencies of a redfish.  This spoon and many others will generate those reaction bites.

I hope using one of these lures and techniques will put more redfish in your boat and, with any luck, one of them will have a CCA STAR tag!

Greg Stunz, Ph.D. is a marine biologist specializing in fisheries ecology and sport-fisheries. He holds the Endowed Chair of Fisheries and Ocean Health at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and is a Professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is also the Director for the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation and the science officer for the Building Conservation Trust, the national habitat program of CCA.