Aggressive vs. Finicky Redfish: How To Catch Redfish In Every Situation
When a school of redfish is aggressively feeding, it’s game on!
You can catch fish after fish and it makes you feel like you’ve finally cracked the code on how to become a master angler.
But then the conditions change, the bite turns off, and you wonder what happened…
Are they full now?
Did they move?
This can be so frustrating!
I was in this exact situation on the trip shown below when I went out fishing with two other Insider Club members.
Early in the morning the fish were very aggressive, but as the sun came up and the conditions changed, we had to make a change to the game plan to catch more redfish.
How to Catch Redfish In Every Situation [VIDEO]
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How To Find & Catch Aggressive Fish
Yes, it’s easy to catch fish when they’re aggressively feeding, but here’s the hard part: finding fish that are aggressively feeding.
When you get out on the water first thing in the morning, your main goal is to find fish.
To do that, you need to cover a lot of ground.
Throwing lures helps here, especially if you’re new to an area, as soaking a bait and waiting for fish to come by is much slower.
As you’re moving, keep your eyes open and look for things like:
- Fish wakes
- Scared/nervous baitfish
- Redfish tails
On this trip, we paddled around until we started seeing some activity.
By staying on the go, we were able to find an active school of redfish.
As far as catching these fish, the key is to cover water quickly to increase the odds that your lure is seen by as many of the active redfish as possible.
I was using the Slam Shady paddletail during this period because it can be retrieved quickly while it gives off good vibration and scent (all of which combine to make for some fun fish catching).
How To Find & Catch Spooky Fish
As the day went on here, the fish went from hitting everything in sight, to being finicky and spooky.
The sun was shining bright. There were no clouds or wind, and the water was very clear, which is the perfect recipe for a tough day of fishing.
The redfish were so finicky that we were no longer able to use paddletails because even the relatively light vibrations compared to many other lures were spooking the fish, so we had to change our plan.
We paddled the shallow flats until we saw some good looking zones off in the distance, then we got out of our kayaks and waded quietly towards them.
We also changed our lures.
Instead of throwing the paddletails that give off a lot of vibration, we changed to jerk shads rigged on a 1/16 oz weighted hook.
With us being extra stealthy in our approach and lures, we were able to get back on the fish and start catching nearly as many fish as we caught in the morning when they were being extra aggressive.
No matter if the fish are obviously aggressive, or extra skittish, you can still catch them by using the right tactics.
If they’re aggressively feeding, toss out a paddletail and hold on.
If they’re skittish, get out of the boat, wade to the fish, and toss out a jerk shad.
Here are the two lures I recommend always having on board with you:
And if you want to see exactly where we were fishing, plus get discounts to our online tackle store and the lures mentioned above, click here to join us in the Insider Club!
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Hello all. Just wondering if you tried the slam shady with the paddle cut off before going to the split tail?
What kind of paddle board was that? Never seen one like that before. Looks a lot more stable.
It’s called the L2Fish… here’s a review we published on it a couple years ago: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/l2fish-paddleboard-review/
I just couldn’t win today. Ran into a bunch of finicky reds, and then returned home to a finicky wife!
Sorry to hear about the double finicky day. Hopefully it gets better going forward.
Great video Luke. A good example of adjusting to the situation!
What lure should I use at night?
When fishing at night, I like to use baits like paddletails and topwater plugs because they give off some good vibrations to help the fish locate them in the dark.
Thanks! Would a bass buzzbait with a cloche minnow work
Cocahoe minniow trailer
I have never tried a buzzbait in saltwater before, but it most likely will work because pretty much every bass lure I’ve tried for redfish, snook, and seatrout have caught some fish.
What is the difference between split tail jerk baits and straight tail jerk baits.
Not much… they pretty much have the same motion in the water. I like the split tails a bit better because the forked tail helps ensure that it doesn’t helicopter around in the water.
What a great day Luke! Once the bite slowed down and you switched to the jerk bait you started crushing it! I wasn’t waiting! When I switched to what you were using I started catching too! Not sure who caught the most, but I think you edged Ed and I out!! 😁
That sure was a fun trip!!! All I know is that I was definitely behind you both at the half way mark which forced me to make the lure switch in hopes that they’d be less likely to spook off. I made up some ground in the final stretch, but I doubt it was enough for a full comeback.
Either way, I had an absolute blast out there with some fun fishing while having the opportunity to meet two great people.
Hey Luke, another great video. I was wondering what is your comfortable range or miles on your paddleboard versus a kayak and what effect does tide and wind play on how far away from the boat ramp or put in is possible? Thanks.
When paddleboard fishing, I’m more concerned with the wind because paddleboards get pushed by the wind more than kayaks. So if it’s windy, I prefer to take the kayak out. But if it’s not windy, I prefer the paddleboard because it’s so helpful to be able to see the fish better while paddling/fishing.
And when planning the trip, I plan it so that my paddle back is coming with the wind and/or current so that my trip back when I’m tired is as easy as possible.
As for distance traveled, that’s more due to an individual’s cardio strength and how frequently the person paddles.
WOW Awesome day on the water guys!!! Red fish 💪