How To Catch Redfish In Coastal Creeks (On Incoming & Outgoing Tides)

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When you’re fishing a coastal creek… what’s the best tide to catch fish?

Many people claim the incoming tide is the best, while others are sure it’s the outgoing tide.

But here’s the truth…

Both can be great!

You just have to be in the right spot at the right time.

For instance, the best spot for an outgoing tide won’t be as productive on an incoming tide.

And the best spot for an incoming tide will probably have no water in it during an outgoing tide!

So in this video, you’re going to learn how to catch fish during both tides in coastal creeks.

You’ll learn:

  • The best lures to use in coastal creeks
  • How to NOT spook off fish (this is one of the most important, yet underrated skills when it comes to catching fish)
  • How to find coastal creeks that hold fish on satellite maps
  • And more

Check out the video below!

How To Catch Redfish In Coastal Creeks [VIDEO]

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How To Catch Redfish During An Incoming Tide

Bait essentially follows the flow of the current.

As water fills up creeks that were previously dry at low tide, bait follows the water into those areas to look for shelter.

Redfish, who are hungry and not scared to get in really shallow water, follow the bait up the creeks.

Therefore you, as the fishermen, need to follow the fish and water up the creeks, too.

Now, once you’ve found the fish, here are two tips to help you catch them.

Tip #1: Don’t run right up on the school

Stay as far back as you can while still keeping them in casting distance.

This will let you catch more because you’re less likely to spook them off.

Tip #2: Don’t cast right into the middle of the school

By casting to the right or the left of the school, you can pick them off one by one and catch a lot of fish.

How To Catch Redfish During An Outgoing Tide

coastal creek fishing for redfish

During an incoming tide, the fish are traveling up the creek in search of food.

But during an outgoing tide, all of the food is getting washed out of the creeks, so redfish are waiting at the creek mouth for food to get swept by.

Position yourself at the mouth of the creek and cast your lure up current, then retrieve it down with the current to mimic a baitfish being swept out with the current.

Redfish will be looking into the current and will think your lure is an easy meal as it comes towards them.

Here are some advantages of fishing during an outgoing tide:

  • You don’t need to cover as much water (you only need to fish the creek mouths)
  • The fish are concentrated in the holes around creek mouths
  • The fish are competitive (there’s only so much food and real estate in the creek mouths)

Best Lures To Catch Redfish In Coastal Creeks

One of my favorite lures to catch redfish in coastal creeks is a paddletail rigged on a jig head.

The jig head lets me bounce the paddletail off of the bottom where the fish are feeding, and the action of the tail attracts fish, even if the water is dark.

The jig head weight is determined by depth, so if I’m fishing shallow creeks on an incoming tide, I might use a 1/8 or 3/16 oz. jig head.

If I’m fishing deeper holes in a creek mouth on an outgoing tide, I’ll use a 1/4 oz. jig head.

You can get my favorite paddletail and jig head from our shop at the links below:

Shortcut To Catching More Fish

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Conclusion

redfish coastal creek

Coastal creeks are some of the best places to catch redfish.

During an incoming tide, you can follow the reds as they follow the bait and pick them off one by one.

During an outgoing tide, you can position yourself at a creek mouth and drag your lure through the deeper holes and along the shore where reds are waiting in ambush for an easy meal.

Have any questions about fishing coastal creeks?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to catch more redfish in creeks, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Steven Free
Member
Steven Free
14 days ago

Yea while I’m trying not to sound like a know it all I already pretty much knew this but I still learn a lot watching your videos and this style of inshore saltwater fishing is pretty much what my area of Florida here in Jacksonville is all about we have literally hundreds of creeks like the ones you mentioned to fish and while I do agree with you that both tactics are greatly productive I have always done better for reds on an outgoing tide fishing the mouths of creeks and in the winter my favorite bait is the chasebaits flick prawn in jelly color a dead ringer for the white and pink shrimp that are prevalent in this area a great winter bait when the water is cold because I believe a shrimp is better fished slow at least for me thanks for the video and all you do😁

Rick Daniel
Member
Rick Daniel
16 days ago

Nice report and excellent illustrations!

Tina Roberts
Member
Tina Roberts
18 days ago

Wyatt once again another great video. Thank you

Tom Marks
Member
Tom Marks
18 days ago

Wyatt, great tips on fishing creeks for redfish. I can’t wait to get down south again… soon!

Ron Scott
Member
Ron Scott
18 days ago

Hey Joe,

I received my free Slam Shady lures (way more than I expected-thanks!). Last Saturday morning we went out in the St. John’s river and found a spot where we caught several different quality (edible) fish using the dead shrimp (that was alive and well 30 minutes prior).

Since the bite was hotter than we’ve ever seen, I tried the Slam Shady. I didn’t even get a nibble with it. I rigged it just like Luke showed in his video. As I reeled it in, it looked just like it was supposed to. 

When fishing for keeper fish, is it worth using plastic?

Thanks, 

Ron

Steven Free
Member
Steven Free
14 days ago
Reply to  Ron Scott

First of all Joe isn’t the one doing the video it was Wyatt and anyways it’s all what you got confidence in I am a lure fisherman who never uses bait like you who does my confidence is in my lures and can tell you if used right lures can actually outfish bait plus another benefit being you don’t have to keep lures alive like you do with bait and also your covering more water unlike bait where your primarily fishing in one location I’m always on the move like a bass angler covering water with different structure and that’s how I find the fish and by the way I’m not Wyatt just an angler who saw your question take it or leave it it works for me😁

Rick Jackson
Member
Rick Jackson
18 days ago

Great info ! Another thing we do in Georgia is after the creek bottoms out of water we walk up to different holes. A great way to catch trout, reds, and flounder.

Emilio Jimenez
Member
Emilio Jimenez
18 days ago

Excellent video. Thank you!

C. Lance Weaver
Member
C. Lance Weaver
18 days ago

Well done Wyatt! Thanks for all your efforts.

Mt Davis
Member
Mt Davis
19 days ago

Those were some beauties! Thanks for the tips I’ve been fishing that whole 2hrs before and 2hrs after, kind of goes with what your saying, btw now I know where The saying “like fishing in a barrel” came from😉 you made it look that easy

NICK IERULLI
Member
NICK IERULLI
19 days ago

Some very good tips–Thanks

Daniel Stokes
Member
Daniel Stokes
19 days ago

Excellent job Wyatt. My only question is-if you’re fishing the incoming tide this way then aren’t you casting down current and reeling up current? I assume it’s probably too shallow to be in front of the fish in order to reel the lures down current? Thanks man

Robert
Robert
19 days ago

Does this apply to bayous as well

Robert
Robert
19 days ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Thanks

Randal Jones
Member
Randal Jones
19 days ago

Great lesson Wyatt, loved the footage and graphics, I do think many of the creeks and offshoots near me here in SW Fla may still be a little too warm for anything to wander back in there yet, (water temps 85 to 90) and probably next to nothing for oxygen but will for sure start to monitor them as fall gets closer. I realize all fish will aclimate but what do you consider too warm for most Reds? . Again, great lesson. Thank you

Anonymous
Anonymous
19 days ago

Wyatt, Fantastic video!!!!!

Mike
Mike
19 days ago

Wyatt do you have a certain time that is best to apply this to actual low tide or high tide? Such as an hour or hour and half before actual high/low tide.

Phillip Butler
Member
Phillip Butler
19 days ago

👍🏼✌🏽

Scott Lisson
Member
Scott Lisson
19 days ago

Really enjoy your content as a NC fisherman. This video is very applicable to my fishing enviroment at Oak Island.

Gary Yoder
Member
Gary Yoder
19 days ago

Wyatt, thanks!! as been doing well on the incoming flats..but struggling on outgoing?? again appreciate info

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