Exploration Trip In A River System For Snook & Redfish [Insider Report]

How do you find fish when you are testing out new waters on an exploration trip?

If you are exploring a river system, what are the key spots to look for?

Fishing river systems and creeks provide a lot of opportunities to catch a variety of species and hopefully complete an inshore slam.

Learn more below!!

Exploration Trip In A River System [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡See the Insider-Exclusive Post Trip Analysis

➡ Click here to join the Insider Club

Equipment Used In This Trip:

How To Quickly Find Fish In A New Area

If you are planning for an exploration trip, be sure to have different types of lures available depending on the situation.

You should always have a shrimp imitation lure and a small as well as a larger paddletail lure.

Be on the lookout for birds or any other signs there may be fish.

The first thing to focus on for any exploration trip is finding the fish and then the next step is catching those fish.

Cold fronts bring in cold water and fish become lethargic and unwilling to chase after a meal.

The Power Prawn Jr. allows you to slowly bounce a shrimp lure along the bottom so you can present it right in the fish’s face.

Aim your casts up along the edges and mangroves so you can bounce the lure along the bottom back to you.

Try to look for creek mouths with troughs or some depth where fish can hold.

Look for deeper cuts and ledges at creek mouths where the river fills into a bay and bounce your lure along the drop-off.

If you see action and catch a fish but after covering the area you aren’t catching any other fish, it is time to try a different lure.

In order to prevent getting snagged in mangroves, bury the hook point just below the surface in your lure on a weedless hook.

This way you can cast way up underneath the mangroves to present your lure right in front of a fish.

How To Position Your Boat For Catching Lethargic Fish

If after you cover a cove or an area and you haven’t caught any fish, it is a good idea to get a bit closer and observe the structure.

You will be able to see approximately how deep the water is and if it is worth throwing more casts deeper into the mangroves.

This will help you predict where the fish could possibly be holding along the shoreline.

What To Keep An Eye Out For

Always be on the lookout for birds and bait.

If you see birds diving or congregating in one area, it is worth checking out.

Any signs of life can indicate fish in the water.

Search for the 90/10 zone where the fish are holding and are willing to feed.

Lure Selection Tips For Post-Cold Front Fishing

The Power Prawn Jr. on a jighead is the preferred lure for deeper water situations when you need a lure to dive deeper and bounce the bottom.

For shallow water fishing, the Slam Shady rigged on an Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook is the way to go.

As the weather cools and the water gets colder, smaller lures are best because the small baits are being pushed out of river systems into the Gulf and larger bays.


As winter approaches, smaller lures will match the hatch and trigger strikes from lethargic fish.

Be sure to scan over areas and cover ground so you present your lure right in front of a fish.

The main thing when fishing new areas is keeping an eye out for any signs of life!

Do you have any questions about fishing river systems or creek mouths?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about winter shrimp presentations, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

Related Articles:

Related categories:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mitchell Landis
1 year ago

Would a spoon retrieval be too fast for winter slower fish hits?

Steven Free
1 year ago

Great video but like I have said before different structure here in Jacksonville northeast Florida then what you have no mangroves that’s for sure just plenty of oysters with sawgrass but there are a lot of creeks that I do fish here that have deep holes and troughs and I do fish them but man you either have a very slow retrieve ratio on your heels you use or south Florida fish like it very fast because even here in the summer months I rarely retrieve my lures as fast as you were on this video anyways thanks for the info and all you do

Kevin Stevens
1 year ago

Really enjoyed that video. Gotta love Florida especially in the winter

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Stevens

Thanks Kevin!

Matt Lanier
1 year ago

Awesome video Luke! Killer trip!

Those are the same patterns I found on my most recent trip!

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Lanier

Thanks Matt!

Matthew Dolan
1 year ago

Great video and written breakdown as usual Luke! In this scenario, was there a reason you chose the Zman jig head over the Power Prawn ball jig head? Thanks.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Dolan

Thanks for making time to post the nice comment Matthew! I was out of the power prawn ball jig heads, so the use of the zman jig head was just that it is a good backup to the round ball ones.

Todd Emerick
1 year ago

? about creek mouths. they r all the openings of all little and big creeks. like bayport area all kinds of cut offs go all over. most dead ends but lots. would you consider them creek mouths? or just where the gulf coming into the start of all the cut offs.. i do like watching your fishing videos very easy to understand. thanks!!

Lyle Crafton
1 year ago
Reply to  Todd Emerick

I find it doesn’t have to be a “creek” with flowing water. A dead end or little Bay Area still has current flow during a tide and there can be subtle channels or drains from the area. In shallow water it doesn’t take feet of structure, sometimes just inches.

Todd Emerick
1 year ago
Reply to  Lyle Crafton

thanks lyle

William Molnar
1 year ago

Great presentation…….real life experience……..not just highlights……..but the guts that go with the glory. Thanks

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  William Molnar

Thanks for posting the nice comment Bill!

Pat Ogletree
1 year ago

Love this format Luke! Lots of good info in there!

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Ogletree

Thanks Pat! Glad to see that you enjoyed this video.

Capn SkyFish
1 year ago

Stop making me click on three friggin’ things just to get to any (possibly useful) info.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Capn SkyFish

Which things did you have to click on? There should have only been 1 click needed to watch the video.

Xavier Muniz
1 year ago

This is awesome, Luke! I noticed you didn’t have a weedless setup for the Power Prawn Jr… were you avoiding the mangroves with that lure since it was mostly for the deeper water scenarios? As a newer angler, I seem to end up getting caught up in the mangroves no matter what I do LOL, so it makes me more nervous and inclined to always go some form of weedless with so many mangroves/oysters in my area.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Xavier Muniz

Thanks Xavier! Yes, I was using a non-weedless jig for the power prawn because my plan for it was to fish the dropoff which usually starts away from the trees in rivers like that.


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

How To Use This Shrimp Lure To Catch Monster Redfish

Are you sometimes near redfish but they won't fully commit to your lures? You should switch to this shrimp lure to catch monster redfish...
See Full post

How To Plan An Epic Venice, Louisiana, Fishing Trip

Thinking about planning a Venice fishing trip? It's a legendary fishing mecca, but can be tricky if you're not prepared. See how to safely plan a trip here.
See Full post
1 comment
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)