Best Winter Lures (For Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snook, & Flounder)

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Want to know what the best lures to catch redfish, trout, snook, and flounder in the winter are?

This is an important topic because if you use the same lures and tactics as you do in the spring, summer, or fall, chances are you’re missing out on a ton of fish.

When the water gets cold, fish get lethargic and stay on the bottom, so you need to get your lures down there and present them to the fish in a way that makes them want to strike.

In this video, I’ve got the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches with me sharing their favorite wintertime fishing lures and how to use them.

You’ll learn:

  • Which classic lures still work great today
  • Which new lures are on fire right now (and which ones aren’t worth the hype)
  • What size lures and jig heads work best in the winter
  • How to fish docks in the winter to catch inshore slams
  • And much more

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I recommend since we show some of the lures we like), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

Best Winter Saltwater Lures [VIDEO]

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Best Winter Saltwater Lures [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents from my conversation with the Salt Strong Fishing Coaches about the best winter fishing lures:

1:04 – Luke’s definition of “winter fishing”

1:24 – Luke’s go-to winter fishing lure

2:28 – Wyatt’s go-to winter fishing lure

4:56 – What size jig heads to use in the winter

6:32 – Tony’s go-to winter fishing lure

10:22 – How to fish docks in winter

12:35 – Using Gulp shrimp in the winter

15:20 – How to catch big fish with the Power Prawn

(P.S. These lures just came in! You can get them here [Insiders only])

18:18 – What else to consider when choosing jig heads

20:48 – What size shrimp lures to use for big fish

23:26 – Customizing fishing lures by adding rattles (and when NOT to do it)

26:23 – Whether or not segmented tails work well in shrimp lures

28:45 – Why we started the Insider Club (and how it helps people catch fish fast)

Conclusion

Luke and I both used to think that fish just didn’t bite during the winter…

But it’s not true!

Winter is now one of our favorite times to catch fish because when you find them, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

And if you want to give yourself the best chance at getting them to bite, here are our Salt Strong Fishing Coaches’ favorite lures:

What’s your favorite winter fishing lure?

Have any questions about the lures mentioned on this podcast?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to catch more fish this winter, 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!

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Raymond Bierschenk
2 days ago

Podcast packed with information. Now I’m going to set up a jig box. I’m glad I didn’t tie on a new set up after fishing today because I have lots of new ideas now!
Great job, guys!

Ed Mascellino
3 days ago

In Florida what kind of water temps are you talking for the fish to actually slow down and become lethargic? Thanks for all the great info.

Gabe Huish
3 days ago

Thanks guys…this was one of the most helpful videos yet!!! So appreciate the excellent content.

James Woodmansee
4 days ago

If “bigger baits catch bigger fish” why are we downsizing our paddletails to 3″; why not keep using the 4″ and 5″?

Thomas Roper
5 days ago

Jig question. Is the color important on the jig head? There are plain lead ones, reflective eyes, painted etc. Do I really need to have a assortment of each? I clearly understand the benefit of having a variety of weight sizes. Thanks!

5 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Roper

You do not have to have a huge assortment of colors… depth control is the #1 most important factor. I used to use all red before I realized that red turns to black quickly as it falls in the water. I’ve since switched to basic silver for most of my fishing (trout eye jig heads). But the past few months, I haven’t been able to get any so I’ve been going to various colors/brands and the amount of strikes have held constant throughout the various changes… the only thing I kept constant was matching the jig head weight to the depth zone that I’m covering.

Austin Moon
5 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Roper

Excellent question Thomas!! I wouldn’t say that you would need a bunch of different colors, ive done well with many different color jigs! Check out this video that Tony did on jig colors. https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/best-jig-head-color/

Landon Gordon
7 days ago

Hey Wyatt. Where are you located exactly in NC? I am in NC also obviously. Do you think we could get together and go fishing sometime? I will bring my 22′ Triton 220 LTS Bay boat if I need to. Message me on my email if you are interested? My email is landongrdn@gmail.com
Thanks man.

Landon Gordon
7 days ago

Look at (Babyface) Wyatt!! It’s too cold here in NC for a clean shave right now man… 😂

Wyatt Parcel
4 days ago
Reply to  Landon Gordon

Haha! The buff is definitely getting broken out pretty much every trip at this point!

Bob Hartwein
7 days ago

Enjoyed the ZOOM video. Speaking fo Jigs, nothing was said concerning colors. Do you prefer lead or red or?

5 days ago
Reply to  Bob Hartwein

Depth control is the #1 most important factor. I used to use all red before I realized that red turns to black quickly as it falls in the water. I’ve since switched to basic silver for most of my fishing (trout eye jig heads). But the past few months, I haven’t been able to get any so I’ve been going to various colors/brands and the amount of strikes have held constant throughout the various changes… the only thing I kept constant was matching the jig head weight to the depth zone that I’m covering.

Austin Moon
5 days ago
Reply to  Bob Hartwein

Thanks for the comment, Bob! Check out this video that Tony did on this subject! https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/best-jig-head-color/

Steven Free
7 days ago

I saw this power prawn you are all talking about made from a Brazilian company wasn’t really impressed with the looks of the lure had a very weird tail no I’ll stick with my chasebaits flick prawn in jelly color that has a rattle and is totally weedless that with the exception of the reseted eyes that don’t protrude like a real shrimp it’s a dead ringer for a live pink or white shrimp the only other shrimp on the market now that is more realistic looking is the live target but it’s not nearly as tough as the chasebaits and also lacks the action as well looks are great but without action it’s kind of pointless and in the winter when the water is cold any action even suttle makes all the difference in the world but I’m talking about me and what works doesn’t always work for others plus I have confidence in the chasebaits so I stick with what gives me that as well😁

5 days ago
Reply to  Steven Free

Yes, having good action in the water is the most important factor (otherwise a gold spoon would be a terrible lure). The reason why we went with the more sleek design for the power prawn was to maximize its castability and its action in the water… all of the little feet protruding off of shrimp lures like flick prawns can often do more harm than good because they create drag in the air and the water which decreases casting distance and darting ability. But as you said, going with what you’re confident in is most often the best choice… if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it:)

bear
7 days ago

i think i have a hex put on me. of and on 5 years i use soft plastics and no fish im at wits end HELP.

Teresa
7 days ago

You said something in the video about a smaller version of the power prawn, will you guys be getting some of those in the store also, I ordered my power prawn and will love them have later in the season in NC and I would love to try to smaller version on the flounder here at the beginning of our flounder season when the shrimp are not that big here yet.

Landon Gordon
7 days ago
Reply to  Teresa

Where are you fishing at in NC? I am trying to find insiders close to me to fish with and make new friends. If anyone who sees this is in NC also please feel free to shoot me an email. Like I said I would love to find a group of us to fish together. Here is my email. landongrdn@gmail.com I hope to hear from some people soon. Thanks guys and gals!

David Johnson
7 days ago

The Power Prawn seems to have everything possible in a soft shrimp. Big segmented tail, hole for rattle, tough material, adaptabilty, scent, etc. Why don’t companies like Zman, DOA, Zoom and so forth make something like this?

Steven Free
7 days ago
Reply to  David Johnson

They do look at the chasebaits flick prawn in jelly color as then see if your question isn’t answered!!!

David Johnson
2 days ago
Reply to  Steven Free

Thank you Steven

Todd Denmark
8 days ago

Hey guys. After listening to a few videos on your use of lures on jig heads, I keep hearing the same message basically: 1/16 to 3/8 oz jig heads and one of 3 most favored lures (slam shady minnow, shrimp or jerk bait), which I’m good with. My first flounder, trout and puppy redfish catches of this season were on 3/8 white jig heads and the larger white Berkley gulp minnows (similar to your presentations). But you rarely mention what to do in high current areas. I fished the jigs in creeks we could access depending on the tides up through fall, but now that water temps have dropped significantly, we are looking in deeper water areas around docks, bridges, holes with any structure…but because of the currents here (Mayport, FL areas and Intracoastal waterway) ripping during max tidal flow periods, I can’t keep them anywhere near docks. Was looking for sheepshead last week near a spot member Austin Moon recommended and a 1 oz egg weight lasted only seconds near a piling before the current spit it way out away. We could have moved to the opposite side and let the current take it under the docks, but then you have to worry about getting wrapped around them if a fish takes it. Can you please speak to the issue of currents more in your videos or make a quick reply here? Can’t wrap my head around 3/8 oz weight on anything around this area…We’re using up to 1-1/2 oz eggs just to have a fighting chance for sheepshead around bridges here without losing the “feel” of their bite. (Last week, my buddy used about 1 oz worth of split shot, I used 1 oz egg – I landed a slot red and an 8.5 lb black drum [but set up for sheepshead], he got 3 sheepshead – both of us using sand fleas but I added Fishbites to my hook, which probably made it look too big for the sheepshead size we found there, giving me the bigger drum, but my point is that we were both rigged over twice as heavy as you’re all recommending). Thanks!

John Wise
7 days ago
Reply to  Todd Denmark

They do not have the current down in their area like we deal with. I fish the Savannah area where we see up to 10′ of tide swings, sometimes you just have to add the extra lead and learn to watch the line and keep your finger on the line to feel bites.

Todd Denmark
6 days ago
Reply to  John Wise

Thanks John…yup, that’s what we were doing. See my reply to Austin below, though…I’m going to droppers for awhile…see what happens.

Austin Moon
7 days ago
Reply to  Todd Denmark

Hey Todd, thanks for the comment!! It can definitely be difficult to find the right weight size for these heavier current areas! I even have areas (depending on the part of the tide im fishing) where I will use up to a 3 ounce weight for Sheepshead!! often times if I need to use a heavier weight like that to get down for Sheepshead I will use a Dropper rig!! This rig is an awesome choice for fishing our area because it keeps the hook above the weight. So with the hook above the weight you really feel the bite, even with a heavier weight, and you also will have a lot of control of the rig because of the heavier weight so that you can move around rocks or pilings looking for Sheepshead and also can help prevent getting hung because you hook is often above the structure!! Since tides and current speeds change, it’s tough to give a perfect weight size for each situation because it will change. This rig will likely resolve your issue with fishing heavier currents because you can adjust your weight size as needed. This rig will work for other species as well, not just Sheepshead!!
Here is a link to a video Tony did on the Dropper rig!
https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/dropper-rig-for-sheepshead/

Todd Denmark
6 days ago
Reply to  Austin Moon

Thanks for the “sanity” post, Austin – I thought I was just totally out of my mind! But, what you said is what we were doing – heavier weights and dropper rigs, especially. so, glad to hear I wasn’t goofing up and missing opportunities somehow.

Experimenting with smaller weights did not yield any good results. We had currents coming out of Vilano Beach inlet (from Matanzas and Tolomato rivers) one time that swept a 4 oz SPUTNIK weight until it finally caught an angle that the pole would hold then BENT the sand spike the rod was in (as in the METAL pole part of the spike that’s in the sand)! The only time I’d consider smaller weights is if I wanted to sweep an area to search for fish, but then I’d switch to something that would hold it, if appropriate.

I’m also encouraged by your post about using droppers for sheepshead. Went fishing with my “boat buddy” a few times recently, where we tried to drop straight down pilings with 1 oz eggs or split shots on one rod and threw dropper rigs to the other side in the more open current with a second rod. Nearer to the times of the tide turns, the eggs / shots did ok…any other time, when current was up, we spent all our time frustrated by tangles with each other, wraps around the pilings, etc. Unfortunately, we’re told that sheepshead like moving water, so that makes our window to hit them very small using those “traditional” and lighter rigs. And your right about catching other species…the dropper rig has brought us drum and slot reds (as well as some undesirables – small croakers and, my buddy’s biggest jinx, toad fish).

DEFINITELY going to dropper rigs and adjusting the weight as current picks up or slows during the day on my next outing now that I know I haven’t lost my mind or am making a “rookie” mistake. Thanks for the reinforcement!

Steven Free
7 days ago
Reply to  Todd Denmark

I live and fish in the Jax area of Florida and have for about 18 years now for saltwater but I have no trouble fishing here in winter and I rarely use jigs over a quarter ounce yes we here in this part of fl do have the strongest tides in the state but especially in winter you need to find the creeks with dark muddy bottom and also look for oysters in these creeks as wel they act as heaters wait for a low tide that comes on about high noon or around 1pm then when the water is high around 3ish that water will be warmer then the surrounding areas and yes you will only have a couple hours to fish before it’s dark but the fishing will be better and the area will have more fish because of the warmth the oysters provided before the full incoming tide and because these areas are primarily shallow and in the creeks all that extra weight won’t be needed plus in the creeks the tide won’t be nearly as strong as in open water or working a flat hope that helps works for me😁

Austin Moon
7 days ago
Reply to  Steven Free

Excellent information, Steven! I couldn’t agree more!! In the winter anytime that mud is exposed during the day on a low tide and then you have an incoming tide take advantage of it because the fish are seeking warmth!! 👍👍

Todd Denmark
6 days ago
Reply to  Steven Free

That’s interesting – your post reveals the importance of factoring in the differences of conditions we face according to AREAS. NE Florida isn’t the same as the gulf, or Texas or North Carolina. So, just finding the right spot based on conditions – weather, water temp, water clarity, structure etc. is incomplete without considering the tidal flows / currents and how the ecosystem impacts different areas more than others (never considered oyster bars as “heaters” before but, yeah…that makes sense). Joe, Luke and the boys have a good platform here, I think, but the local community tips that “adjust” their information somewhat for the details that are specific to our area is KEY.

So, adding in your info now to theirs, I’d understand you mean to look for low tide around the muddy bottoms / oyster areas around noon on a SUNNY day. My buddy and I discovered over the last two weeks that sunny days either warmed the structure we were fishing or made our bait more visible, but with the sun we caught sheepshead, a slot red and an 8.5 lb black drum. But, the following week we struck out at the same spot on a day that was overcast all day. The air temp was almost exactly the same both times. Water temp was nearly the same, but it was a few degrees cooler on the cloudy day. The only other difference was catching that spot at different tide flows – the sunny day was incoming; the cloudy day was at peak high then outgoing, which could have been the factor that changed our results, too. So many LITTLE subtleties that can make a huge difference.

One last question for you – my buddy read elsewhere that during winters here the reds go way back into the creeks to get away from dolphins trying to eat them since most of the bait fish are gone. Any truth to that?

We found a couple of successful spots in Sister’s Creek (through fall) that we stopped fishing in winter because we took the advice here and what he’s read elsewhere (confirmed when he went back there once in early winter and struck out). But now, I’m thinking we need to reconsider that and go back into areas near there, look for places that have some good holes for them to get deep in when it’s really cold (30’s and low 40’s at night), but then have the muddy flats and oyster shallows to search for food as you recommended, on a sunny day following those overnight lows. If they ARE running way back, though, we won’t be able to access them because of his keel depth. His boat needs about 2′ of depth minimum, but even then, he gets squirmy.

Wyatt Parcel
4 days ago
Reply to  Todd Denmark

Your buddy was correct! The dolphins do move inshore to hunt more in the colder months, and the reds definitely don’t want to be out in the open to be eaten. They also push far back into those creeks because the current is broken up through multiple channels and it’s a little bit warmer and calmer back there for them.

Timothy Leahy
8 days ago

Great video, just got my power prawn set, was wondering if there is the instructional video, how to retrieve and rig available yet?
great information guys went fishing today at a bridge in Clearwater nobody caught fish except me with that 3-in slam shady on a quarter ounce mission fish and jig head.
Caught mangrove snapper, and it was all about presentation. Learning from you guys that fish react much more to the retrieval speed or technique I’m using popping it off the bottom, then the lures I’m throwing.
Would love to see the bringing video and retrieval on the power prone, but great video guys.

8 days ago
Reply to  Timothy Leahy

Great work getting strikes when everyone else was not getting any action!!!

The power prawn lessons are posted, and you should have received a link to it after you completed your order for the lures. I checked the system, and it says that the email went out so it may be stuck in your spam folder… let me know if it’s not there.

Jesse Blanchard
8 days ago

You said you are fishing in a cold front and your water is clear. In our area in Louisiana the water is muddy in most places so I would say colors are going to be different? What do you say about it?

8 days ago

Every time I fish over in Louisiana, I stick with slam shady paddletails because it’s a universal color.

Michael Jenkins
8 days ago

The cost for the prawns are excessive. And right now finding large shrimp in the marsh or bay system won’t be too practical. Would like to see Tony speak on kayak marsh fishing more.

Andy Hong
8 days ago

Wyatt looks like he’s 14 years old without his pande-beard. 👶🏻

Wyatt Parcel
4 days ago
Reply to  Andy Hong

Haha!

Marvin Stubbs
8 days ago

HEllo am a salt strong member now am coming from freshwater to saltwater but I only do saltwater for snook I was looking for a good rod for light tackle I was looking at G Loomis or St Croix do u have any ideas I really want both

Caden
8 days ago

In Texas we are catching them on 5″ paddletails

Caden
7 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Simonds

We can go through spring on them

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