Dead Sticking Tactics For Redfish (Using Gulp Soft Plastics)


Do you ever find yourself surrounded by redfish but you just can’t seem to get them to bite?

Or perhaps you just have that gut feeling that there have to be fish in the area due to bait activity, birds, mud boils, etc?

The answer to this problem may be in your lure presentation (assuming that you are using soft plastics).

If that’s the case, it may be time to slow your lure presentation down…..WAY down!

As in all the way to the point of doing absolutely nothing.


Because there are so many time that a fish just don’t want to chase down their prey.

It’s much easier to be swimming along, pick up on a scent, track it down, and have an easy meal (very similar to fishing with cut bait).

Perhaps you may have tossed out a soft plastic, became distracted and set your rod down to do something.

When you picked your rod back up, the line was tight with a fish on! 

Or your rod was taken overboard on an unexpected bite… or perhaps that has only happened to me (click to see a trout steal my fishing rod).

This technique is called Dead Sticking (or Deadsticking).

What Is Dead Sticking?

dead sticking for redfish

Dead sticking is when your lure remains motionless on the bottom (dead) and you don’t move your rod or give the lure any action (similar to soaking cut bait for redfish).

This requires almost zero effort from the angler, aside from casting, and can be a very effective way to hook up on some redfish.

All you have to do is cast out a smelly soft plastic of your choice (I prefer Berkley Gulp baits due to their potent scent), and let it soak.

Adding scent to your soft plastics, such as Pro-Cure Super Gel, can be done to any baits that you may have that need any extra stink to attract those fish.

pro-cure fish scent
I’ve had success using this Pro-Cure Super Gel fish scent.

Where you cast your lure and let it sit is a key factor in being successful when using this technique.

Here are three of the best places to try dead sticking your lure:

  • Potholes
  • The edges of grass
  • Around mullet/bait schools 

The reason for this is because these are prime areas for redfish to be hanging out and/or traveling around.

Also, if you are sight casting to schools of redfish, this can be a great way to get them to bite without spooking the school by retrieving your lure.

Figure out the direction the school is heading, make a cast at least 10-15 feet ahead of the school, and let the fish do the work!

Aside from redfish schools, this technique can be deadly for schools of black drum as well.

Typically, black drum aren’t lure chasers and they feed primarily on the bottom as redfish do (and black drum love a smelly treat sitting on the bottom so this tactic works great).

dead sticking bait

Black Drum Caught From a School “Deadsticking” a Gulp Shrimp

On a side note, this technique is BANNED from a lot of inshore artificial-only tournaments. If fishing any of these tournaments, be sure to check the rules!

In the following video, I will be discussing more regarding this technique of dead sticking for redfish (and other inshore fish).

You will also see some pretty awesome footage of this technique in action!

Dead Sticking For Redfish [VIDEO]

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Every once in a while, retrieving an artificial lure can hurt your chances of hooking up with a redfish (or other inshore fish).

Yep, sometimes it pays to SLOW your lure down to a complete standstill and let it soak (aka Dead Sticking).

This is most effective when using a scented soft plastic and casting it near or on the edge of a pothole or grass flat.

But as you can see in the video above, this truly does work for redfish, black drum, and even snook and trout.

Note: This is ILLEGAL in some inshore fishing tournaments so always check the rules of your tournament.

Do you have any tips on dead sticking bait for redfish?

Let us know in the comments.

Related Video: How To Rig A Berkley Gulp Shrimp For More Bites 

Related Video: How To Rig A WEEDLESS Gulp Shrimp

inshore fishing spots

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!

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Sonny Reeves
1 year ago

Have you compared the dr juice scent to these used in this video? We would love to see them ranked. thank you

Dean Carter
5 years ago

What action are the 7′ Medium Calico Jack spinning rods?

2 years ago
Reply to  Dean Carter

I have used them an they wo

Ray C
5 years ago

The picture of Pro-Cure did not show the flavor or sent. I was so surprised when I looked for it.
So what was the sent or flavor?

George Zartman
5 years ago

Oops. I forgot to put my info in before I sent. My comment was were you anchored and how deep of water were you fishing?

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  George Zartman

Thanks George!

Yes I was anchored in about 2 feet of water casting to the edge of the grass flat, and letting the jerk shad sit on the bottom.

5 years ago

Awesome job Tony! Were you anchored up and how deep of water were you fishing?

Chris Morgan
5 years ago

Another great video Tony! I’ve had to grab one of my rods that was on the way out of the boat more than once deadsticking. If the bait/lure isn’t in the water you won’t catch anything so this technique increases the odds.

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  Chris Morgan

Thanks Chris!

I completely agree. The longer your line is wet when you’re out fishing, the better the chances of catching fish!

David Atkins
5 years ago

This technique works on many types of fish saltwater and freshwater; i hooked a 6 pound catfish this week deadsticking the gulp in brackish water on the Pamunkey River here in Virginia. My fishing buddy thought I was crazy trying this out until I hooked that big blue catfish, changed his mind real quick and asked for a rig to try it out, ten minutes later he hung a 3.5 pounder… Great technique thanks for sharing it with us, sorry my camera wasn’t with me to take pictures, will have it this week on next trip to Chesapeake Bay and tidal Tributaries.

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  David Atkins

Yep I used to use this technique a lot when bass fishing using zoom superflukes or stick baits.

Thanks for leaving the great comment!

5 years ago

Great Video Tony! Are you fishing Mosquito Lagoon? Its looks to be shallow water! Enjoying all the tips!

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Thanks Bob!

Yes the footage here was in Mosquito Lagoon.

Gary Rankel
5 years ago

Hey Tony……..just wondering what you think of deadsticking using a float like a Cajun thunder which would allow the soft plastic to either lie on or be suspended near but above the bottom, thereby allowing you monitor the position of your lure more easily and allowing you to add some occasional clicking sounds. Maybe it wouldn’t matter if the lure was on or slightly above the bottom?

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary Rankel

Hey Gary,

Deadsticking keeps it pretty simple and is more of a finesse type of fishing, especially if fish are spooky. I feel a float on the surface could possibly distract or deter a fish. Adding a popping cork would pretty much defeat the purpose of the technique. The scent and subtle movements that the lure makes from drifting or water movement can be enough to draw the fish to it

Gary Rankel
5 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks, Tony. I haven’t tried deadsticking mostly because I don’t like anchoring, and really prefer a paddle-cast-paddle-cast technique using topwater along structure. However, I’ve had several experiences lately where I was in the midst of redfish schools that weren’t hitting or spooked with my topwater or soft plastic presentations. I’ll give this technique a go when I find myself in those situations. I’m concerned, however, that if I soak a deadstick rig on one rod while casting topwater with another, I may still end up spooking them. Oh well…..something new to try.

Thanks to you and the Saltstrong crew for all the great tips.

William Flynn
William Flynn
5 years ago

Great tip Tony thanks!

Tony Acevedo
5 years ago
Reply to  William Flynn

Thanks Bill No problem!


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