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So I normally don't fish for reds, but have been interested in catching some inshore eating size. What's the best bait and techniques?
 

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I use artificial lures. But good luck on catching a slot red. All I've been catching are between 29-43", still fun to catch tho.

Been catching them around/under the 3-mile bridge. They've been hitting on top, and down to about 15' Not saying what particular lure or colors, as I tossed around 6 different and they still hit. g/l
 

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So I normally don't fish for reds, but have been interested in catching some inshore eating size. What's the best bait and techniques?
Loaded question. I think your best bet would be to do a forum search and sift through the scads of posts on this. Look in the Reports section especially and find posts that are during similar time of year to what you're wanting, you'll get lots of information that way.

A short and overly simplistic starting point for me, and I'm still very much a novice, is that I find flats hopefully with some grass like you have in the Sound and Big Lagoon, look for places that create current breaks like points (Google Maps helps for a birds' eye view, don't forget submerged points) or parts of the shoreline that channel water as it moves - current from tide or wind. Look around those areas for lots of baitfish activity and mullet jumping. Then just start fishing - I have a lot of confidence in a 3/16 or 1/4 oz jig head with a soft plastic paddle tail swimbait on one rod, and a topwater walking bait like a spook on another, and a third with a jerkbait like an xrap (I catch more trout on the jerkbait than reds). Then I just go to work. Early / low light conditions, especially on incoming tide, I'll find reds often up pretty shallow - keep an eye out for wakes in the water indicating fish movement, and as the sun gets up or tide starts going out, moving back to where the water starts to deepen out a little. I can't get on them consistently, but I find one or two every so often.

Do a search, lots of more experienced anglers than me have posted a lot about redfish.

Even better, hire a local inshore guide and tell them you want to learn to pattern and target redfish. You can learn a LOT more and gain a lot more confidence in how to do it by seeing it done than by reading about it.
 

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Lots of baits work. As far as artificials, a gold spoon is hard to beat. I like the Aqua Dream spoons, they are really outstanding baits and have put a lot of fish in the boat for me. The most fun artificial? For me the dog walker top waters are a shoe in. Watching a red wake up behind one and smash it is pretty awesome.
If you just want to catch a lot of redfish, cut baits like ladyfish and big fresh pogies (menhaden) are the ticket. You will catch a lot of trash on cut bait this time of year but live pinfish and greenbacks are nearly as good and won't attract the cats and sharks quite like cut bait.
 
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An acquaintance told me yesterday that for the next month of so I should look for flocks of birds and there would likely be schools of redfish below hitting baitfish. He also said to wait until after 10 a.m. and these fish are often out in deeper water.


This is the opposite of the grass flats pattern I had heard.
Is he pulling my leg or is cruising around looking for birds a technique?


EDIT: I just found a string on the topic of fall and winter reds, so now I know everything (cough, cough). Sorry to bother you!!
 

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An acquaintance told me yesterday that for the next month of so I should look for flocks of birds and there would likely be schools of redfish below hitting baitfish. He also said to wait until after 10 a.m. and these fish are often out in deeper water.


This is the opposite of the grass flats pattern I had heard.
Is he pulling my leg or is cruising around looking for birds a technique?
No, that's legit this time of year. Come armed with heavier tackle, those bull reds are bruisers. Often you may not see the birds, just the armada of 30 pr 40 boats all loitering in an area. If you see that, odds are decent there have been schools surfacing recently and you can just hang out and hope one surfaces close enough to run to it. Just don't run all the way into the school, throttle down and make long casts, try not to spook them.
 

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If you are looking fer eats, the schools of reds are all bulls... Your best bet would be live shrimp or artificial around grass or drops or docks.
 
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