What Is The Best Bait For Redfish?

Live and artificial bait are both great options for fishing. They each have their benefits and drawbacks. It mostly depends on your preference and the fish species you are targeting.

What is the best bait for redfish? That will depend on the season, location, and fishing technique. Anglers often use shrimp, squid, mullet, minnows, and Clouser as bait for redfish. You may use other bait if you would like to, but those are the most popular.

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In here, I will talk about why the redfish is such a popular species among anglers. I will also discuss the difference between live and artificial bait and the best bait for redfish.

Why Redfish Is Popular

Redfish or the Red Drum is one of the most targeted species of fish there is. You will certainly have a lot of competition if you are trying to catch redfish, especially the big ones. It also means that the species is under heavy regulation precisely because it is so sought after.

Why exactly is the redfish so popular? One of the main reasons is that redfish are just plain delicious. They are very tasty and make great main dishes for meals. However, this is not the only reason.

Redfish usually grow rapidly and can become enormous. It makes the fish appealing since it can sell for a higher price due to its weight. Bigger fish is also equal to more meat and fat that one can eat.

Aside from the reasons mentioned above, Redfish is very strong. It may be difficult to capture one, but once they take the bait, they will not let go.

Types Of Bait

Live bait and artificial bait are the two main types of bait used in fishing. The majority of anglers may prefer live bait, but artificial bait can work just as nicely.

Let us talk about some of the key differences between the two:

Live Bait

Live bait or fresh bait, just as its name suggests, is alive. It can be a live worm, sea creature, or even live fish. Predatory fish, such as the Red Drum, are more likely to go after small fish as bait.

Within the live bait category, there are subcategories as well for the type of water. Some examples of bait that work well for freshwater fishing include minnows, mealworms, crayfish, crickets, frogs, and butterworms.

If you are engaging in saltwater fishing, crabs, shrimp, squid, minnow, and mullet are much better choices.

It is slightly easier to catch fish using live bait. The scent of live bait is stronger, more appetizing, and more enticing for the fish. You will catch fish much more quickly this way.

Still, there are downsides to using live bait. For one, it is more costly unless you plan on catching your bait. Maintaining fresh bait is also a hassle since you have to keep it stored in optimum conditions. Some anglers would not want to deal with that.

Artificial Bait

Artificial bait is also known as imitation bait. This type of bait is typically made of plastic or some other material that is not edible. Nowadays, artificial bait is so realistic that it can mimic the behavior and movement of live bait.

While fresh bait may be more appealing to fish, artificial bait has its own merits. You can reuse the bait as many times as you want since the fish will not eat it.

It is a very inexpensive option, and you will not have to buy new bait continually. Artificial bait also does not require meticulous maintenance, so it is hassle-free.

Be reminded that if you decide to use imitation bait, you will need a lot of patience. Fish will not attach to your hook as easily as they do with live bait.

You need to wait a while and keep moving your lure to attract fish. The fish will not come to you, so you have to put in more effort.

Bait For Redfish

Redfish is a predatory fish species that reside in saltwater. So, you should use the examples of saltwater fishing bait that were mentioned earlier.

Here are some of the best bait for Redfish:


Live shrimp is an incredibly popular bait choice for targeting predatory fish. Shrimp is the most convenient choice since most fish will gobble it up instantly.

However, the reason why live shrimp is so popular is also its biggest problem. Other smaller fish may try to eat away at your bait before a Redfish can even find it.

Mullet Fish

Mullet is probably one of, if not the best bait for Redfish. If you are targeting Redfish, fresh-cut mullet will do the trick. Redfish love mullet heads in particular. Frozen mullet can work as well, but it is less ideal compared to fresh mullet.


It is an example of a small fish species commonly used as live bait for predatory fish. Minnows will very likely attract Redfish as well. Bull Redfish, which are large variations of the species, especially love minnows.

You can choose to use a live minnow or Clouser minnow as bait. The Clouser minnow or deceiver minnow is an imitation lure. While live bait may be easier to use, Clouser minnows are a close second. They are very good imitations that act almost exactly like the real thing.

Live Squid

Another seafood that is an excellent bait is live squid. Redfish are also quite fond of squid. You can use a whole squid if you want to catch bigger fish.

However, most anglers cut the squid up into small strips so they can make the most of it. Cutting it up into smaller pieces will help preserve the bait, and it can be used to catch more fish.


There is no one best bait for Redfish, but there is a handful of them that work very well. Most Redfish love live shrimp, squid, mullet, and minnows. Artificial bait is also great, but since Redfish is so sought-after, live bait may be the better choice.