This “Techniques Page” is designed to give
you a head start on the many different ways we fish. Many of the techniques are
similar to Bass fishing techniques. Each technique may have a small variation on
the day we fish. I hope this page will help and I encourage your feedback.
Enjoy, Captain Mike
I use 2 different types of popping corks – Oval & Cupped. I fish these corks 5 different ways, usually adding a 1/4 to 3/8 oz egg sinker to the leader. The added weight helps the angler make longer cast and is easer to "POP”. A quick short jerk on the line will cause the cork to make a popping sound which will attract fish.
Technique 1 - Popping cork with plastic grub tail
I usually use an oval popping cork with 18" to 36" of leader, a light jig and a plastic lure. This is very effective at locating scattered fish during spring and fall. Pop cork every 10 to 20 seconds and prepare for strike.
Technique 2 - Popping cork with live bait
Same as Technique 1; however, I use a live bait hook and live bait.
Technique 3 - Slip cork
Once again, I usually use an oval cork that slips on the line to allow the angler to fish in deeper water and still suspend the bait in the strike zone. This is effective at fishing live bait in deeper water.
Technique 4 - Redfishing with cupped cork
I prefer cupped corks to fish Redfish. The cupped cork is rigged with 12" to 18" of leader and a VMC live bait hook. I prefer the deeper sound produced by the cupped corks for Redfish.
Technique 5 - Redfishing with cupped cork & circle hook
Same as technique 4 only rigged with a circle hook. When the water is high in the marsh the Redfish will get in the grass to look for food. The circle hook doesn’t hang up in the grass as much as a regular "J" style hook. This technique will allow you to fish as close to the grass as possible; only difference is you don't set a circle hook. When your cork goes down, count 4 seconds and start reeling in line. The hook will self set in the corner of the fish’s mouth most of the time.
Many other techniques are used with both plastic and live bait to make for a productive day.
Technique 6 - Tight-lined plastics
This is a very versatile technique. I usually fish a plain round jig in 1/4 to 1/2 oz with a short shank hook and a plastic grub. This technique can be fished on the bottom or anywhere along the water column. If swimming your lure through the water column, keep your rod tip at the 10 O'clock position. This position will have you ready to set the hook upon a strike. You can vary your retrieve to provide action to the lure. If you are bouncing your lure off the bottom (this is how we fish the bridges over Lake Pontchartrain), cast your lure up-current, let the lure settle on the bottom, and with a tight line hop your lure up with a short quick jerk of the rod. Reel in all the slack and let the lure fall back to the bottom with a tight line, again keep your rod in hook setting position. The strike will usually be felt as the lure is falling back toward the bottom or shortly after the lure settles on the bottom. You must have a tight line to feel the strike.
Technique 7 - Redfishing with spinnerbaits
Jig Spinners are my ‘go-to’ lure for catching Redfish in the marsh. I use heavy stainless steel "R" bend spinners with a 4 to 5 gold blade. I rig them with long shank short gap trout tout hooks in 1/16 or 1/8th oz. I use several different plastics: H&H Cocahoes, Deadly Dudleys and the new Attraxx baits (just to name a few). I cast my spinner close to the grass in the marsh. As soon as the spinner hits the water I engage my reel and let the lure fall toward the bottom with a tight line. The strike can occur on the initial fall. Just before the spinner contacts the bottom start a slow retrieve just fast enough to make the spinner blade wobble. Make three turns of the reel at this speed and one turn at a slower speed. This technique will make the spinner rise and fall in the water column with a tight line through out the process. The strike usually occurs when you slow down the spinner – just like Bass fishing.
Technique 8 - Spoons
More Redfish have been caught on spoons than any other Redfish lure. Spoons are very easy to cast & mostly weedless. I usually use 1/2 & 3/4 oz spoons in Gold, Black & Silver. Cast close to or in the grass and start a slow steady retrieve just fast enough to make the spoon wobble. The strike can be soft or very hard. Set the hook and have fun!!!
Technique 9 - Jigging spoons
I sometimes jig my spoons. The erratic action can provoke a strike from a Redfish that didn't want the slow steady retrieve. I also like to add a trailer to my spoons when jigging to prevent the spoon from pivoting in the water. I use the scented trailers; my favorite is the Uncle Josh Pork Rind used in Jig & Pig Bass fishing. I cast close to the grass and engage my reel as soon as the spoon hits the water. I can feel the spoon's wobble as it falls to the bottom. Jig and repeat the process. The strike usually occurs on the fall or sitting still on the bottom. Keep a tight line and be ready for the strike.
Technique 10 - Drop shot
I use a Drop Shot rig most of the time when fishing live bait on or near the bottom. I prefer the drop shot rig to other methods of bottom fishing because it keeps the live bait from burrowing down into the bottom to escape fish. To build a Drop Shot rig I start with a 30" piece of 30lb mono. I tie my sinker to one end and my VMC hook to the other end. I then fold the line 20" from the sinker and tie an over hand loop knot. I tie my main line into the loop knot of the Drop Shot rig. I can also tie the Drop Shot rig in many other lengths to keep the live bait in the strike zone.
Technique 11 - Drop deadly
There are times when the current is so strong it's hard to get your Tight-lined jig (Technique 6) to maintain contact with the bottom. To overcome this problem I use a Drop Shot rig with a light 1/8oz jig and a Deadly Dudley plastic. The heaver sinker will get the lure down into the strike zone and the lighter jig will swim in the current. I have caught many Specks over the years with this technique when others were forced to fish areas with less current. Cast and work your lure slow; the current will provide most of the action. You may feel a "TAP" or the line may get heaver or lighter – either way, set the hook. A while back I filmed a show with Mike Lane using this technique. Check out Sportsman’s Paradise TV. It may take some time to get comfortable with this technique, BUT it catches fish. I GUARANTEE IT.
Technique 12 - Jerk baits
I sometimes use soft plastic lures rigged weedless like a plastic worm. This technique is effective when the grass in the interior of the marsh gets thick and using a Spinner or Spoon does not allow you to cover as much water. The jerk bait rigged weedless can be cast into the grass where the Redfish are holding. It is fished like a plastic worm for bass.
Technique 13 - Hard plastics, Top water & Sub-surface lures
There are certain times of the year when Redfish & Specks will take a top water lure. This is a very exciting way to catch fish. The explosive strikes are great to see! I like to fish MirroLure TopDogs & SheDogs. The best way to fish these lures is to “walk the dog”. This is a back and forth motion with many stops & starts. The strike can be on the move or stopped, but is always exciting. Crank baits are sometimes used to catch Redfish in the skinny waters of the Biloxi Marsh. These are shallow running crank baits that are fished with a stop & go retrieve – the same as in Bass fishing.