6 Best Rigs and Baits For Catching Redfish

Redfish are one of the most popular sport fish in the United States. In fact, some might even describe them as one of the most accommodating inshore gamefish. An enthusiast can catch red drums in almost any imaginable way!

Why are redfish so popular with fishermen? The reasons are simple: they strike hard when hooked, can get very big, and remain delectable when adequately prepared. Moreover, red drums don’t generally take long runs like numerous other game fish, they’re unfussy eaters but put up a great fight.

There is no “do all” redfish bait or lure. However, the question, “What are the best redfish rigs for pier fishing?” might be better posed as “What won’t a redfish eat?” With various options out there to choose from that can fill a cooler in no time, our team from Rite Angler wants to break down some of the best redfish rigs, lures, and baits.

Rigging for Redfish

The best redfish lures, baits, and rigs will depend on where and how you want to fish and the size of the redfish you’re fishing for. The best redfish rigs for pier or beach fishing may not ideally suit fishing for red drums in grass flats or other areas.

Most fishermen only need 2 to 3 redfish rigs for their purposes. Once you succeed with a few setups, trying out different options might help you achieve better results.

Jig Rigs

Jig rigs serve as one of the simplest redfish rigs for pier fishing, are incredibly versatile, and remain suitable for numerous kinds of baits and fishing techniques. However, fishermen must remember that jig heads, or any hooks for that matter, can easily become snagged in cover.

Jig rigs are suitable in almost any situation where we can find redfish close to shore, making them the ideal redfish rigs for pier fishing, jetties, surf casting, or when fishing from a boat.

The easiest way to set up a jig rig is by tying a jig head directly to the main line. Some fishermen may also choose to use a few feet of fluorocarbon leader as a helpful addition in clear-water conditions.

Simply bait a jig head with your bait of choice and cast it out, letting it sink to the bottom. When retrieving the lure, bounce the jig rig along the bottom. This technique will help the rig perform better and attract redfish who feed on the bottom.

Soft Plastic Jigs

The most common soft plastic jigs have a small “tail” that emits a scent to attract redfish. While fish like snook feed utilizing their sight, redfish typically feed by smell. You can determine the speed and action of the soft plastic jigs after determining where redfish reside in the water column.

Topwater Skimmer Jigs

When fishing in shallower waters, flats, or clear water, topwater skimmer jigs can entice red drums to produce one of the most exciting topwater strikes a fisherman will ever experience. You can position a topwater skimmer jig anywhere in the water column, and they work well even near the bottom. With a medium sink rate, many topwater jigs provide the necessary time to present the bait properly.

Popping Cork Rig

The popping cork is a favorite for many fishermen aiming for inshore redfish. The setup works best in cold, shallow water under 5 feet in depth. Low water temperatures make the red drums more lethargic.

Popping cork redfish rigs make a chugging sound with a popping cork that stimulates and attracts redfish to the surface commotion. The “pop-pop-pop” sound simulates surface feeding or bait fleeing from predators. Game fish come to investigate the sounds or catch a scent of dangling bait enabling the fishermen to set the hook.

Weedless Spoons

The classic tried-and-true spoon is a go-to choice for many fishermen. It is the closest option to a utilitarian approach to catching numerous different types of saltwater fish. Today’s tackle market provides fishermen with an array of spoons. 

Nonetheless, seeking a weedless option when fishing grass flats is critical to prevent the lure from getting stuck in the brush. Spoons are an excellent search bait for finding redfish as they cover a ton of water, enabling fishermen to figure out precisely where they can find the feeding red drums.

Choose Your Bait

Getting the redfish to bite is as much about the bait as the rig and lure. You must consider everything about the water where you fish to make the ideal choice.


Live shrimp is one of the most widely available bait options for catching redfish. More importantly, redfish seem to love the smell and taste of baited shrimp, rarely ignoring them. The secret to fishing with live shrimp is to try and keep the shrimp alive and healthy for as long as possible. A lively shrimp will keep moving in the water, helping a redfish to spot it easily.


Live crab is one of the best baits available today for catching larger bull redfish. Larger reds will have a larger mouth, enabling them to devour an entire crab with little problem.

The best way to rig a live crab is to remove a leg and place the hook through a leg hole. You should guide the hook through the crab shell, firmly setting it in place. Moreover, when fishing for smaller red drums.

The Right Tools to Fill Your Cooler

Hopefully, with the right redfish rigs, baits, and lures at your disposal, you’ve discovered some new ways to help you reel in more redfish. Many of these setups are ideal redfish rigs for pier fishing, shallow water fishing, and fishing from a boat. These rigs also work well for other inshore saltwater fishing applications like trout, snook, and flounder.

Rite Angler provides high-quality fishing tackle and other equipment for serious fishermen. Founded in 1990, we design our products for fishing men and women who understand the importance of quality equipment.

Rite Angler's product design uses only the best anti-corrosive materials. We focus on producing superior tackle options for all your fishing equipment needs. You can rely on Rite Angler for the proper lures, lines, and tackle to stand up against the elements (and the fish)!

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