Best Live Bait for Redfish

July 20, 2020
0 Votes

Redfish, also known as red drum, are popular inshore species and rely on sight and smell for success. To catch redfish, use baits native to their natural environment and crustaceans. Capt. William Toney, a fourth-generation guide, uses live baits in Homosassa, Florida, targeting redfish year-round. Knowing local natural baits and tides helps produce fish in boats, even during seasonal variations. Using fresh baits is the most effective choice for near-guaranteed success.

Redfish, also known as red drum, are a highly sought-after inshore species among anglers. Successful redfish fishing often depends on the choice of bait, with live bait offering the best chances of reaching your bag limit. This article delves into the best live bait for redfish and shares insights from my experience and discussions with expert inshore fishing guide, Capt. William Toney.

The Importance of Natural Environment Baits

Understanding Redfish Diet

The key to selecting the best live bait is understanding the redfish's natural diet. Redfish are accustomed to feeding on certain baitfish and crustaceans in their environment. Using what they are naturally inclined to eat increases your chances of a successful catch. This preference, however, can vary from one fishing location to another.

Expert Insights from Capt. William Toney

I had the opportunity to discuss redfish bait with Capt. William Toney, a renowned inshore fishing guide based in Homosassa, Florida. His extensive experience in these coastal waters has made him a valuable source of knowledge on the subject. His specific video on the Best Live Bait for Redfish should be a must watch.

Best Live Baits for Redfish

Local Baitfish and Crustaceans

  • Live Shrimp: Always a top choice, live shrimp are a staple in the diet of redfish. They are easily available at local bait shops and highly effective.
  • Small Baitfish: Catching small baitfish from the same waters where you're fishing ensures the bait is part of the redfish's regular diet. This makes it more appealing to the redfish.

Specific Bait Recommendations

  • Live Pinfish: These are commonly found in the same areas as redfish and can be easily caught or trapped. Pinfish are particularly effective due to their hardiness and ability to survive longer on the hook.
  • Live Mud Minnows: Though slightly more challenging to catch, mud minnows are an excellent choice for their resilience and long-lasting appeal to redfish.

Techniques and Tips

Catching and Rigging Baits

Capt. William Toney demonstrates effective techniques for catching and rigging these live baits in our latest redfish fishing video. His methods are straightforward and ensure that you have fresh, local bait for your fishing adventure.

Bait Hardiness and Versatility

While shrimp are less hardy, their abundance makes them an easy choice for initial attempts. If shrimp are not effective, transitioning to pinfish or mud minnows can yield better results. Mud minnows are particularly recommended for their durability.


The success of redfish fishing greatly depends on using the right live bait. Understanding the natural diet of redfish and adapting to local conditions can significantly increase your chances of a fruitful fishing trip. Through the expertise of Capt. William Toney and practical fishing techniques, anglers can become more proficient in choosing and using live baits for redfish.

In The Spread is one of the world's premier sport fishing video companies and educational outlets for demonstration, explanation and insight on how to catch fish. Get inside access to our video library by becoming a member.

Seth Horne In The Spread,
Login to leave a review.

User Reviews

There are no reviews yet.