There are some great secrets to catching redfish in dirty and muddy water. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there! Bring the redfish to you. Conventional wisdom says, when the water is dirty, use brightly colored baits like chartreuse, orange or something disco neon, right? How many times have you seen a baitfish, shrimp, crab or anything else for that matter that a redfish eats in these colors? Stay with the most natural colored bait possible. I prefer olive green and natural amber. When water color changes, redfish food doesn’t so neither should you.
In the Panhandle, water color changes are notorious after heavy rains. Instead of throwing on a chartreuse plastic or pink hard bait, stay natural but make adjustments. Here are a few secrets we use at Redfish University. We focus on the three S’s; Shake, Sound and Scent.
Shake in the form of a small inline gold spinner. This will produce flash and vibration that can be seen and heard from a good distance. Sound in the form of plastic or glass worm rattle inserts. Even in the dirtiest water, these rattles can be used with the most natural shrimp, crab or plastic baits. Also, the use of a popping cork will provide sound and shake in muddy water conditions. I prefer the quality of Marsh Works Buzz Pop corks and have they are proven deadly. Lastly, scent in the form of Berkley Gulp! and other scented plastics. Once a redfish is attracted to your bait in dirty water with the used of sound and shake, the natural scent of the bait will usually close the deal.
These are techniques that are tested and tweeked constantly at Redfish University. They will increase your catch rate in dirty water by an average of 35% in 2009 tests. While my clients use these tricks on trips, I often throw the “wrong” baits and I am out fished every single time. Try these tricks the next time the water is muddy or off-colored and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.