Captain’s Corner: Pinfish top bait to catch redfish

Published September 3, 2018
Updated September 7, 2018

The first signs of redfish rejuvenation for the fall have happened. Large schools of big fish can be intercepted in the right parts of Tampa Bay. Suffering to the south, redfish are in good shape in almost all other areas of the state. Redfish are predominantly a super shallow fish. My attempts at redfish are always made in areas that are under a foot-and-a-half deep. That requires better technique with lures. It is an exact science. You want to move a lure at the minimum speed possible but not bump the bottom. Catching redfish on bait is not difficult. Use the right bait and redfish do all the work. My choice for a top redfish bait: take along tiny hooks and catch pinfish. With small pinfish, throw out live and whole. With medium-sized, cut in half. A very large pinfish gives you three baits. The trick is to use pinfish that are just caught. Even day-old pinfish get ignored. Redfish are our top fighting fish in the gulf. Personally, I don’t keep them. I let all redfish go to be enjoyed again and again.


Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at and (727) 692-6345.

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