Live bait is the choice of most redfish guides at this time of year, but it's not the only good choice. Redfish of all sizes are being caught on artificial lures, with spinnerbaits being productive baits in recent days.

Guide Clayton Crawford (843-277-4477) said that he will certainly use live bait when needed, but his spinnerbaiting technique is producing lots of quality redfish right now in the area from Bulls Bay south to Charleston.

"It's not your average summertime redfishing pattern, and it's not right for everyone, but my clients that can cast accurately are catching a lot of quality redfish on spinnerbaits," he said. "The primary lure I'm using is a Redfish Magic with a 3-inch Gulp! Ripple Mullet trailer. My favorite color pattern is white/chartreuse, but other colors will work well too."

 

Crawford said the key is to work the spinnerbait along grass edges that drop quickly into deeper water.

 

"It's essential that the spinnerbait be cast right against the weeds," he said. "My primary targets are the many small points and pockets along a shoreline where the water drops quickly to deep water. These points and pockets will attract and hold redfish at this time of the year; they're perfect ambush spots. The key is to get the lure right into the edge of the grass line to be consistently successful. That's why I like getting the lure back into the pockets and right on the tip of points. Usually, the bite will be within the first few cranks of the handle, then the battle is on."

 

Crawford searches for baitfish when he's looking for a good area to fish. He will also look and listen for actively feeding fish along the grass line.

 

"Once I find a productive stretch of water, it's common to be able to work it repeatedly and continue to catch fish," he said. "However, if I fish a place for 15 to 20 minutes and don't get into fish, then I'll move to another area. If the fish are there and in the biting mode, it won't take long. If they are there, they'll roam the edges looking for something to eat, periodically stopping and holding in small pockets or on the points waiting to feed. So working the same stretch two or three times will typically produce several fish."

 

Crawford said the ideal place to fish will vary, but he's had excellent success in inshore areas as well as in the major rivers around Charleston.

 "I'll usually start from Buck Hall Landing and go toward Charleston or McClellanville from there, depending on the weather and wind conditions" he said. "But I've also had very good success in the large rivers around Charleston as well and have caught big reds so far up the rivers, especially the Cooper River, that I've actually caught largemouth bass and redfish working the same stretch of water."