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How to catch redfish off a pier?

Hello i live in jacksonville fl i am an avid fisherman but one fish that continues to elude me is redfish/drum i typically use a rig that has 2 hooks with a weight at the end with dead shrimp or cutbait but always seem to catch crabs catfish or croaker i don't have a boat so stuck fishing from shore or pier i also tried a float rig with shrimp mullet and cut bait can anyone out there tell me what im doing wrong? Any tips would surely help


Thank you swamp i typically fish county dock in Mandarin or knights marina on 17 which yields a lot of fisherman gonna have to try some place else in o.p. To try thanks for your help

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I lived in J-ville most of my life.

    Here are some tips for shore-fishing the ICW-

    #1. You need to understand tides and use that info to your advantage. Tides move bait and Gamefish from spot to spot. When you are stationary (IE-fishing from shore) you typically only have about 1-2 hours per tide where the fishing will be excellent (or where you might have an opportunity to catch something good like a Red, Trout or Flounder).

    When you know the "optimum" tides for any given spot you can then SAVE TIME by hitting them during those periods. How do you find those times???????

    You must fish a spot with a variety of bait's until you "get to know" when and where. Time consuming, yes, but beneficial in the long run. You should be able to fish one spot all day and catalog the "best possible times" for that particular spot. CHECK your tide chart and MARK that time. Understanding- tide is not the ONLY thing that makes a good shore-spot is just the "tip of the ice-burg"- and the FIRST thing you should consider when deciding WHERE you plan to go fishing.

    #2. Bait- If you typically use cut/dead bait on a bottom rig your average catch is going to be Salt Cats, juvenile Pinfish, and other small, pesky, "trash fish". YES, you can occasionally catch Gamefish with dead bait- but you'll have to weed through many, many troves of garbage fish before you catch something of distinction. How to alleviate this??

    A. Don't fish with a bottom rig- Unless you KNOW the species your targeting are there ,namely Flounder, Spadefish, Whiting, Croaker or Sheephead.

    B. Use LIVE Bait- Typical trash fish won't readily eat live Pogy/Greenies/Menhaden, Finger Mullet, small Pinfish (like 3-4") and Mud-Minnow's. If you use one of these types of bait you'll be TARGETING Gamefish and NOT trash fish. YES, you can also use live Shrimp- but, (again), everything likes live Shrimp- so - you would be back to having to weed out Salt Cats, Etc.

    C. Use Fluorocarbon leader's (17-20 LB)- Why???? Your not the only person trying to catch something good. In fact, there are more people "trying" to catch fish in Florida than in any other State. When fish see 1000's of lines per day having "invisible" leader's or line can be VERY helpful!

    D. Use a SLIP-Bobber rig for situations where there is no wave action-

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    E. Use Jigs and Lures- Gamefish LOVE a Jig/Live Shrimp combo- esp around shallower water. This should be a mainstay in your tackle box/bag- JIGS! Jigs are inexpensive (so you don't have to cry when you lose them) and are extremely effective. GET SOME!

    Lures can be JUST AS EFFECTIVE in the right place and can be used to FIND (Game) fish and find out the aggressiveness of those fish-

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    How I would target any gamefish from shore would be like this-

    A. Using a Slip-Float Rig I'd use a Finger Mullet or Live Shrimp as bait. Let it drift with the current waiting for a Red or Trout (or Flounder) to move through......

    B. While the Slip-Bobber is doing it's work, I'd be casting a Jig/Live Shrimp, Jig/Live Mud-minnow, or Jig/Berkley Gulp with another outfit. You can be very mobile with lures and be able to scour an area quickly to find out if anything is moving through or around....

    Understand- Pier's and "easy shoreline places to access", where you'll see hundred's of people fishing, are not always the best places from shore to try. Try to think out of the box! GO PLACES other fishermen won't and your shoreline fishing experiences will typically improve. Stay away from "the herd" and you'll have better luck.

    Hope this helps?

    UPDATE: Has it been raining a lot this year??? (I'm currently not in Florida) On rainy years your better river spots will be around the Ortega River and the upper N.A.S grass flats. However, for consistency,

    (shoreline fishing for Reds, Trout, Flounder, Etc), ICW creeks- like Sister's, Dunn, fishing around the Beach Blvd ICW bridge ETC, AND the areas around Mayport are much easier to locate, target and catch Reds, Trout and Flounder than inside the River.

    The mouth of Doctor's Lake can be a good bet during certain times. I've caught Flounder at the bridge using a Carolina Rig and Mud-minnow/Finger Mullet (or 1 OZ Jig/curly tailed Grub).

    County dock can be good for Reds- I'd suggest using weedless Jigs

    Source(s): 'Ole Fl Fisherman.
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  • Andrea
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Redfish will eat anything they can fit in their mouth when they're biting. I like to use live or frozen shrimp and Berkley Gulps in 3" natural, or whitebaits freelined or under a cork. The best Redfish bite comes at the crest of the high tide for several hours once it starts going out. The best place to catch them is in the mangroves at high tide or on the flats at low tide. Instead of fishing on a pier try wading, you'll catch more fish.

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  • brisco
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    How To Catch Redfish

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  • 7 years ago

    Just dangle your penis into the water and wiggle it about like a worm. Red fish will come biting for it ! Good luck catching ! ..

    Source(s): Budweiser
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This question is causing confusion for me too

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  • 7 years ago

    Looks like you got your answer. ~Good luck catchin'.

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