The 8 Best Redfish Flies
Redfish are prevalent from the southeastern coast of the US to Texas. These large-shouldered predators spend time cruising marshy coastlines searching for crabs, shrimp, and small baitfish. It's not uncommon to see Reds tailing in shallow water and some would consider sight casting to a 30+lb Bull Redfish the pinnacle of the sport. These fish, without a doubt, make for an incredibly memorable fly fishing trip.
But a fishing trip can also go terribly wrong without the right gear. If you're wondering which fly rod you should choose to chase Reds, we've covered that topic here. Plus, we've also written about the best fly reel for Reds and the best fly line for Reds. To round out our species-centered blog posts, we've written this post to help you choose the best flies.
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Redfish feed on a variety of marsh-like critters. From baitfish to shrimp to crabs and almost anything in between, Reds are opportunistic feeders. A lot of times they'll eat a fly just because it's moving... drop it close to them, one strip, and they engulf it. Sometimes, they can be a bit more technical. Here are our favorite flies for Redfish.
- Redfish are opportunistic feeders and often forage in shallow mudflats with their noses stuck to the bottom, where they mainly feed on crustaceans. The Electric Bunny doesn’t seemingly resemble one particular redfish menu item, but they find its crabby silhouette irresistible.
- The Electric Slider is another classic redfish pattern designed for muddy and stained water. Fish often have trouble tracking their prey in these conditions. However, the Electric Slider’s dark coloration, coupled with the intelligent use of ingredients, gives it great movement, making it the perfect choice for the marsh.
- Similar to the Clouser Minnow, this is a bright baitfish pattern that sinks quickly and stays deep. This is a great fly for shallow water and smaller fish that aren't looking for a huge meal.
- Weed guards are beneficial when targeting reds in shallow and marshy water. The Mangrove Baitfish is great for Florida and Lowcountry redfish thanks to its wide profile and snag-resistant design. If you fish in the marsh and mangroves, don’t even think of leaving the house without flies with weed guards!
- Redfish are big crab and shrimp eaters, and the Ragin Craven does a great job of imitating both. Thanks to its heavy lead eyes, it drops like a crab, but its movement is more shrimp-like. Fish it near the bottom with slow and erratic retrieves for best results.
- The Chornobyl Crab is similar to the Ragin' Craven, with a deer hair body that traps air bubbles and makes a commotion in the water. This is an excellent fly for tailing fish digging crabs out of the mud.
- The Clouser is a classic saltwater pattern for a variety of species, and for good reason. This simple fly has heavy eyes and sinks quickly. Choose some bright colors and Redfish won't be able to resist.
- If you find redfish feeding near the surface, a topwater fly works really well. The EP Baitfish is a Gurgler-like pattern that moves water and pops on the surface to trigger an aggressive Redfish eat.
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