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I fish for reds with plastics about 98% of the time. My most productive colors are Electric Chicken, Croaker, LSU (purple/chartruese with different color glitter flakes) and black/chartruese. I have found that I have more success when I use a Spinner on the jig head. I use H&H cocahoes mostly with some Bayou Chubs when I can find them. Sometimes you can mop up on them, sometimes you cant buy a bite on plastic. I also keep a Johnson Spoon rigged up for when I have a miss, they usually jump on it on a quick follow up. Water color has some affect as well just like freshwater fishing (dark colors in mudy water and lighter colors in cleaner water).
There are two colors I primarily use when fishing plastics for reds in Dularge, LSU and avocado (usually with a chartruese tail). I throw them with and without spinners. 1/2oz gold spoons are probably my favorite. One tip I would give is if you have multiple people on the boat have everyone throw a different bait/color. Once a second fish is caught on a specific color/bait then switch. Good Luck!!!
I use every color mentioned here with a spinner but I tend to catch quite a few more fish on 'chicken on a chain'. Also, if you cannot get the reds to bite on plastic yet you still want to throw artificial try a rattle trap. Most reds will hit a rattle whether they are feeding are not just to kill it.
Only 2 baits i use when targeting reds, if not market shrimp then it better be a pearl gulp ( shrimp or curly tail)
Some people do well on lures. To be honest, I catch my limits on market shrimp, and have no reason or desire to use a lure. You save a lot of money that way too. With all the marketing and $4-5 lures, it gets expensive. Lures also are a lot of work, with very iffy results.
If you find a good concentration of reds, the Gulps work well.
If you sight fish, the lures definitely have an advantage.
...a single hook spoon w/a small spinner way in front on a 10in leader, it makes it look like a big chase go'n on and when 'ya get him in the boat...check his eyes, usually they crossed !!! cheers
you will find most success with 3 lures, a dark shade, a neutral shade, and a light shade bait. everyone has thier favorites but i stick with the most common and generic shades and dont buy a thousand colors trying to follow whatever the latest fad color is.
the key to choosing which to use on any given day is the brighter the day is the darker the bait you want to use and the darker the day the lighter the bait and partly cloudy days go with the neutrals.
if the water clarity is not good go with bright baits or vibration like spinners or rattle traps if the water is somewhat clear then go with nuetrals and if it is clear with good visability stick to dark baits and sometimes bright baits work too.
i have never been convinced that jig head color matters for the most part but i try to keep the colors the same so i use chartrouse jigs for light baits and red for everything else and i only use 1/4 oz size so it doesnt hang up in the oysters all the time.
also if you are using (swimming) swim baits then dont add shrimp, it makes the bait swim crooked and you get line twists and it can cause fish to not strike if they arent very agressive.
this is what i keep in my box:
the dark colored baits are avacado (green) with red flakes and purple or black with a colored tail usually white or chartrouse.
the neutral colored baits are red (strawberry) or motor oil colored with colored flakes (firecracker) or a natural shad color (silver with black back).
the light colored baits are the chartrouse, clear with glitter and white
If you're fishing in relatively shallow water (3 feet), nothing will out fish the Mann's Baby -1. When I fishing them I use a shock leader and I change the tea hook to a #4. Crank it just fast enough to feel the wiggle, it torments red fish and the hit it with a vengeance