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Blue Crabs For Spring Redfish

Why You Must Use Blue Crab When Fishing For Spring Redfish

Redfish in the spring cannot resist a tasty blue crab meal

One of my favorite times of the year is spring. You have been cooped up in the house all winter just waiting to get back on the water and try your luck fishing. The best thing is the inshore fishing during this time of the year. The black drums are thick, the big sheepsheads move inshore, and the redfish are running. When fishing for these species of fish, it is always best to use live bait. Why not fish with what the fish are eating. Blue crab is always my go-to bait of choice. The redfish cannot resist a blue crab or crab chunk on the bottom.

Spring Reds

Fishing For Redfish In The Spring (Photo Credit:

During this time of year, inshore species of fish will cruise the flats and oyster beds in search of a tasty crab meal. Using crab is almost an unfair bait because the natural aroma that a broken up crab gives off is candy to a redfish. Often if I am using small blue crabs, I will use the whole crab on the hook but crush it some to allow the pheromones it gives off to enter the water and attract the fish. You can almost view blue crab to redfish like candy is to a kid. The more you put in front of it, the more it will eat. Many companies realized the response redfish, and black drum gives to crabs, so they have captured this scent in a bottle. Pro-Cure crab attractant is the perfect example of this that can be added to any artificial to arouse the fish in the same manner.

Live Bait: Blue Crabs For Redfish

Redfish Eating a Crab

Redfish Eating A Blue Crab (Photo Credit: Carolina Sportsman)

When fishing for redfish in the spring, it is always a fun time to post up and fish the bottom. The best bottom rig to use with blue crabs is an egg sinker, swivel, and hook.  The size of the weight to use will depend on how much current is in the area you are fishing. It is best to use 1 to 3 ounces in low current areas. The size of the hook will be determined by the size of the crabs and the size of fish you are fishing for. As a good rule to remember is a 3/0 to 6/0 circle hook will be perfect for any inshore species. Knowing how to rig the crab is half the battle and a tactic that every angler should master.

How To Rig A Blue Crab

Rigging of crab

Rigging A Blue Crab Properly (Photo Credit: Florida Fishing Insider)

The first thing you need to do is figure out if you want to fish the whole blue crab, half of it or just a chunk. It depends on what you are fishing for. Big bull reds, tarpon, and black drum will eat the entire crab. If the fish in the are smaller then often its best to cut the crab in half. All fish like a chunk of blue crab. It will be more of a challenge to keep the smaller fish from picking the meat from the shell. Once you have found the blue crab, it is in your best interest to de-claw the crab for easy rigging. This is a relatively easy step if done with pliers. Carefully grip the base of the claw with plies and break. The crab's claw will come off every time.

Cutting The Blue Crab In Half

Determine If You Will Fish The Whole Crab Or Half Crab (Photo Credit: 

If you are using the entire blue crab or half of the crab, you should place the hook near the rear swimmer leg. Always proceed from the bottom to the top because this will be the easiest way to pierce the top hard shell of the crab. On the top back portion of the crab, there is always a lighter spot on the shell. Aim for the white spot when trying to push the hook through. Be careful not to make the hole too big on the crab. You want the crab to remain in the same spot to ensure a proper hook up when the fish strikes. Then it comes to chunk crab, look for an area on the shell that you can push the hook through where it cannot be pulled from the hook easily.

How To Fish With Blue Crab With Artificial

Artificial Crabs and Reds

Catching Spring Reds on Artificial Blue Crab Scented (Photo Credit: Native Fly Charters)

Often in the spring, the redfish will begin dissolving their large winter spawning schools. They will be more of a challenge to find and will require the angler to cover a lot of water often. It is easier to use artificial lures when covering large areas that need a lot of casting. Using artificial lures will hold up better than casting a live crab. The key is to get the scent of the blue crab on your artificial lures. Several companies infuse their plastics with crab scent like the Berkley Gulp peeler crabs.

Pro-Cure Blue Crab

Pro-Cure Blue Crab Super Gel

I prefer to use Pro-Cure crab attractant that comes in a gel form and is loaded with an aroma. Rub this on all your soft plastics, and it will change the way redfish strike your baits. There are a ton of anglers that refuse to use products like this and always prefer making their attractants. This is a relatively easy process, all you need are the crabs. Crush them up and add vegetable oil. Soak your baits in the mixture and see the difference it will make on your springtime artificial lures.

No matter if you plan on fishing for redfish during the spring, always incorporate blue crab into the mix whether it is artificial bait or live bait. You will never go wrong and should produce more fish. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please leave a comment below or email us at Send us any of your catch photos to be featured on our social media. Maybe you have a tip that we should be telling people; we would love to hear it. So this spring, get out there and use blue crab or a blue crab attractant to catch your redfish.

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