Five of my favorite artificial lures..


Here in Tampa Bay we are known for using  live bait on our  Tampa fishing charters during most of the year. We have millions or bait schools throughout Tampa Bay during the summer months and make for an easy fishing trip when the bait bats start slinging baits. But during the winter months in Tampa Bay bait can be a real pain and just not worth the effort. This is a prime time to get out the tackle box full of artificial baits and head to the boat ramp. Here are a few top baits I love to throw when fishing in Tampa Bay or Redfish tournaments throughout Florida.


I love to throw artificials during the winter and one of my go to types of baits would have to be soft plastic baits. Match these with an ⅛ to ¼  once weighted hook and you will have one of the best artificial baits when fishing Tampa,Fl. Soft plastics come in a ton of different sizes,shapes and colors and all produce awesome fish when put in the right situation. The key is knowing when to use what color. 


My go to bait of all time has to be a pearl white Zman minnowZ. This has produced hundreds of Trout boatside for me and is a great go to bait. It’s simple and very productive. Another great one that I have discovered while fishing in Redfish tournaments throughout Florida would have to be the Zman Paddlerz Houdini. This has a natural shrimp look to it with a sparkle to catch the attention of fish. I’ve caught some trophy Redfish while using this bait and it is a go to bait for me.


Another great combination is a mix of two different companies is a go to when  fishing dirty water just about anywhere. I love to tie on a Cajon Thunder Back Bay float and match this with about 3 foot of leader and a ¼ once jig head with whatever color produces in that area. This is a great producer in all parts of Florida and Louisiana for Trout and Redfish. I always go to the combination when fishing very dirty water. The popping noise from the float is something they can’t refuse.


The ole Gold Spoon is a great option no matter where you are fishing at. It’s been a staple for years and yet it’s still a top producer for Snook,Redfish,Trout, and Flounder. I like to throw a Gold spoon when I’m covering a lot of area during a tournament.


As you read this I hope I was able to give some insight to some great baits to start with when fishing with artificials in Tampa Bay or anywhere else for that matter. Hopefully this will be useful for beginners and give you a good start to putting some fish boatside when getting started throwing artificial baits onm Tampa Bay. If you are interested in throwing some artificial baits or just getting out for a live bait trip give us a try. You can find more information at