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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking to do more fishing with artificial baits this year. I fished for years with squid, shrimp and bloodworms, but this past speck season I used gulps for the first time and I was hooked. In my opinion it's so much more fun to fish with artificial bait compared to just soaking bait. Do any of you guys only use artificial bait? If so, what fish are you targeting and at what times are you targeting those fish?

I know croaker get thick out here in the summer months; do they hit artificial bait also?
 

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Everything has it's time and place. And you can soak bait and throw lures at the same time. Live bait is about the best bet. But have been times artificial has out fished live. Drum, stripped bass, trout, cobia, blues, and even croaker will hit lures. Normally larger croaker, I've caught 2 to 3# croaker on top water in the James behind cnu.
 

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For schoolie stripers both spring and fall, I use strictly artificials (gulps, curly tail grubs, topwater lures and hard jerk/slash baits like Rapala X-Raps and Yo-Zuri Crystal minnows). For puppy drum, I use topwater lures and Redfish Magic spinner baits, but I'm with Benji on using both artificial and fresh at the same time for the reds. While casting lures, I try to have another rod out with a float and either live mud minnows or fresh peeler crab. For flounder, I like gulps. Flounder love them but there were times where buddies next to me outfished me with squid/minnow combos, so I like to have fresh squid strips to use at the same time. You can't go wrong with the gulps, pretty much anything will eat them (croaker love the tails!). I've had luck with 3" curly tail plastics catching nice croaker. They seem to like the white with pink tails. If I were to recommend just one artificial lure to use as an all around lure, it would easily be the Redfish Magic spinner bait. Reds and striper will slam them and I have also caught croaker, stingrays, flounder, white perch and even freshwater bass and crappie with them. I have 4 or 5 in my box at all times.
 

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I don't get to fish saltwater as often as many here so I don't have the experience they do. Most of my fishing is off of a pier using lures. My favorite lures are Gotcha plugs, Hex Head Jigs, and red ¾oz. jigs with a 4" Gulp Minnow. With those I am targeting Bluefish, Trout, Spanish, and Drum. I have also caught flounder, croaker, mullet, albacore, and a few misc others with the same lures. If I'm fishing for trout or puppy drum I will use a double jig trout rig. Bluefish are rough on plastic baits. If I'm throwing jigs for them I like the Z-man 10X minnows. If the fish are taking lures steadily I will keep two rods rigged with lures. If the fishing is slow I will put one rod out with bait and keep throwing lures with the other. One thing I've learned over the years is to keep my eyes open when others are catching more fish than I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I am really trying to build up my artificial bait arsenal. I want to get the must have baits first and then as time goes on get other stuff. I looked at the Redfish Magic Spinner bait and I'm definitely going to get some of those. What are some other good all around must have lures/baits?
 

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For topwater, I like Rapala Skitterwalks, Heddon Super Spook Jr. and Bomber Badonk-A-Donk. Bass pro has KVD topwater lures that are shaped like the Skitterwalks and are a bit cheaper. I found them to actually work just as well. They are freshwater lures, so I just rinse them off when I get home. I don't change the hooks. For fishing just below the surface, I like Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows (floating), especially for fishing dock lights at night.
 
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