Pro Talk: Floating Soft Shell Crab Lure for Topwater Bull Redfish with Capt. Ross Gallagher

15 Minutes with: Capt. Ross Gallagher



Here’s what we learned…RCI Redfish Release


Location: Coastal Inlets, Southern USA

Tides: During the spring into early fall, blue crabs will drift out with the outgoing tides. These baits generally float on or just a few inches below the surface.

Approach: Timing is everything when trying to fish during a crab flush. It’s best to arrive just before or during high slack tide. This offers the angler an entire tide change to fish the crab flush.

Rigging Selection: An unweighted, Soft Circle Hook rigging is preferred to match the floating action of a natural crab.

Bait Selection: Hogy’s FLOATING crab is the only soft bait crab we know of that can float on the surface while rigged with a hook.

Red Floating Crab 640

Why this bait? The 3.5″ size is perfect for imitating the small crabs that flush out with the tide. The floating core of the bait allows a total top water presentation, even when rigged with a heavy wire circle hook capable of landing over-sized redfish.

Colors: Molting Red or Blue Crab are excellent colors.

Retrieve:  During this trip, casting accuracy and lure placement were the most important. Waiting and watching to see how the bull reds positioned along tidal seams was vital. Once fish had been located, a close cast, just up current would place the bait in the strike zone. Once the bait landed, let it rest motionless while feathering out slack line on an open spool. This allows the crab to naturally drift with the tide. Once a fish picked up the bait, quickly close the bait and retrieve slack for a hook set. Remember you are using circle hooks, so don’t swing on the fish, just let the drag set the hook!


Rod: Sewell S1 MH 7′ 6″

Reel:  Shimano Sustain FG 5000

Line: 20lb Powerpro Slick with a 40″ section of 30lb fluorocarbon for leader. Attach the lure to your leader via loop knot.

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Posted in Capt. Ross Gallagher, Casting, Hogy Soft Shell Crab, Hogy TV, How To Rig Softbaits, Inshore Boating, Redfish, Redfish, Soft Circle, Species Videos, The Soft Shell Crab
2 comments on “Pro Talk: Floating Soft Shell Crab Lure for Topwater Bull Redfish with Capt. Ross Gallagher
  1. Jon Rueben says:

    I wish you guys would show the take. I would love to drift these for tarpon/snook in the Tampa Bay, but I’m not sure because people say that they won’t drift a dead crab. Makes me wonder about crab imitations, because I can’t imagine that they would be better than a dead crab? Please tell me I’m wrong.

    • Ross says:

      The major advantage to our crabs is their floating properties. This allows for a controlled topwater or slightly sub surface presentation, similar to what a live crab would be doing. This is great for drifting baits out on outgoing tide/flush.

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