EXUDE Fantail Shrimp by: Ray Stansberry

EXUDE Fantail Shrimp

The Top-Shelf menu item of Your Favorite Inshore Gamefish

Shrimp is one of the highest items of interest for most shallow saltwater gamefish including Redfish, Speckled Seatrout, Flounder, Snook, Permit and Tarpon. Depending upon your home fishing waters, there’s a period of time when there’s a “shrimp-run” or a higher-than-normal shrimp population & it’s always a great gameplan to focus on what the gamefish focus on during those special times. Whether you covering an area that has a history behind it, or are hunting down, then sight-fishing fish, it’s important to be rigged correctly to maximize your chances of catching.

Using the EXUDE Fantail Shrimp as a search bait

When trying to cover as much water as possible, I typically weight the soft plastic toward the head with a jig-head or a weed-less, wide gap hook with it weighted either in front of the bait or actually attached to the shank of the hook, just behind the eye.

This method allows one to make a maximum length cast and work the bait back to the boat in a up-and-down or jigging motion.  This setup gives the EXUDE Fantail Shrimp proper action to work various levels of the water column. It is very important that the action of the bait is felt right down to your fingers holding the rod.

EXUDE Fantail Shrimp as a sight-fishing tool

Covering water is of no importance once you have your prey in sight. I rig the Fantail Shrimp with the weight toward the rear of the soft plastic. This method allows the bait to flutter with very little action imparted and fall slowly through the water column.

The weight needed is just enough to cast the distance needed, but not to make the bait fall too quickly. This is something that will vary from area to area, and might take some “on-the-water” testing to find the right combination.

This is the method I use predominately when targeting Redfish that I can physically see before I cast to them. Since these fish are usually in less than 2 feet of water, they are very aware of their surroundings and can be spooked by the slightest things. This means finesse is a high priority. Quickly ascertain the situation and make the right cast, typically just past the fish and bring it back toward it subtly, letting the soft plastic fall right into the strike zone. Sometimes the Fantail Shrimp just needs to stay motionless. Other times, the fish might need some coaxing. Don’t twitch or jig the rod. That could be too much movement and might spook the fish. I will simply make a nervous shake of the rod, which imparts just enough movement through the line to make the Shrimp quiver. You see everything happen before your eyes, the result is known very quickly.

Whether the fish makes a water signature, v-wake or you see the direction the fish is facing, making the right cast promptly and accurately provides the highest percentage of success. As you gain more experience and time sight-fishing, you will be able to read the fish’s “personality” and make the proper bait presentation. The EXUDE Fantail Shrimp is a great “go-to” soft plastic for these methods of targeting your favorite gamefish.

Ray Stansberry

EXUDE Pro Staff

Titusville, Florida