The soft-crab season is a special time of year; coaxing a redfish to bite is at its easiest when using a soft crab for bait. Placing a fresh chunk of soft crab on a hook will lower the guard of any fish in the spring. 

While most other baits and artificial options fall to the wayside during this short season, some life-like imitations are built to turn a few reds’ heads. 

While artificials that imitate soft-shell crabs aren’t widely available, D.O.A., Z-Man and Gulp offer ones that look and feel just about perfect. To make matters even better, they are impregnated with the fish-attracting smell of a crab. 

Anglers don’t need to move these baits very much with each cast. By nature, soft crabs don’t move much when they release their hard shell. They are extremely vulnerable during the molt and will stay hunkered down along the bottom until their shell hardens in a period of a few days.

The smell and soft texture of these artificials will really fool a redfish, moreso than at any other time of year.