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Would you like to catch more weakfish? Are you searching for weakfish fishing tips to take more home? Weakfish are known to be lazy feeders. They linger in holes and wait for their prey. This behavior makes weakfish a prime target for anglers. In this article, we share weakfish fishing tips from years of fishing this gamefish.




Weakfish Fishing Tips
Weakfish Fishing Tips












Weakfish Fishing Tips

1. If you are fishing for weakfish in fast-moving water, use a lure that will get into the holes where weakfish are situated in.




2. Weakfish like to gather in deep holes and along the edges where ambushing their prey is possible. When there is a strong tide, they are rewarded with their prey.




3. Tip your jig with a squid strip if you want to use natural bait. You can also use sand worms on a high-low rig.




4. Weakfish are called the “tide runner” as they hang around areas where the tide runs the strongest like inlets. Study the tide tables to expand your search for areas where they may be lurking.


Beginner Weakfish Fishing
Beginner Weakfish Fishing













5. Be on the lookout for areas where there is a major change in the bottom contour that features a ledge dropping from 5 to 25 feet. Weakfish use areas with such a depth change as an ambush area for their prey.




6. Be very observant of the surroundings. Lookout for areas where there are birds diving into the water near jetties. Watch out for activities close to inlets. If the birds are feeding on shrimp in that area, it can possibly be an area of interest for weakfish.




7. Look for many spots where weakfish might be lingering in waiting to ambush their prey. It may not be possible to fish in some areas due to wind, tide, weather, etc. on some days. This will allow you to fish in other areas that you are aware of that weakfish linger in.




8. It is often stated that where there is a tide, weakfish will be there. Though that is true, what is more, important is moving water. Weakfish feed on both sides of the tides. Due to the currents, there is moving water. Find the moving water as weakfish face the current waiting for an easy meal to come its way.


Tips For Weakfish Fishing
Tips For Weakfish Fishing















9. The time of day is very important when it comes to catching big spring weakfish. Leave early at pre-dawn when there is little boat traffic and minimum winds. Weakfish want to avoid the heavy boat traffic and strong winds will be out there feeding. Target channels and coves inside inlets at this time.




10. When you are fishing for weakfish, you want to find fishing conditions with the wind working with the current or tide. If they are working against each other, that will not help in targeting weakfish.




11. The rod you use to catch weakfish is very important. The rod you choose needs to have enough flexibility during the initial hookup.




12. When no other lure or bait works for weakfish, shrimps will do the trick.




13. When hooking shrimp baits, thread the first shrimp on the hook. Then take two to three more and hook them through the body to fill the hook. Weakfish can’t ignore a ball of shrimp. There will be hits, be prepared.


Ideas For Fishing Weakfish
Ideas For Fishing Weakfish















14. If you want to target tide runners, use soft plastics.




15. Weakfish simply just hang on to the plastic. They don’t commit to it as a bass or bluefish will do. Therefore, you want to slowly reel in the bait. Don’t jerk or jig it. You will lose the weakfish.




16. When fishing for weakfish at night, replace the plastic baits for noisemakers.




17. If you fish for weakfish during low tide instead of high tide, then focus on the holes where weakfish go during low tide.


Tricks For Fishing Weakfish
Tricks For Fishing Weakfish











18. The temperature of the water is important when fishing weakfish. Monitor the temperature. When the temperature is at or above 59 degrees, weakfish will bite the best. You can use natural baits at 55 degrees, but to catch weakfish with artificial lures, the water has to be warmer than 57 degrees.

If the temperature rises above 74 degrees for three days, it will feed at night. Take along an inexpensive water thermometer to help with targeting weakfish.




19. Using the right lure colors, you can fish for weakfish in murky waters. However, if the water is too dirty, fishing for weakfish will be poor.




20. If there are extended periods of heavy rainfall, weakfish will move out of the back bay areas. It can take up to 7 days of dry weather for their return. However, fishing can be back on after three days.




21. Weakfish bite the best when there are larger tides brought on by full and new moons. Two hours before and two hours after low or high tide is the best time to get bites from weakfish, especially when the tide phase is close to dawn or dusk.


Weakfish Fishing Tips And Tricks
Weakfish Fishing Tips And Tricks














22. Water temperature will determine the most productive tide early and late in the season. During the early spring, the end of the outgoing tide is best, and late in fall, the end of the incoming tide is best.




23. Weakfish will not bite while spawning late in spring. After spawning, the biting will ramp up. Remember this to avoid frustration.




24. Rock jetties, bridges, mussel beds, edges, pilings, marsh banks, and temperature breaks are all places where weakfish reside. However, how well the structure produces weakfish will be determined by where it is located.

Factors that affect how well the structure produces are the current in that area, the salt level, the type of bottom, water clarity, and depth. Weakfish usually will reside in a good structure for the entire season. So if you find a hot spot, be ready for the reward in weakfish.




25. Weakfish are also attracted by lighted docks and bridges. Watch out for feeding weakfish as you may discover these docks and lights where the weakfish are feeding. Quietly approach this area to avoid spooking them.


Weakfish Fishing Tips For Beginners
Weakfish Fishing Tips For Beginners












26. If your presentation is not natural, regardless of the bait or lure you are using, you will not catch weakfish. Do not retrieve against the current as it makes for a poor presentation. To have a natural presentation and get bites, fish the lure or bait with the current.




27. Always use a slow, steady retrieve that allows your lure to move through the strike zone and avoid getting stuck on the structure. You will get strikes by lifting and dropping a lure along the bottom when there is a school of weakfish holding tight to the bottom during slack tide.




28. Always cast up-tide. Change your location if you can’t hit the strike zone with an up-tide cast.




29. Quickly and aggressively set the hook when you feel the hit. Keep the line tight when the hook is set. Make sure to set the drag a little lighter than what you would do for bluefish to avoid pulling the hook from the weakfish.




30. Missing the beginning of the tide doesn’t mean you won’t get fish. You will experience a “pick” until the next tide rolls in.



Weakfish Fishing Tricks
Weakfish Fishing Tricks













Weakfish Lures & Bait

1. Shrimp


2. Soft Plastics


3. Jigs


4. Squid


5. Live Bait


6. Spoons


7. Plugs


8. Cut Bait


9. Crabs


10. Mollusks


11. Herring


12. Menhaden


13. Silversides


14. Killifish


15. Butterfish


16. Bucktailbait


17. Swimbaits







What is the best bait for weakfish?
Shrimps are one of the best baits for weakfish.
What size hooks for weakfish?
For fishing weakfish, 2/0 and 4/0 hooks are a good choice.
Are weakfish good eating?
Yes, weakfish is good to eat.
What do weakfish eat?
Weakfish eat shrimps, crabs, menhaden, mollusks, etc.
Do weakfish have teeth?
Weakfish has two large teeth in the upper jaw.








The Bottom Line

The weakfish is referred to as the “tide runner” as it likes to linger in holes and wait to ambush its prey. They eat just about anything and are a prime target for anglers. In this article, we share weakfish fishing tips to help you become a better angler and catch more weakfish whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler.

You can read this article about redfish fishing tips if you catch redfish. If you fly fish with nymphs, this article about fly fishing with nymphs will help you catch more fly fish.