Fish Razr’s Ultimate Guide to Dredge Fishing

May 16th 2022

Fish Razr’s Ultimate Guide to Dredge Fishing

Dredge fishing is a powerful strategy that can be utilized to raise pelagic gamefish to the surface, allowing anglers to effectively catch more fish. If you’ve been fishing for long enough, you know that the more dredges, the better and the greater the opportunity to pull in more fish to the boat.

Increase Your Odds With More Dredges

Offshore fishing is often a numbers game — more teasers mean a higher probability of attracting pelagic fish. While anglers are bound to have their own preferences, a dredge fishing rig should typically include at least six primary dredges in a variety of different sizes. This rig should have droppers and swivels attached and ready to drop. Your goal is to mimic a school of baitfish, which is why quantity and variety are integral to your strategy.

fishing dredge with hot pink squid teasers

Plan to Lose Dredges

Dredge rigs are extremely effective. In fact, they’re so effective that it’s common for large saltwater fish like marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, mako sharks, wahoo, and dorado to attack them ferociously. While these intense bites are thrilling to behold, the downside is that they can destroy even the toughest dredge fishing rigs. For that reason, you should have at least another  dredge rig or two on hand for backup.

Choosing a Dredge

It is important to choose a dredge bar that makes sense for the type of setup that you are planning to create. Based on the intended number and style of teasers that you plan to add to your dredge assembly will determine if you need a light, heavy, or super-heavy dredge bar. Lightweight bars utilize StripZ, InciterZ, and Fish StickZ as they are thin and do not produce a lot of drag. Heavy and super-heavy bars can handle phat and regular rubber squid along with larger dredge tuna FlapZ. These bars can be combined together to increase the amount of teasers baits to attract more fish. Be creative! The downside to additional baits is more weight. The more bait you add to your setup, the more weight will be needed to keep your rig below the water. This can take some experimenting. Purchasing more than one weight will increase your odds of success once out on the water.

In short, the bigger your dredge fishing rig and the more teasers that you add, the stronger the dredge you need. It’s also important to keep in mind that weight will keep your dredge under the water while trolling.

underwater image of fish chasing a dredge

Natural vs. Artificial Bait

When building your dredge fishing setup, you’ll want to determine if it makes more sense to use natural or artificial bait (or a combination of both). Some serious trolling anglers prefer to utilize fresh bait as teasers. Typical baits to attract more fish to the boat are mullet or ballyhoo. While this tactic may take some time to assemble, the idea of having a good trail of smell and flash behind the boat is proven to be effective. For this method, stock up on natural bait dredge kits. You can also use artificial bait, like squid and shad, to attract big game successfully. Our FlapZ teasers are an outstanding choice, as they accurately mimic the silhouette of sunlit tuna and other baitfish when viewed from below. For an easy, beginner dredge, check out our StripZ Dredge Kit

dredge setup on boat

Quality Matters

There are plenty of options to consider when putting your dredge fishing rigs together, but one thing is certain: quality matters. While it might be tempting to use the cheapest components possible (due to the possibility of them being ravaged by a particularly aggressive creature), you’re much better off investing in high-quality products that are made to last. Not only will you save money on replacements in the long run, but you’ll find that quality gear is designed to bring more fish to the boat, whereas low-grade equipment can feel disposable in nature. 

two men catching a saltwater fish

Shop Tournament-Grade Gear

Fish Razr carries a wide selection of top-of-the-line equipment for all types of offshore angling, including dredge fishing. If you’re looking to build your first dredge fishing setup, or if you’re looking to upgrade your current rig, we can help. 

Browse our dredge and teaser baits and dredge bars to find the products you need to create your own custom rig. We also have tournament-ready, full-size dredge kits that are complete and ready to go. Gain the competitive edge and bring more fish to your boat with professional offshore fishing products, available now at Fish Razr.

About Author

Les Orr is a co-owner of Fish Razr and a native of the Gulf Coast of Texas. He grew up fishing the inshore waters of the Galveston Bay system and occasionally offshore. He moved to South Carolina for a job opportunity in 1994, and his love of the offshore grew in the Charleston area. He currently lives and works in Mt. Pleasant, SC, with a wife and two young kids, 12 and 13 years old. His son is becoming quite the angler and loves going offshore to catch dolphin, tuna, wahoo, and the occasional marlin or sailfish.