Soaking crabs on the bottom around nearshore drop-offs (6 to 20 feet) off barrier islands, like Dauphin Island, in the open Gulf of Mexico, is deadly for bull redfish, says Capt. Charlie Gray, an Alabama charter captain and tournament angler. He's picky about the size he uses for bait, so he catches his own. "I prefer small blue crabs 3 to 5 inches across the shell and rig them on 3/0 to 7/0 circle hooks with 3 to 4 feet of 30- to 40-pound fluorocarbon leader," he explains. "And I add a 2- to 4-ounce egg sinker above the swivel connecting the leader to the main line of 30- to 50-pound braid." Gray also crushes larger crabs to use for chum when setting up near drop-offs to draw reds onto shallow sandbars where he anchors and deploys baits. Live finger mullet, croakers and pinfish are also good baits, but he catches fewer sharks and jacks when using crabs.