Redfish fishing tips (How to Catch Redfish)

Redfish fishing tips (How to Catch Redfish)

by | May 23, 2017 | Saltwater | 0 comments

Learn these redfish fishing tips that will help you put more of these awesome fish into your boat and learn what structure and bait they feed on most.

Redfish are a strong fighting fish that can be found from Florida to Massachusetts on the Atlantic Ocean side and from Florida to northern Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico side.

These fish are sought after by anglers from all over for their ability to pull a drag and not give up once hooked, hence why some people call them Bulls.   Redfish go by spottail bass, red, red drum, redfish, and channel bass.


What do Redfish look like?

redfish fishing tips

Reds have a copper or bronze color to them with a light or white belly.  Most disquisition feature is the redfish spot.  Typically the redfish has a large black spot on its tail.

It is not uncommon to catch redfish with more then one spot and some redfish can have hundreds of spots on them.

What do redfish eat?

Redfish love to eat a variety of baits like shrimp, crabs, and small bait fish like pilchard, pinfish, and other white bait. Redfish love to root around in oyster beds, rocks, and other similar bottom structure for small crustaceans.

Redfish will not pass up a live mullet, menhaden, pilchard or other white bait. We have had some stellar days in Everglades National Park on cut ladyfish, crab cut in half, and chunks of pinfish.

Redfish fishing tips:  Take a whole blue crab and crack it in half  use a weighted rig and let it soak on the bottom.  Redfish cant resist this.

How large can Red Drum get?

Red fish can grow to large sizes with the world record coming in at a massive 94 pounds 2 ounces.  Typically fish we get in the South Florida area in Everglades National Park range from 1 pound fish to 13 pounds, however we do get larger ones a few times a year.

The Florida record redfish comes in at 52 pounds and 5 ounces.

David Deuel world record redfish

Rod and reel set up for catching redfish

Spinning Gear: Spinning rods and reel set up with 8 to 15 lb test on a medium or fast action rod will get it done when using light jigs or small white bait.   Spinning reels spooled with braid line is also a top choice of inshore and light tackle anglers.

Plug casting gear: 7 foot medium and fast action plug casting gear with 10 to 12 pound test monofilament or braid line is ideal for catching redfish from shallow water.

Fly gear 6 to 8 weight fly rods outfitted with matching reels will work great for stalking redfish in shallow water.

Fishing inlets, surf or deeper water with current If your fishing for redfish in larger inlets with a strong current or deeper water you will want to up your gear accordingly.  Fish heavier rods with 15 to 20 lb test so you can handle these fish in rougher conditions.

Artificial baits for redfish

Redfish can be taken on many kinds of artificial baits.  Here are a few of the more popular ones that we use when targeting red drum.


Catching Red fish on Soft Baits

Soft Plastics Soft plastics like jerk baits, soft shrimp bodies with lead heads work awesome.   Jerk baits can be rigged on a single large gap size hook.  Drop Dead weighted hooks are also deadly and make the jerk bait flutter when popped.

Soft shrimp bodies with a colored red head or white head popped along the bottom are also a top choice among redfish anglers..

Redfish fishing tips to Catching Redfish On Hard Baits

Mirrolure 17mr-18 suspending bait is a great redfish and trout bait.  These baits have been catching redfish for a long time with there great motion and flash.

Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow has great movement and its unbelievable flashing makes redfish go nuts.

Live Target Mullet Twitch Bait.  Live target makes some realistic baits that swim and act just like the real thing.

Gold Spoons

Gold Spoons.  Gold spoons have been a long time or some will say old time bait for catching redfish.  These baits can be fished in shallow water and they posses a flash and wobble that mimics a bait fish. Many  redfish have been taken on this bait through the years.

Oyster Bars are a favorite place to find redfish

Oyster bars hold many different types of small crustaceans that predatory fish like to eat, especially redfish.  Crabs, shrimp, and other hard body morsels all make their homes in these oyster bars.

Because of this, redfish will prowl these areas for an easy meal.  On certain tides you can see these fish with there tails out of the water as they nose down searching for food.

Redfish fishing tips to remember:  Oyster bars are like a buffet for redfish and other predatory fish.


Interior marshes of the Golf Coast

Redfish fishing in Louisianan is like hunting as much as it is fishing.   These interior marshes hold grass pockets with small cuts and creeks.

Tides are important here as the incoming tides will flood these creeks, cuts, and grass.   Anglers will wait till the tide rises and then visibly stalk redfish presenting them with fly’s, live bait, and other artificial baits as they are tailing and moving higher inland as the tide floods these areas.


Tides play a big roll in finding redfish in certain areas.  We fish certain areas that we know the redfish will be at on higher tides.  Because of this we also know they will hold just outside of an area in deeper water waiting for the tide to flood oyster bars.

We will wait over an hour on rising tides knowing the redfish will show to start to feed and when they do we have had days of catching 40 plus fish in one spot.

Redfish will typically hold up on incoming tides in certain areas that will allow them to get to their feeding spots.   These holding spots can produce large numbers of fish waiting to get back to higher grounds.

Falling tides and dead lows in certain areas can also be very productive.  If your fishing pot holes on a low tide its not uncommon to find redfish that will wait out the tide change in these spots and some holes can produce good numbers.

The lower tide will also concentrate fish together as where a high tide will disperse them making them harder to find.

Redfish fishing tips on tides:  Wait out incoming tides at areas where a fish would use to reach higher ground first when the tide comes up.  These spots will be waiting areas for redfish.

Food value

Redfish are good to eat with a light colored firm flesh that is good for frying, baking, or grilling.   Blacken redfish is also excellent.  We prefer to keep smaller fish on the legal slot limit.  In Florida you can check the limit and size of redfish here.

If your fishing in other areas please check what your size and bag limit is before harvesting a redfish.

In Closing Remeber these Redfish fishing tips

Redfish are a blast to catch and you can catch these fish with almost every kind of fishing tackle. Remember when fishing areas that are tidal to search out fish on a low tide as they may be more concentrated and easier to spot and catch.

Fish live bait or artificial that most mimic the pray these fish currently eat in the particular area your fishing.

About The Author

Anthony Arcodia

A Florida Native, Anthony has been a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. As a child, he started fishing lakes around the South Florida area chasing bass which quickly spread to chasing snook and tarpon in the 10 thousand islands. Anthony has passed his love of the outdoors and fishing to his son and both continue to enjoy the great outdoors together while pursuing their passion of fishing.

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