The redfish is one of the favorite gamefish to land during inshore fishing. Being a relatively easy fish to catch, the redfish will be able satisfy both a beginner fisherman and a seasoned angler looking for a challenge or a big catch. Read on to find out about the traits of redfish, learn where you can find them, and how you can tackle them.
Characteristics of Redfish
As the name implies, the redfish (also known as red drum) is usually reddish or bronze with a white belly. It usually has one or more prominent spots at the base of its tail fin although sometimes, the tail fin bases of some redfish can be spotless too. Some people might confuse redfish with a similar species (the black drum). To differentiate between them, just remember that the redfish does not have barbels on its lower jaw while the black drum never has spots on its tail. The redfish can grow up to 61 inches. It also has large scales and strong teeth that can destroy shellfish and oysters. Redfish are strong and make bullish runs, and will give even the most experienced anglers an adrenaline run.
Habitat and Behaviour of Redfish
Usually fished by sight, redfish can be spotted in coastal waters, on shallow flats, along shell bars, rocky shorelines, in the surf of outside beaches on the Gulf Coast, and along the upper half of the East Coast. They seek warmer waters in winter, and can be found over muddy or sandy bottoms, or in creeks.
Redfish are an inshore species until they mature to around 30 inches, which takes around four years. After which, they will migrate to the nearshore area. The main event for redfish is spawning season from August to December, where they can produce up to tens of millions of eggs. For the spawning process, the redfish will swim up to the surface and use its muscles to rub against its air bladder to produce the characteristic ‘drumming’ sounds, which gives it its name.
Tips for Catching Redfish
Redfish are ravenous fish that rely heavily on their sense of smell to hunt for their prey. As such, one good way to lure them out is to use dead or cut bait. Since cut bait cannot swim away, the redfish will be enticed by the scent of the bait. A live bait, on the other hand, is not a good lure as its scent tend to disappear quickly. Redfish also go after mullet, pinfish, crabs and mud minnows. All types of fishing casting tackle can be used to catch redfish of different sizes.
Morning is the ideal time to catch redfish (before the sun heats up the water). In the afternoon, you should venture out into deeper waters like bridges, jetties and wrecks. Redfish swim into deeper waters in the afternoon because it is not as hot, and the area usually contains more bait than the shallows. Tides also affect the movement of redfish, and in general, high tides push redfish into the shallows while low tides pull them out.
If you are interested to go on an inshore fishing adventure to catch the redfish, it is recommended to book a fishing charter from Flats Hound Fishing Charters. Captain Sullivan’s experience and his intimate knowledge of redfish in the backwaters of Southwest Florida will make for a successful redfish fishing trip. He will also be glad to share his professional expertise and tips with you! Let’s head out and catch some redfish today!