Redfish inhabit the nearshore and offshore waters around the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Their range stretches from Northeast Atlantic around Massachusetts down around the coasts of Florida, and all the way to the northern parts of Mexico. The juveniles will spend their time inhabiting the tidal creeks, bays, rivers, and canals of estuaries for the first several years of their lives. As they reach maturity they move out to open water flats and nearshore habitats. Redfish mouths are located on the underside of their head. This dictates how they forage for food.
Typically, redfish are scavengers, rooting around the oyster beds and grass flats looking for shrimp, crabs, and other small crustaceans. While hunting for hiding prey, redfish exhibit a unique behavior called “tailing”. This is where the tips of their tails poke through the surface of the water while they use their round noses to root around on the bottom. They also prey on small bait fish such as finger mullet, pilchards, pinfish, pigfish (grunts), menhaden, mud minnows, and croakers.