Red Fish a.k.a. Red Drum, are also common known as redfish, reds, channel bass, spot tails, etc. They are one of Florida’s most widespread and sought after game fish.
Redfish produce a “drumming” sound during spawning and when taken out of the water. The sound is produced when a fish rubs its muscles against their inflated air bladder. Redfish have a prominent black spot on their tails, which they use as a false eye to throw off predators in their juvenile state. They can range in color from bronze/copper color to a much lighter coloration depending on the water quality and environment they are around. Fish spending most of their time on sandy bottoms will appear much lighter in color.
Redfish sizes can vary a great deal from a 3-7 pound slot fish in the 18 to 27 in range, to fish well over 30-40 pounds and reaching lengths greater than 45 inches. The Florida state record was caught right here in east central Florida in 1996 and weighed 52 lb 5 oz. The world record redfish was caught off the beaches of North Carolina and weighed 94 pounds.
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.
There are many different methods for targeting redfish. One proven method is to use a popping cork with live baits or artificial attached underneath. Another popular method is to use cut bait, typically mullet or ladyfish, and soak the bait on the bottom. Redfish are bottom feeders and have incredible sense of smell. They will likely find that piece of bait waiting for them on the bottom. Redfish, with their long hard powerful runs and super aggressive takes, make for one of the best fighting fish in the sea. Nothing can compare to seeing a tailing red and making that perfect cast!
Please let me know if there is any one species you would prefer to target, and I will try my best to make it happen. Please don’t hesitate to call or text 407-977-7650. You can also fill out one of the contact forms, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.