Redfish 101

 ARTICLE IN PROGRESS as of Sept 20th, 2009

Redfish have a huge fan tail that enables it to be a very strong fish with immense pulling power and notorious for its huge surging power that often takes advantage of weak or damaged line. Though they can exert some muscle when needed, redflsh don’t make long runs, but rather short bursts and angle changes. They are great light tackle challenges, but bigger bull reds can make you wish you had beefed up your gear. Sometimes they can be found in large schools, and when they are, their bronze bodies color the water to a near pink, an unmistakable sight.  

Edible: Fair to good
Preferred water temperature: Lower Limit 52/Ideal 70-85/Upper Limit 90+
All-tackle record: 94 lb 2 oz

 

Season: Be sure to check for any updates 
• Closed Season: none 
• Minimum Size: I8" overall 
• Maximum Size: 27" overall 
• Daily Bag Limit: 1 

Typical Feeding Patterns of the Redfish:  

Keep in mind that this is just a brief overview and that each region around the state can be different. Redfish move around with the tide probably more than most fish, and as so, there are many areas that you’ll need to look. In my book I cover virtually every redfish tactic in great detail from fishing a small brackish eddy at a creek mouth on the outgoing tide, to oyster bars in the back country and open saltwater flats.  

• Low Tide: Outer islands, edge of bars on the drop off, deep holes, and swash channels, open passes with structure.
• Incoming Tide: Pushing in with the tide from their low tide areas, preferably waiting for a few feet of water to provide some overhead cover.  Always best when coming off a negitive low tide.
• High Tide: Pushing back to the areas (oyster bars, mangrove shorelines, structure, etc.) that were exposed above water for longer periods of time during the low tide. This can be in the far reaches of the back country, up a river creek, etc. Also look to outside islands, inside bay shorelines, open water bars coming to a break point, etc. 
• Outgoing Tide: Falling back with the tide. Look for the deeper water near oyster bars, passes, creek mouths, etc. They will wait in the deeper pockets and pick bait as the tide flushes it out. 
   

RANGE & TIME: TIP—Look to find the best action just before, during, and after spring tides and fish a couple of hours before high tide to a couple of hours into the ebb tide.

1. Southwestern coast: From Ten Thousand Islands and Flamingo areas, reds are usually caught year round, but best in September-November.  

2. Entire Gulf coast to the Panhandle: Redfish are available virtually all year up and down the gulf coast, but ideal times are Sept-Dec for Cedar Keys; Sept-Nov for Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island areas; Jun -Dec in Tampa, especially in early June and late Oct; Homosassa and Suwannee River areas in June-Dec, especially during Sept and Oct. In addition, you’ll find them in and around the Gulf passes such as Boca Grande, Egmont Key /Fort Desota area, Big Carlos (the northern Pass of Estero Bay in South Ft.Myers), and Captiva during the fall; and the Cape San Blas area and Apalachicola Bay in October. 

 3. Entire Atlantic coast (the following areas hold some of the largest reds anywhere) south to around Jupiter; South Biscayne Bay around to Florida Bay; Nassau River and Sound north of Mayport in the northeast; Mosquito Lagoon near Oak Hill; Sebastian Inlet; and beaches from Cocoa to Vero Beach. September, October, and into November and February through May are prime times.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE:  Please keep in mind that most of the articles and information within this website are excerpts from my newest title not yet released.  As so, I am unable to publish the entire article and have pieced together points of interest that hopefully give you enough information to be successful and enjoy the read.