What is Redfish? – All Every Fisher Needs to Know

You are likely to catch a bunch of redfish that live in the estuaries and shallow water after preparing and implementing properly. But, the questions are: “what is redfish ?” and “what is the specific information you should acquire firmly to fish efficiently”? Let’s read four-step preparation and specific instructions to find out.

What is Redfish?

A Redfish is also known as the Red Drum, Red or Channel Bass. They appear in a reddish color with dark spots at the base of their tails. They eat many small fish such as mullet and weighs between 2-4 lbs., some of them may weigh over 50 lbs.

They congregate in the shallower flats, in the surf and deep passes. They also like swimming in deep water. That’s why you hardly find them swimming but only see their tails and backs sticking out.

Redfish’s featured behaviors

There are three types of redfish in the marsh that you should understand their behaviors to find their hot spots easily.

Bull redfish

You can find they always swim in deeper water where there is a high current moving. Besides, bull redfish often feast on trout as it’s their favorite bait.

Bull redfish

Image source: Salt Strong

During the summer and fall, you would see enormous schools of bull redfish traveling as they are on a sexual maturity.

Rat redfish

Its length may reach up to sixteen inches. Due to their significantly large size, they often hide in wetlands. Meanwhile, rat red that is in an adolescent period is found mainly in marsh’s interior area.

Rat redfish

Image source: The Key West Flats Angler

Slot redfish

Its length is measured in between 16-27 inches and vary from places. Likewise, you can find a slot red that is in juvenile inside the marsh.

Slot redfish

Image source: The Online Fisherman

Where can you catch redfish?

Though redfish are often found in shallow water, you should understand the specific characteristics of each place to find them efficiently.


When mentioning a clean water, I would not mean the spotless water. Indeed, its color looks like root beer that many redfish often thrive in.

Clean water

Image source: Saltwater Sportsman

Since the redfish has a thick grill plate to breathe and feed in easily, they always hide in this muddy-looking water. That’s why you are likely to encounter them in the ponds with a plenty of suspended particles.

Aquatic grass

Redfish like this place as they are provided more oxygen. You could find them “sleeping” on the grass. And to wake them up, you need to hit them by bouncing a lure.

Aquatic grass

Image source: FLW Fishing: Articles

Shallow water

It’s too obvious to find the redfish in this area. Especially in the shallow water that is not over three feet depth, you can see and catch them.

Shallow water

Image source: OoCities

How to attract redfish?

After finding out the answer for “what is redfish?”, You may keen on acquiring how to attract redfish. First of all, you should gain a skillful handling with dead, alive and artificial baits.

With dead baits

A redfish is easily attracted by smelly baits such as head fishes or oily fishes. Regarding the bull red, after smelling the peeled shrimp or “trash” fish bait, they would approach right away. Besides, to make the crab bait visible, you need to cut off its legs and remove the hard shell.

With dead baits

Image source: Eric Peters Autos

You can attach the bait at the end of a 24-36-inch leader, then let the scent draw the redfish. Make sure you dip a line in the water sufficiently to make the redfish pick up the bait.

With live baits

Many fishers use small crab, live finger mullet, and jumbo shrimps as top baits for catching redfish.  You can also choose a mullet, menhaden, croaker, or small scaled sardines to target them as well. Noticeably, they are also lured by blood worms.

live baits

Image source: Louisiana Sportsman

In case you use chum for fishing, make sure to drift back a fish bait when the redfish is fired up in the chum line.

You may try the live-bait trolling that help you catch them effectively. Make sure you control the motor’s strolling speed at sufficient steerage not to disturb them.

With artificial lures

Any artificial lures that mimic the injured bait fish or live shrimp can make redfish come. Especially, jerk baits and Gulp Live Shrimp are the top plastic artificial lures that you should apply.

artificial lures

Image source: Saltwater Sportsman

Prepare for catching redfish


Since there are various types of equipment’s for a specific range and size of the redfish, you should determine the fishing area and the type of redfish.

Particularly, you need smaller rods and reels when fishing at open shorelines. While catching the larger redfish, you need the 12-15 lb. Rate gear.


Image source: Sport Fishing Magazine

As for fishing at piers, bridges and oyster bars with many hindrances, you need heavier fishing accessories. Also, the redfish there would struggle fiercely when they are hooked. That’s why you should opt for a 20-30 lb. Rated gear.

Check the tidal wave

Though it doesn’t impact strongly on the result of your redfish fishing, you should pay notice of the tidal wave’s movement in some specific areas.

Particularly, there are shrimps and blue crabs that are the redfish’s food, and they often congregate along those sidelines. Hence, you can catch a bunch of red fishes when following them there.

Check the tidal wave

Image source: WebAtude

Check the local fishing regulation

You need to determine which size and number of redfish you are allowed to catch at the local fishing area. For instance, in Louisiana, you are permitted to catch up to 5 red fishes with the size in a range of 16 and 27 inches.

Whereas, you are allowed to catch one fish only with 18-27 inches of length in Florida. By obeying the rule, you help to preserve a population of red fishes to be more plenty over the years.

How to catch redfish efficiently

Since the redfish are always cautious, you need to approach them quietly. Besides, the suggested baits for redfish would vary on the season. Therefore, you should understand where and what the redfish is going to feed on in each season.

In spring

Particularly, on clear and calm days, you would find huge schools of mullet traveling along the beaches, in reefs or offshore shipwrecks.

In spring

Image source: Southern Fly Expeditions

As mullets that often move and flip with the tide are one of the redfish’s favorite foods, you can follow them to find redfish.

In summer

You can find redfish swimming at rivers, creeks, and bays. This is because they look for food around this time, especially in a grassy or muddy flat during a high tide.

In summer

Image source: World Wide Fishing Guide

In fall

As for this spawning season, you are likely to catch the 30 lbs. redfish. And due to the catch and release law, you would let it go at the end.

In winter

During this hibernation period, you only find redfish at deep creek holes. While large ones move into reefs that are under 80 to 100 feet of the water surface, smaller redfish hide in creeks.

Importantly, keep in mind not to pull them up to the surface because with the pressure differential, you may kill them.

Final words

Now, “what is redfish” and “how to catch it efficiently” are no longer problems since you comprehend the redfish’s behavior. This way, you know where and when you can have a great catch of the redfish.

Make sure you obey the local regulation and prepare all essential equipment to fish redfish. Hope you enjoy the fishing!