How to Catch Redfish Video
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Video:How to Catch Redfish

with Jeff Mackin

Red Fish can be found throughout Massachusetts, all the way down through Florida. In this video, learn how to spot a Red Fish, and the best places to catch them.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Catch Redfish

Hi I'm Jeff Mackin with the International Game Fish Association. Today, with we're going to be talking about catching Red Fish. 

What do Red Fish Look Like?

The red drum, also called a Red fish or a channel bass, or a spot tailed bass. They can be distinguished from other drums; the easiest way is at the base of their tail they have a black spot. Some redfish have one spot on each side of their tail, each side of their body, others will have spots all up and down their bodies. Red fish are one of the most important recreational fish in the eastern United States.

Best Places to Catch Red Fish

They range from Massachusetts all the way down through Florida and around the Gulf Coast as well. The red fish are common; they're pretty much almost everywhere. You can find them back in estuaries, title creeks, bays, inlets, out into the ocean, along beaches. Because of that there's a lot of different methods to do so. They utilize a lot of different habitats, so you want to kind of tailor, how you're going to catch them, by where they are. One of the biggest, most important things to understand about redfish is how they're influenced by tides. 

When they're back in the estuaries and in the tidal areas, as the tide is incoming and the water is rising they will actually move up onto flats. They'll go up onto grass flats and sand flats around oyster beds to feed while the tide is high. Then, that's a great time to target them. You can pull out onto flats or you can cast from the edges or wade and cast lures, baits, you can look for swimming fish, schools of fish. A dead giveaway is when they start, what's called, tailing. While they're feeding, they will lower their head, you can see their mouth is actually underneath; they feed a lot on the bottom. So while they're up on these flats they'll start feeding on the bottom and their tail will often break the surface.

How to Catch Red Fish

So, when you're looking out over these flats, you want to look for the ripples where they are swimming, and then, the dead give away is the tails. So, when you see that, you want to try to cast to them. If you're pulling or wading, you don't want to get too close to them because you'll spook them. So, you want to try to position yourself so that they come to you, and then you can cast live baits like mullets, pilchards, shrimp, crabs, you can cast lures, jigs, soft plastics; they all work really really well. Another great bait is a blue crab. Also these are great whole. You can also, if you have dead ones, you can also cut them in half, and they put out a lot of scent. Redfish absolutely love blue crabs. Also on a low tide, a great place to find reds is along the shorelines. The water has receded from the shorelines. Baitfish, like schools of mullet, they cant spread out into the mangroves and around the oyster beds quite as well, so often times the redfish will use that opportunity to where the baitfish are concentrated on the shorelines to feed on them. That's a great time to target them as well.

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