ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Catch a Big Redfish - with Fishing Video

Updated on May 20, 2012

redfish fishing - bull reds

Red fish fishing is very popular here in the South. Years ago, reds weren't as attractive to anglers as they are today. In fact, some old salts considered them a by-catch - something accidentally hooked when fishermen were going after trout, flounder, or other saltwater fish. Nowadays, however, many fishermen and fishing charters specialize in redfish fishing. Redfish, spot-tail bass, red drum, reds, channel them whatever you want. These are feisty saltwater fish, some of the most popular gamefish found in the South. Reds can be found in the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico, and they can grow to hefty sizes. In addition, they put up a great fight, and they're also excellent table fare that can be used in a variety of fish recipes. Reds are great fried, baked, blackened, stuffed, or grilled.

Did I say redfish can get big? They can! The Florida state record red weighed 52.5 pounds, with the record reds in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi a little smaller. The Louisiana record red fish stands at 61 pounds, and the state record South Carolina fish tipped the scales at a whopping 75 pounds. The North Carolina state record redfish is also the world record red drum. It was a real monster, at 94.2 pounds! Now that's a saltwater fish that would really test your angling skills.

Reds can be caught most of the year, but if you're after a "bull red," your best chances are probably in the fall months. Bull reds are usually considered redfish that exceed 27 inches in length, but most anglers to any big red fish as bull reds. During autumn, the big reds move into the bays and inlets, making them more accessible to most anglers.

When fishing for a large red drum, you'll need a stout rod, plenty of 30-pound line, a wire leader, and a sharp circle hook. You'll need enough weight to keep your bait near the bottom, too, if you're bottom fishing for reds. Redfish can be hard to predict. They might be on or near the bottom, or they might be very near the surface. They can be found just about anywhere in the water column, which can make finding and catching them rather tricky. They might be in deep water around rocks or rubble, or they might be in water that's so shallow you can actually see the redfish's tail sticking out of the water, called "tailing" reds.

Good natural baits for large redfish include live minnows, crabs, shrimp mammies, and cut bait. Reds seem to love large hunks of cut mullet. This smelly fish practically rings the dinner bell for hungry spot-tails! Remember, when you're after a big fish, you need a fairly large bait. They might not expend the energy to seek a tidbit or tiny morsel. Keep you bait fresh by changing it periodically. If you're using a live bait, it needs to be lively.

Reds will also hit a variety of artificials, ranging from spoons - especially gold spoons - to lead-head grubs and just about everything in between. Many top commercial fishing supply companies market lures specifically designed to appeal to big, hungry redfish. As far as the very best fishing lures for red fish fishing go, I've had the most success with plastics. Get the specifics by clicking the link.

As for where to fish, look for deep thoughs, drop-offs, and calm areas near fast-moving currents. The mouths of tidal creeks and rivers would be a good place to start. Also, anywhere that attracts and holds baitfish is good, including grassy flats, oyster beds, and structures like piers and jetties.

Cast your bait near any of these and wait. When the red strikes, wait a couple of seconds, then set the hook. If it's a bruiser, you'll be in for a good battle! If you've hooked a really big red, loosen your drag a little and let the fish tire himself out before trying to land him. Keep the line fairly tight, however, to avoid the fish's tangling the line on rocks and pilings.

Once you've landed your fish, measure it to be sure it's within legal limits. Game wardens are very finicky about redfish because their numbers are threatened. Handle the fish gently, with wet hands. Don't be tempted to wrap it in a towel. Doing so can harm the protective mucous on a saltwater fish. If the redfish is too small or too big, or if you don't plan to eat it, release it unharmed. Ensure the future of red fish fishing by being a responsible angler!

My grandson with a bull redfish.
My grandson with a bull redfish. | Source
fighting a big one
fighting a big one | Source
My grandson with a small redfish.
My grandson with a small redfish. | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)