Red drum are a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum has a characteristic eyespot near the tail and is somewhat streamlined. Three-year-old red drum typically weigh 6-8 lb. The largest red drum on record weighed just over 94 lbs. Red drum and black drum both make a croaking or drumming sound when distressed.
These are one of Florida’s great fish which give anglers a run for their money. Redfish may be caught in many different ways depending if you’re a Lure fisherman or, prefer to throw live bait.
If you’re targeting redfish inshore look for a incoming tide, this will usually give you a better opportunity for success. FWC regulates these awesome fish and thank goodness for them doing so to preserve this species. The slot size for redfish is 18-27 inches.
Targeting redfish in early morning is a fantastic way for top water action. This happens to be my favorite method for catching these wonderful Reds. Look for shallow coves, or bays with grass or oyster beds. This is a great feeding environment as the Reds are nosing on the bottom looking for shrimp, and small crustaceans. Average water depth should be less than two feet. Look for tailing signs and schools of mullet are also a great sign.
MirrorLure makes a great top water lure called Top Dog Jr. these are surface walkers, which are great when fishing grass beds.
They are on the surface thus avoiding snagging. These can also be used over rocks and oyster beds, great areas to target this species.
Walking the Dog is the term used when fishing these lures and with practice can be very productive when calling in those Reds.
As the day progresses and turns hotter the fish will move to deeper cooler water, and you will have to use different methods to catch them.
Johnson Sprite Spoons are extremely productive in doing so. These shiny lures wobble on a slow retrieve and create a vibration that draws redfish in for the strike. These are great go to lures for prospecting and zeroing in on where they are. You can cover a lot of area fast with a spoon and many other species such as snook, and trout will eagerly bite.
As I said earlier high incoming tide seems to be best if your fishing barrier islands, inlets and mangroves. This is when you can use a poppin cork with a live shrimp. Simply cast close to area fishing and let the tide drift the bobber in close to the mangroves. This is also very effective in targeting Redfish. This method is great for working grass flats also. And a proven Trout catching technique.
There are numerous methods for catching Redfish you just have to see which technique suits your needs for the environment in which you’re fishing. Redfish are excellent table fare but be mindful of the regulations and have a great time putting these tactics to the test. Keep those poles bent!