Redfish are commonly found around oyster reefs, breaks in continuity of shorelines such as coves, points, jetties, old pier pilings and grass flats. They prefer soft mud along jetties, pier pilings and jetties. They are often found in water so shallow that their backs are exposed while swimming. During cold spells large numbers of red drum can be found in tidal creeks and rivers. They can live in fresh water and have been found in brackish water miles inland.
One of the best things about a Redfish is its willingness to take most kinds of bait, both natural and artificial. The best natural baits are live shrimp, small finger mullet, croaker, and small live blue crabs. Live shrimp are fished under a popping cork or “free lining” using a small weight and letting the shrimp swim freely. Live fish are best on the bottom using a slip-sinker type rig where the fish can swim freely. The bait fish are hooked through the lips or through the top of the back behind the dorsal fin. Small blue crab are fished on bottom and are hooked through one of the swimming legs at the rear of the crab.
Fish-shaped plugs, both floating and shallow-running, are effective over the grass flats. Shrimp like plastic worms and jigs are good and both are fished under corks or bounced along the bottom.
The surf provides excellent red drum fishing. The best artificial baits are the heavier spoons and slow sinking fish shaped plugs. Plastic worms are also effective bounced along the bottom.
“Bull” reds are best caught with natural bait. Fresh cut mullet, larger live mullet (6-8 inches long) and blue crab are the best baits. Both single and double-drop bottom rigs are good. A heavy grabbing sinker is needed to keep baits stationary on the surf bottom.
Tackle varies according to the area your are fishing. Around bridges, dock pilings and jetties you may want to up the line weight and leader material. When fishing these ares reels should be large enough to handle several hundred yards of 20-40 pound test line and have a good drag system. Fishing the grass flats a lighter line is preferred for longer casting when in stealth mode.
“Go Catch ‘em!”
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