7 Redfish Fishing Tips: How to Catch Redfish

Updated on December 14, 2021 by

Redfish or Red Drum are widespread throughout Texas to Florida and with these redfish fishing tips you will have more success in catching them than ever before. 

Redfish are popular among anglers because they habitat so many different environments and you can find them just about anywhere.

Redfish were declared a restricted species in 1989 but have made a big comeback. In some states there are imposed stricture on redfish fishing so you can only take a few sized per day. As always, make sure you have the proper fishing licenses before going fishing.

After reading this hopefully you will have gained some understanding of the behavior of the fish, their life-cycle, and how you can catch them more often.

Redfish Fishing Tips

We have put together some of the best redfish fishing tips we have found from experienced anglers, tackle store owners, and online teachers. Hopefully you will learn something new and it will enable you to catch that big bull red drum you have been chasing.

  • Keep your eyes open for redfish tailing – this occurs when a redfish is bottom feeding in shallow water and their tails come out of the water. This is an idea time to through a bait or jig in front of them. 
  • Fish the tides – redfish often travel within their lagoons and follow the tides looking for crabs and baitfish.
  • Redfish love hiding around structure such as oyster bars, shallow grass flats, docks, rocks, piers, and mangrove roots. If you see these this is a good place to put a bait or lure.
  • The most popular bait for redfish are mullet, crabs, and shrimps, however there are plenty of other baits that will work including pilchards, pinfish, grunts, pigfish, ladyfish, and ballyhoo.
  • Look out for stingrays – they are bottom feeders like redfish and often target the same bait. If you see a stringray it is likely that redfish are not far away.
  • Locate choke-points caused by low tide that the redfish will have to travel through when moving from high tide to low tide water levels.
  • Redfish are popular among kayak fisherman, so that this as an opportunity to try out a fishing kayak.

1. The Best Time to Catch Redfish

The best time of day for catching redfish changes depending on the water temperature. In summer the best time to catch redfish is the morning as the fish feed in the shallows before they head deeper as the water heats up. You can also catch redfish in the afternoons as the fish head back into deeper waters around jetties, bridges, and structure.

2. The Best Month to Catch Redfish

The best month of the year to catch redfish is December to January after numbers have increased during the annual spawning runs. Big bull redfish show up in late summer to early fall.

In summer redfish head into the shallows to feed early in the day and go deep as the water heats up.

In winter the fish start the day in deeper water and head into the shallows in the afternoon.

3. The Best Bait to Catch Redfish

The best bait I have found for redfish is fresh mullet. Redfish are bottom feeders so put the bait onto the bottom without a float.

Crabs are also popular with anglers, especially blue crab, fiddler crab, or mud crab. 

Redfish are also known to go after live shrimp. They are easy to find in most places and are effective.

4. The Best Lures to Catch Redfish

There are plenty of popular redfish lures such as crankbaits or spoons. Golden spoons are particularly effective. 

The lure below is the current bestselling redfish lure of the past month:

5. Recommended Redfish Fishing Gear

Thankfully redfish don’t need specialist gear. You should be able to catch plenty of fish with a fairly standard spinning or baitcasting rod and reel combo. 

We have also put together an article showing the best fishing rods for catching redfish.

  • Fishing Rod: 6 to 7 foot medium action spinning rod like an Ugly Stik GX2
  • Fishing Reel: Light to medium weight 2000-3000 size spinning reel
  • Fishing Line: 10 – 30 lb braid fishing line depending on whether there is a risk of getting pulled around structure
  • Fishing Leader: 20 – 40 lb flouro leader
  • Fishing Hook – 2/0 to 4/0 circle hook

6. 10 Best Redfish Fishing Spots in the United States

Redfish are found throughout the South from Texas to Florida. The Saltwater Sportsman have put together a great list of the top fishing spots for redfish including:

  • Venice, Louisiana
  • Hopedale, Louisiana
  • Mosquito Lagoon, Florida
  • Port O’Conner, Texas
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Pine Island Sound, Florida
  • Cocodrie, Louisiana
  • Galveston, Texas
  • Beaufort, North Carolina
  • Port Mansfield, Texas

Redfish Fishing Video

The video below gives some great tips for how to catch redfish especially in shallow inshore water.


Hopefully you have learned a lot about the behavior of red drum and gotten some knowledge from our redfish fishing tips. Redfish are a great fish to target and are found throughout the south. They pack quite a punch for their size but don’t require specialist equipment to catch. They are also pretty predictable in their movements and feeding patterns so you should be able to put your crankbait or spinner in front of a hungry mouth.

If you have any information from your experience that you would like to share about the best way to catch redfish, then please leave a comment below. This allows all of our readers to gain from your wisdom.

We have also put together a guide for American fish species for anglers that you might find useful.

Happy fishing!

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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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