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Big Bend Florida Sportsman Guide

Fishing Tactics

Red Drum (Redfish)

redfish fishing tactics from big bend florida sportsman guide

Redfish are one of the principal gamefish sought while fishing the flats and creeks of the Big Bend area of Florida.  They are year round residents.  In the summer it is a blast to find the schools in the early morning.  They are like big black blobs moving through the shallow waters.  In the winter they retreat in the deeper holes of the creeks and are much harder to catch.

redfish fishing tactics from big bend florida sportsman guide

Sight fishing and Fly Fishing for Redfish seem to be the way most Big Bend fishermen pursue them.  They are hardy eaters and will readily take a properly presented fly, shrimp under a bobber, pinfish or artificial lure.

They are great eating and there are a number of receipes readily available in cookbooks or on the internet.  This is slot fish so you can only keep one per day but we often catch many, releasing them to fight again.

Red Drum (redfish)


 

Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS
Sciaenops ocellatus


Description: chin without barbels; copper bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters; one to many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots); mouth horizontal and opening downward; scales large.

Similar Fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis.

Where found: juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population OFFSHORE.

Size: one of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds.

*Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Remarks: red drum are an INSHORE species until they attain roughly 30 inches (4 years), then they migrate to join the NEARSHORE population; spawning occurs from August to November in NEARSHORE waters; sudden cold snaps may kill red drum in shallow, INSHORE waters; feeds on crustaceans, fish and mollusks; longevity to 20 years or more.

* The Florida records quoted are from the Department of Environmental Protection's printed publication, Fishing Lines and are not necessarily the most current ones. The records are provided as only as a benchmark.

Regulations


Min. Size Limits: Not less than 18" not more than 27" 

Closed Seasons: None.

Daily Rec. Bag Limit:  1 per person per day.

Remarks:  Gigging, spearing, and snatching prohibited.