Redfish are one of the most fun fish to catch on an inshore fishing trip. They might not run like billfish or jump like tarpon, but they will sure put up a bullish fight, and if you hook into one big enough, they’ll give you a run for your money. Not only are redfish fun to catch, but they taste delicious and are found in many different regions, making them a great all-around sportfish to target. The different methods of catching reds are unique and can vary dramatically depending on where you choose to fish for them.
The marshes of Louisiana are arguably some of the best redfish fishing in the country. There is ample opportunity to hook into some big bull reds as well as the smaller fish better for eating but there is a reason people often return to Louisiana for the redfish: they’re plentiful. Most of the fishing in the marsh is done with baitcasting or spinning gear pulling lures through the shallow, grassy waters. The tackle used is somewhat varied depending on the preference of the fisherman as well as the preference of the fish on a given day. Spinners are a popular choice for reds because of the flashy blades and active movement disturbing the water but in the marshes you sometimes have to worry about vegetation. This is why spoons with a weed guard are thrown, so you can pull the lure through the fringes of vegetation and over oyster beds where baitfish usually spend their time. Soft plastic jerk baits are also a favorite amongst redfish anglers in the shallows. They mimic baitfish well and can be rigged to be weedless so you can avoid hang ups on vegetation.
The backwaters in Charleston, SC are beautiful to fish but they differ from the Louisiana marshes in a critical way, the constantly moving tide makes mobility difficult. This is why wadding is more popular in the backwaters and many anglers will use kayaks in order to get to their spot. Sight casting for reds in the shallows is common, especially on a fly rod. Fly fishing in this area for redfish is a thrill because at low tide when the water recedes you can easily spot fish in the shallows and target them. They often reveal themselves with wakes or tails and once the school is spotten you can easily stay on top of them as the water is usually clear enough to see through. Catching reds on a fly is an experience that saltwater anglers have adopted and cherished due to its challenges and rewards.
Baffin Bay is one of the more legendary fishing spots on the Texas coast and is famous for its natural coral rock structures. These rocks create natural shelter for all sorts of marine life and in turn create good feeding grounds for larger, predatory fish such as reds. What made Baffin Bay popular was trout fishing, the Texas state record trout was caught in the bay and people have been chasing the monsters there ever since. Here you can go wadding out on the shoreline for an immersive experience, tossing swim baits over the coral structures. Drifting is also done here but wade fishing is the ticket to a successful trip according to many experienced fishermen.
Fishing for reds in Calaveras Lake is one of the most unique experiences an angler could ask for. This is because it is a freshwater lake that holds bull reds the size of which you might find in the Gulf. The lake is located on the southwest side of San Antonio and is stocked with young reds by Texas Parks and Wildlife every year. These redfish mature to be the size of traditional saltwater reds on a diet of tilapia and crawfish and can be caught from March through August. Rattlers and spoons work well to attract large reds on the lake because they are loud or flashy and are able to get the fish's attention in the more calm water of the lake. You can also use tilapia or crawfish as natural bait as this is the fish’s natural diet in the lake.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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