Redfish (Red Drum)

Redfish are also known as Red Drum, channel bass, puppy drum spottail bass or simply as a red.  They are a game fish found in the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico.  Redfish are a dark red color on the back which fades into a white belly, with a characteristic eyespot near the tail.  Typically weighing in around 6-8 pounds the largest one every caught was 94 pounds, caught in 1984 on Hatteras Island.  The males are also known for making a knocking or drumming sound during spawning.

The Redfish is arguably the most popular coastal salt water fly-rod fish in the United States.   They are not as exciting as Tarpon, or as elusive as a bonefish, but they are easily accessible and fun to catch.  Even though they fight strongly, Redfish under 15 pounds or so can be landed with virtually any fly-rod. The best fly rod is going to be a 9 foot, 8wt or 9wt rod, with a salt water reel, spooled with weight forward floating line.  Use a 9-12′ leader with a 40 pound butt section tapering to a 15-20 pound tippet.

While there a lot of fly patterns that a Redfish will take, try to use ones with bead eyes around 3 inches long. A popular fly pattern is a variation of Tim Borski’s Chernobyl Shrimp with a 1/0 hook and add bead eyes.  While any color will work, brown or white seem to be the best choices.

While Redfish can occasionally be found in deep water up to 60′, flats fishing is the most popular for Redfish, for all types of anglers. When scouting Redfish in less than 2 feet of water look for wakes, tails, and bodies breaking the surface in the shallow grass flats.  You will typically see them cruising the shoreline with their backs fully out of the water.

Recommended Tackle:

  • J.B.Weiss Rod Co. Phantom/Ghost (graphite)
  • J.B. Weiss Rod Co. Signature Series (bamboo)