Redfish Fishing Information
The redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus), also know as channel bass, redfish, puppy drum or just red, is a game fish that is found from Massachusetts down to Florida and from Florida to Northern Mexico.
The North Carolina General Assembly of 1971 designated the redfish as the official State Salt Water Fish. (Session Laws, 1971, c. 274; G.S. 145-6).
redfish usually occur in great supply along the Tar Heel coastal waters and have been found to weigh up to 75 pounds although most large ones average between 30 and 40 pounds. Edible specimins range from 4 to 9 pounds in size. Smaller fish are usually protected by regulation and require release. Larger fish typically are coarser and less tasty, and their sporting qualities tend to cause sportsmen to release them to be caught again.
redfish are notable game fish, appealing to fly fishermen and anglers with spinning and baitcasting tackle alike. In shallow water settings, redfish are often seen “tailing,” or grubbing for food in such a manner that their tail fins are exposed above the surface of the water.
Sight fishing for tailing redfish is an increasingly popular past time all along the United States’ East and Gulf Coasts.
The famous Mosquito Lagoon in Florida is considered the most consistent year round fishery for large Redfish. Large Reds can also be caught from beaches and piers during the winter months from Jacksonville, FL down to Ponce Inlet, FL.
On the west coast of Florida, Pine Island Sound and Tarpon Bay, on the inland side of Sanibel Island, are recognized as the premier fisheries for “redfish”. The pass between Sanibel and Captiva Islands is even named “Redfish Pass.”
On the Texas Gulf Coast, a minor bay near the city of Corpus Christi is named “Redfish Bay” and is a popular shallow water destination for anglers seeking the fish.