Where is the best place to catch redfish in Florida, along with some strategies?

Where is the best place to catch redfish in Florida, along with some strategies?

Fishing for redfish is a dream in the sunshine state, almost anywhere, except the lower Florida Keys, but some of the places recognized by redfish anglers everywhere as being superior are big bays on the Gulf Coast such as Sarasota Bay, Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound and Tampa Bay. Other areas known for being redfish hot spots are on the Atlantic side. Fish the shallows in the Mosquito Lagood and Banana River. In these areas you can even sight cast, and catch redfish in the 30 to 40 pound range. You can also sight fish in Florida Bay. Hot spots in this area are Flamingo, and Everglades National Park outpost. You can also try the inlets in the Jacksonville area and in the Gulf Coast passes for good redfish action. If you find the right combination of bait and technique, and you know where to look, you should be able to catch redfish all year long in the sunshine state. Redfish are spooky, so make no extra noise. If you are surf fishing, you want to use gear that will allow you to cast long distances, and if you are boat fishing you are going to want to make your approach as quiet as possible by poling to get you in the middle of the hot zone. This holds particularly true if the water is shallow or really clear. Use appropriate bait such as natural forage or Bayou Buck’s Shrimpalers. Place it in a jerkbait if you are fishing mangroves or other cover where you might get hung up or the structure might keep your bait from getting down where the fish are. If the water is stained, try something like a ZZ Spot Spinner. If you are fishing really shallow water, try a Oyster Proof Jr, which is a good weedless that will make a really soft presentation to help you keep from spooking the fish. During the colder months you will want to adjust your technique just a bit. Drift fish on the grass flats and rig your rods with something like a Pop N Prop float about three feet or so above a live shrimp, let it drift with the current, and every half a minute or so, give it a little pop.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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