Redfish Fishing in Florida: The Ultimate Guide

red drum


Ever dreamt of reeling in a hefty redfish under the Florida sun? You’re in the right place! Redfish, also known as red drum, are among the most sought-after game fish in Florida. These powerful fish offer both a thrilling fight and a delicious reward. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about redfish fishing in Florida.

Why Florida is a Prime Destination for Redfish Fishing?

Florida boasts a unique ecosystem with a bounty of redfish, thanks to its warm climate and diverse coastal habitats. From mangrove-lined shores to expansive flats, Florida provides year-round opportunities to catch these prized fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, Florida’s waters are teeming with redfish ready to be caught.

Best Times to Fish for Redfish in Florida

Timing is crucial for a successful redfish fishing trip. Although redfish can be caught throughout the year, they’re most active during certain seasons and times of the day. Generally, the best time to fish for them is in the fall, particularly from September to November, when they gather in large schools. Early mornings and late afternoons are prime times, as they tend to feed more aggressively during these cooler parts of the day.

Top Locations for Redfish Fishing in Florida

Mosquito Lagoon

Often referred to as the “Redfish Capital of the World,” Mosquito Lagoon offers exceptional fishing. Located on the east coast, it’s known for its crystal-clear waters, making it easy to spot them. Access points are plentiful, and you can fish from both boats and shorelines.

Indian River Lagoon

This expansive lagoon system stretches over 150 miles and is renowned for its abundant redfish population. Hotspots include the northern sections near Titusville and the southern areas around Vero Beach.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a well-known fishing haven with a rich variety of marine life. Redfish are particularly plentiful here, thanks to the bay’s extensive grass flats and mangroves. The area offers numerous charters and guided trips for anglers seeking a hassle-free experience.

Redfish Fishing Essential Gear and Techniques


  • Rods and Reels: Medium to heavy spinning rods are ideal. Pair them with a high-quality spinning reel capable of holding at least 200 yards of 20-30 lb braided line.
  • Bait and Lures: Live bait such as shrimp and mullet work wonders. Artificial lures like soft plastics, topwater plugs, and spoons are also highly effective.


  • Casting Techniques: When sight fishing, cast your bait or lure ahead of the moving fish and let it settle naturally. For blind casting, try a steady retrieve to mimic the movement of prey.
  • Spotting Redfish: Look for signs such as tailing, where their tails break the surface of the water, or disturbances in shallow areas.
  • Handling and Releasing: If you’re practicing catch and release, handle the fish with wet hands to protect its slime coating and support its body properly when lifting it out of the water.

Local Regulations and Licensing

Fishing regulations are in place to ensure the sustainability of redfish populations. In Florida, anglers must adhere to specific rules regarding size limits, bag limits, and seasons. A saltwater fishing license is required for all anglers over the age of 16. Licenses can be easily obtained online through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website or at local sporting goods stores.

Redfish Recipes

  • Grilled : Marinate the fillets in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Grill over medium heat until the fish flakes easily.
  • On the Half Shell: Leave the skin and scales on one side of the fillet. Season with your favorite spices and grill skin-side down until the flesh is opaque and flaky.
  • Nutrition: Eating redfish is not only a treat for your taste buds but also offers numerous health benefits, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein.
grilled redfish on the half shell

Wrapping It Up

Redfish fishing in Florida is an exhilarating experience, offering the perfect blend of challenge and reward. From the prime fishing spots and best times to essential gear and expert techniques, this guide covers all you need to embark on a successful fishing adventure. To enhance your fishing trips, consider investing in a boat from Black Label Marine Group. Their beautiful boats are perfect for redfish fishing, providing both comfort and functionality. So grab your gear, head to the Sunshine State, and start reeling in those reds!


What is the best time of year to fish for redfish in Florida?

The fall months, particularly September to November.

Do I need a special license to fish for redfish?

Yes, a saltwater fishing license is required for anglers over the age of 16. You can obtain it through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

What type of bait should I use for redfish?

Live bait like shrimp and mullet are highly effective, along with artificial lures such as soft plastics and topwater plugs.



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