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Inshore Fishing and Redfish

a man holding a fish

Inshore fishing along our Alabama Gulf Coast is great for catching redfish. Redfish are also known as red drum, bull red or simply red. The most distinguishing mark is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for redfish, but having no spots is extremely rare. The color of redfish ranges from a deep blackish, coppery color to nearly silver. The most common color is a reddish-bronze.

At Reel Surprise Charters we troll for redfish using planers and spoons at the pass or right off the beach. We have found that when fishing for redfish, the best baits are live shrimp, small finger mullet and small live blue crabs. Live shrimp are fished under a popping cork or “free shrimped” using a small weight and letting the shrimp swim freely. Live fish are best on the bottom using a slip-sinker type rig where the fish can swim freely. The bait fish are hooked through the lips or through the top of the back behind the dorsal fin. Small blue crab are fished on bottom and are hooked through one of the swimming legs at the rear of the crab.

Redfish grow throughout their life; the world record redfish is 94 lbs. A 20 to 30 lb fish is not uncommon to catch off the Alabama Coast. These fish are fast growing and reach approximately 11 inches and one pound in their first year, 17-22 inches and 3 ½ pounds the second year, and 22-24 inches and 6-8 pounds in the third. For the first three years they mainly live in bays or in the surf zone near passes.

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