Redfish Life Cycle
Redfish are prodigious spawners that produce tens of millions of eggs. Spawning season is from about August through December, in passes, inlets, and lagoon estuaries around the state. During spawning season, redfish use special muscles rubbing against their air bladder to produce a “drumming” sound for which they are named.
Juvenile redfish are an inshore species until they reach roughly 30 inches (4 years). They then migrate to the nearshore population. In winter, redfish are found seeking warm water, over muddy bottoms, or near oyster bars. Creeks typically warm faster so in the coldest times they are found in very skinny water at high tide. As the weather warms, they are often stationed at the mouth of creeks as the tide falls.
Redfish are one of Florida’s most popular and sporty fish. They are the state’s most widespread estuarine fish. Floating a live shrimp under a popping cork is a good way to fish for redfish. They also chase crabs, mullet, pinfish, and killifish (mud minnows). Present baits within a foot off the bottom as redfish are bottom feeders. Casting soft-bodied jigs, spoons, and even top-water plugs will attract this powerful fish.
Redfish make great table fare.
2 fish per person per day 18″-27″ with pinched tail in Northeast Florida 1 fish per person in the remainder of Florida
No Closed Season
Must stay in whole condition until landed ashore
State Record: 52 pounds 5 oz, caught near Cocoa (1996).