If you have finished reading about Port Aransas fishing charters and are ready to catch some fish, Redfish, otherwise known as Red Drum, is an excellent place to start. A popular fish, known for its mild flavor, Redfish are related to black drum, spotted seatrout, weakfish, mullets, and croakers. During the spawning season, the male Redfish, like all its cousins, produce a drumming noise by vibrating a muscle in their swim bladder to attract a mate. They can often be found swimming in waters so shallow their backs are exposed, which is known as "tailing" and exposes them to their chief predators, including humans, larger fish, birds, and turtles. Scientists believe that the black spot near their tail helps trick predators into attacking their tail instead of the head.
Where to Find Redfish
A game fish, found in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to northern Mexico, they live the first three years of their lives in bays or surf zones near passes. It is essential to differentiate between the Redfish and the Bull Reds, which are the much larger and older of the species and are found in open Gulf waters.
If you have done much Texas Gulf Coast fishing, you may know that young Redfish or Red Drum are generally bottom feeders, living on small crabs, shrimp, and marine worms. As they age, they progress to eating larger shrimp, crab, and other smaller fish, including their cousin, the Atlantic croaker. When the weather turns cold, large numbers of Redfish are found in tidal creeks and rivers. They survive in freshwater many miles upriver.
The average three-year-old weighs in at 6-8 lb. The largest Red Drum on record tipped the scales at over 94 lb.
How to Catch Redfish
Part of their popularity with Port Aransas fishing guides. is their acceptance of most types of bait, both natural and artificial. Live shrimp, small mullets, Atlantic croakers, and small live blue crabs are excellent choices. When it comes to artificial bait ½ and ¼ ounce, shallow-running gold, silver, or copper spoons work well as does a weed-less spoon for use in areas with heavy bottom or floating vegetation. Fish-shaped plugs work well over grass flats, and shrimplike plastic worms and jigs work well when fished under corks or are bounced along the bottom.
Bull Reds prefer natural bate and hold out for fresh-cut mullet, live mullet (6-8 inches long), and blue crab. Both single and double-drop bottom rigs work well, and the use of a heavy grabbing sinker is best to keep the fresh bait stationary.
On Port Aransas fishing trips, remember, there are bag and possession limits as well as minimum-maximum size limits on Redfish, Red Drum, and Bull Reds. It is recommended you familiarize yourself with these regulations each year when enjoying Texas Gulf Coast fishing.