Redfishing Myths Debunked: What Really Works

In the world of redfishing, numerous myths and misconceptions circulate among anglers. These myths often misguide both novice and experienced fishermen, leading to frustration and missed opportunities. This article aims to debunk these common myths and provide you with accurate, actionable insights to improve your redfishing success.

Myth 1: Redfish Only Bite at Certain Times of the Day

One of the most pervasive myths is that redfish only bite at specific times, such as dawn or dusk. While these times can be productive, redfish are opportunistic feeders and can be caught throughout the day.


The Truth About Redfish Feeding Times

Redfish feed according to the tides, which influence the availability of their prey. High tides often bring baitfish into the shallows, making these periods ideal for redfishing. Conversely, low tides can concentrate bait in smaller areas, also providing excellent fishing opportunities.

Key Takeaway: Focus on tide movements rather than specific times of the day. Use tide charts to plan your fishing trips for when the water is moving, as this is when redfish are most active.

Myth 2: Only Live Bait Attracts Redfish

Many anglers believe that redfish can only be caught using live bait. While live bait such as shrimp and mullet can be very effective, it is not the only method.

Artificial Lures Can Be Equally Effective

Artificial lures such as soft plastics, topwater plugs, and spoons can be just as effective, if not more so, in attracting redfish. These lures mimic the movement and appearance of the prey that redfish hunt, making them irresistible.

Key Tips for Using Artificial Lures:

  1. Match the Hatch: Use lures that mimic the size and color of the local baitfish.
  2. Vary Your Retrieval Speed: Experiment with different retrieval speeds to find what triggers the most strikes.
  3. Use Scented Lures: Adding scent to your lures can increase their effectiveness by appealing to the redfish’s keen sense of smell.

Myth 3: Redfish Only Inhabit Saltwater

A common misconception is that redfish are exclusively saltwater fish. In reality, redfish are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments.

Redfish Thrive in Both Freshwater and Brackish Water

Redfish are known to inhabit brackish water estuaries, where freshwater meets saltwater, and they can even be found in purely freshwater environments. This adaptability allows anglers to target redfish in various locations, from coastal marshes to inland lakes.

Key Strategies for Finding Redfish in Different Waters:

  • Saltwater: Focus on flats, oyster beds, and mangroves where redfish hunt for crustaceans.
  • Brackish Water: Look for redfish in estuaries and river mouths, especially around structures and vegetation.
  • Freshwater: Target redfish near inflows and outflows where baitfish are concentrated.

Myth 4: Redfish are Always in Deep Water

Another myth is that redfish are only found in deep waters. This misconception can limit your fishing success by preventing you from exploring shallower areas.

Redfish Often Prefer Shallow Waters

Redfish frequently inhabit shallow flats, especially in warmer months. These areas provide ample food and protection from larger predators. Fishing in shallow waters can often lead to sight fishing opportunities, where you can see the fish before casting.

Best Practices for Shallow Water Redfishing:

  1. Poling or Wading: Use a push pole or wade quietly to avoid spooking the fish.
  2. Sight Fishing: Look for tailing redfish or disturbances on the water’s surface.
  3. Light Tackle: Use lighter gear to present your bait or lure more naturally in the shallow water.

Myth 5: Redfish Only Bite in Clear Water

Some anglers believe that redfish only bite in clear water, making murky or stained water seem less appealing for fishing.

Redfish are Adapted to Various Water Clarities

Redfish have excellent sensory adaptations, allowing them to hunt effectively in both clear and murky waters. They use their lateral line to detect vibrations and their strong sense of smell to locate prey.

Techniques for Fishing in Murky Water:

  1. Use Brightly Colored Lures: Colors like chartreuse and bright orange are more visible in murky water.
  2. Add Rattles: Lures with rattles can attract redfish by sound.
  3. Slow Down: In murky conditions, slow your retrieval to give redfish more time to detect and strike your lure.

Myth 6: Larger Baits Catch Bigger Redfish

It is often assumed that using larger baits will attract bigger redfish. While this can sometimes be true, it is not a hard and fast rule.

Match the Bait Size to the Local Forage

Redfish will eat a wide variety of prey, and the size of their preferred bait can vary. Sometimes, smaller baits can be more effective, especially if they match the current forage in the area.

Effective Bait Strategies:

  • Observe Local Baitfish: Match your bait size to the local baitfish or crustaceans.
  • Use a Variety of Sizes: Carry a range of bait sizes and switch if one is not producing results.
  • Consider the Season: During certain times of the year, smaller baits may be more abundant and therefore more attractive to redfish.


Redfishing is a rewarding and dynamic sport that can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels. By debunking these common myths and focusing on proven strategies, you can enhance your redfishing success. Remember to consider tide movements, experiment with artificial lures, explore different water environments, and adapt to varying water clarities. With the right approach, you will be well on your way to landing more redfish.

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