Top 10 Redfishing Spots in Florida

Florida is renowned for its spectacular redfishing spots, attracting anglers from across the globe. Redfish, also known as red drum, thrive in the diverse marine environments of the Sunshine State. From the Panhandle to the southernmost keys, these prized game fish can be found in abundance. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top 10 redfishing spots in Florida, providing detailed insights and tips to enhance your angling experience.

Louisiana Fishing Seasons

1. Indian River Lagoon

The Ultimate Redfish Haven

Indian River Lagoon, stretching along the east coast of Florida, is a redfish angler’s paradise. This vast estuarine system offers an abundance of shallow flats, mangroves, and seagrass beds, providing ideal habitats for redfish. The lagoon is known for its trophy-sized redfish, often exceeding 40 inches. The best time to fish here is during the fall, when the water temperatures are cooler and redfish are more active.

Tips for Success

  • Use live bait such as shrimp or mullet to attract larger redfish.
  • Sight fishing is particularly effective in the clear waters of the lagoon.
  • Explore the numerous creeks and channels for less pressured fish.

2. Mosquito Lagoon

Redfish Capital of the World

Mosquito Lagoon, part of the Indian River Lagoon system, is often referred to as the Redfish Capital of the World. This area is famous for its crystal-clear waters and vast shallow flats, making it perfect for sight fishing. Anglers can find large schools of redfish, particularly during the cooler months.

Pro Tips

  • Early morning and late afternoon are prime times for redfish activity.
  • Fly fishing enthusiasts will find this area ideal for practicing their craft.
  • Use weedless soft plastics to avoid snagging in the grassy flats.

3. Tampa Bay

Urban Redfishing

Tampa Bay offers a unique urban redfishing experience. With its extensive mangrove shorelines, grass flats, and oyster bars, the bay provides diverse habitats for redfish. The numerous bridges and piers also offer excellent fishing opportunities.

Effective Strategies

  • Target high tide periods when redfish move into the mangroves to feed.
  • Utilize cut bait like ladyfish or mullet chunks for larger redfish.
  • Explore the lower bay area near Fort De Soto for less crowded fishing spots.

4. Charlotte Harbor

A Redfish Hotspot

Charlotte Harbor, one of Florida’s largest estuaries, is a renowned redfishing destination. The harbor’s expansive flats, mangrove islands, and seagrass beds create a thriving environment for redfish. This area is particularly popular during the spring and fall seasons.

Key Techniques

  • Focus on drifting over grass flats to locate schools of redfish.
  • Use popping corks with live shrimp for increased visibility and attraction.
  • Explore the mouth of the Peace River for excellent fishing opportunities.

5. Cedar Key

Old Florida Charm and Great Fishing

Cedar Key, located on the Gulf Coast, offers a blend of old Florida charm and excellent redfishing. The area is characterized by its shallow flats, oyster bars, and marshes. Redfish can be found year-round, but the fall season is particularly productive.

Insider Tips

  • Kayak fishing is highly effective in the shallow waters around Cedar Key.
  • Use gold spoons and soft plastics to mimic local baitfish.
  • Focus on the incoming tide when redfish are actively feeding.

6. Everglades National Park

Wilderness Redfishing

Everglades National Park provides a unique and remote redfishing experience. The park’s vast network of mangrove creeks, flats, and bays is home to a healthy population of redfish. The unspoiled wilderness offers an unparalleled angling adventure.

Best Practices

  • Poling through shallow waters can help you spot and cast to redfish.
  • Use topwater lures in the early morning for explosive strikes.
  • Navigate the Shark River area for some of the best redfishing spots.

7. St. Augustine

Historic City with Prime Fishing

St. Augustine, known for its rich history, also boasts excellent redfishing opportunities. The Matanzas River and the nearby flats and creeks provide ideal habitats for redfish. This area is particularly productive during the summer and fall months.

Fishing Tips

  • Light tackle is recommended for a more challenging and enjoyable fight.
  • Wading in the shallow flats can give you closer access to redfish.
  • Try using soft plastic jerkbaits to mimic the movement of local prey.

8. Apalachicola Bay

Pristine Waters and Abundant Redfish

Apalachicola Bay, located in the Florida Panhandle, is known for its pristine waters and abundant redfish population. The bay’s oyster bars, grass flats, and marshes create a perfect environment for redfishing. The fall season is particularly productive in this area.

Pro Angler Tips

  • Anchor near oyster bars and cast around their edges for redfish.
  • Use live finger mullet or artificial lures resembling baitfish.
  • Explore the St. George Island area for additional fishing spots.

9. Pine Island Sound

Scenic and Productive

Pine Island Sound, located near Fort Myers, is a scenic and productive redfishing destination. The sound’s extensive grass flats, mangroves, and oyster bars provide excellent habitats for redfish. This area is particularly known for its consistent year-round fishing.

Fishing Techniques

  • Drift fishing over grass flats can help locate schools of redfish.
  • Use live pilchards or shrimp for the best results.
  • Focus on the Cayo Costa State Park area for less pressured fishing.

10. Sarasota Bay

Diverse and Dynamic

Sarasota Bay offers diverse and dynamic redfishing opportunities. The bay’s seagrass beds, mangroves, and passes provide a rich habitat for redfish. This area is known for its clear waters and abundant wildlife.

Effective Approaches

  • Sight fishing is highly effective in the clear waters of Sarasota Bay.
  • Use artificial lures like soft plastics and topwater plugs.
  • Explore the New Pass area for some of the best redfishing spots.


Florida’s diverse and bountiful waters make it a premier destination for redfish anglers. Each of these top 10 spots offers unique experiences and opportunities to catch trophy-sized redfish. Whether you prefer the remote wilderness of the Everglades or the urban excitement of Tampa Bay, there’s a perfect redfishing spot in Florida for every angler.

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