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Spring Red Drum Fishing

Now is the Time to Catch Some Big Reds

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Spring Red Drum Fishing

Jim Pierce and a nice red drum

Photo by Ron Brooks
Up and down the Atlantic coast, inlets are beginning to get crowded. Crowded with fish that is. Specifically, redfish – red drum – are coming through the inlets and are eating almost anything thrown their way.

Size

  • These are not your average run of the mill reds. These are big bruisers that can tear your light tackle up in short order. Catches of twenty pounds and up are not only common, they are the rule in many areas. Almost all of these fish are larger than the particular state’s regulations and they must be released. But fight they do, and fun they are!

Tackle

  • Fish are being taken on all types of tackle, from heavy bottom rigs to light spinning tackle. But be aware that on light gear, you will be chasing the fish down if you want to get it to boat side.

Bait

  • Live bait, such as small blue crabs or half a larger blue crab work well on the bottom. Live shrimp or mud minnows work as well. If you can find a live mullet – and they have not arrived yet – that mullet won’t last long on the bottom.
  • Artificial baits like jigs and crankbaits work very well on these monsters. Just make sure the hooks on your lure are changed to a heavy duty treble, or you will end up with a missed fish and bent treble hooks.

Where to Fish

  • Position your boat in the current around some structure like rocks or jetties. Reds like to find eddies or water blocks that allow them to get out of the current and ambush prey. Fish those areas that have current breaks. A good depth finder will mark underwater structure that can break up the current and allow reds to sit and wait.

Precaution

  • Take care when releasing these fish. They will literally fight to the death. They are exhausted when you get them to the boat, so make sure you revive them before allow them to swim. If you release one and it turns belly up, go get it and revive it again. When it kicks and swims off upright, you have done your job.
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