Locating Redfish

For more than a decade, Texas, Florida and Louisiana have been considered the "Big Three" states for redfishing. New trendy locations for sport fishing include North Carolina's Outer Banks, Virginia Beach and Charleston, S.C. All of these Atlantic coast sites depend on tides, which control the redfish's behavior. (This is obviously not the case in the Gulf of Mexico, where there are no tides.) Anglers move to follow the redfish, which migrate according to changing water levels to feed. [source: Yokum]

On the Atlantic side, the fish move according to the water's temperature. In the spring and fall, 30- to 40-pound redfish appear in the Charleston marshes. They migrate to Virginia Beach in April. The best fishing there is between mid-May through July. Along the Outer Banks, redfishing is best in April, May, October and November. [source: Yokum]

How to Rig for Redfish

Recommendations vary as to the best strategies for rigging, depending on where the fish a­re located. The usual combination is 12- to 15-pound test line with a 40-pound test leader on a rod that is six to seven feet long. This setup will work along shorelines of mangroves, in deep water, and on the flats. Another option, testing an angler's skill, is to use a 2-pound test line with an ultra-light rod. This works in the flats' open waters. When fly fishing, use 2- to 12-pound test line with an eight- or nine-weight rig. [source: Florida Outdoors]

If you are trolling, you will need some heavy-duty tackle. You may want to consider 6-foot rods with 50- to 80-pound test line made of fluorocarbon. You'll need heavier snap swivels, leads and planers to get the spoons down into the school, assuming you're using a spoon lure. [source: Brodie]

If you decide to try deadsticking, consider using a half-ounce weight and a four-foot leader on a circle hook. This helps an angler know when the bait has been moved and if he's cast out far enough. [source: McQueen]

­Still another option would be to use a 1/0 to 4/0 hook on a 10- to 20-pound test line with either baitcasting or spinning gear. If you're interested in using an artificial lure, you might try jigs or gold spoons. Artificial lures work best during falling or rising tides. [source: Fish4Fun]

Puppy drum are redfish weighing less than 15 pounds. Angling for them is similar to angling for pompano. Take two hooks and tie them about a foot apart on dropper loops. The bottom loop should be about 18 inches above the end of the fishing line. A swivel snap should be tied at the bottom of the fishing line. Use a sinker weighing between 2 and 8 ounces, depending on the tackle you're using and the current. Then, at the end of each leader, tie a 1/0 stainless steel long shank offset hook. [source: McNally]