Finding Tasty Redfish

Redfish is a popular dish along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It can be caught year-round, but fall and winter with the cooling water temperatures are the prime seasons for this delicious fish to be plentiful near shore. They congregate in the channels in the fall and are thus easy for anglers to obtain. This fish is also known as spot tail bass, red drum, red bass or channel bass.

Captain Dan Utley of Fishin’ Coach Charters in Hilton Head specializes in redfish. He knows where to find the action and often posts useful tips on his blog.

He recommends,  “The best areas now to fish for redfish are in the backs of creeks in deeper bends with some type of structure like docks or fallen trees. To cook  fillets use a touch of flour, plenty of Cajun blackening seasoning and a hot skillet with olive oil.  Once the olive oil is hot, add a pat of butter and pan fry about 2 minutes on each side.”

The light white filet might be served grilled, blackened, barbecued, fried, baked, stuffed or unstuffed. A simple sauce of lemon or garlic butter can be used with a basic fried or baked entree. A breading with Parmesan cheese and flour or almonds and bread crumbs may be used for a crusty flavorful addition when searing or baking the fish.

Greg Smith, director of reservations for Outside Hilton Head, provided some points for anglers to find this fish:

  • Typically the best areas to fish for redfish are in the high salt marsh flats when they become flooded at high tide. Redfish move to the flats to go after bait fish and shrimp that seek shelter and protection amongst the spartina grass.
  • The best time of year for targeting redfish in a powerboat is typically late summer through fall, as there is an abundance of shrimp and bait fish in the marshes.
  • Targeting redfish from a kayak is also quite popular in our area, with great opportunities spring through fall.

For sport catch and release or for dinner, enjoy!

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