Redfish are another challenging and highly sought species in Sarasota waters. They are known in other parts of the country as “red drum” and “channel bass”. Reds are caught all year long in the shallow water of the inshore bays, under docks, and around oyster bars. Siesta Key has quite a bit of this fish-holding habitat. In late summer they school up in large numbers and move out into the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.
A large, live shrimp is a tough bait to beat, but pinfish, pilchards, and other baitfish will work, too. Artificial lures such as jigs and spoons allow anglers to cover water quickly in search of a school of fish. Redfish are excellent table fare and have come back from severe over-fishing in the late 80’s.