6 Louisiana Redfish Fishing Tips for First-Timers

By Debbie Hanson

May 17, 2018

Get Louisiana redfish fishing tips that cover where to go, gear to use, when to go. Read the best redfish fishing tips for first-timers, catch more red drum

If a chunky redfish is up next on your fishing bucket list, it's time to pick up a few Louisiana redfish fishing tips and start making some plans to visit the Deep South. These Louisiana redfish tips just might make you want to pack your bags, grab your tackle, and head to the land of bayous.


  1. If you plan on fly fishing for redfish, consider planning your trip during the months of December, January, or February when the water clarity is high and marsh tides are low. Big bull reds (fish over 27-inches) often head into the shallows this time of year if the weather is stable and mild.
  2. Redfish fishing tips for fly anglers should include examples of the right gear for the job. In most cases, this will include a 9 or 10 weight fly rod, a 25 lb to 30 lb test 7.5 to 9 foot tapered leader, and crab patterns or poppers (depending on conditions). Do some research beforehand by asking local experts and guides which flies are likely to work best given current fish behavior and conditions.
  3. As a first-time visitor, it will be well worth your time and money to hire a Louisiana redfish guide. The Louisiana marshes can seem challenging and complex due to the amount of mud flats, islands, bays, and shorelines. However, you shouldn't let the maze of marshes deter you because an experienced guide will know the waters well and have a firm game plan.
  4. Not sure where in South Louisiana to go or hire a guide out of? Try looking for guides and accommodations near places like Empire, Hopedale, Venice, and Buras. One of the most important Louisiana redfish fishing tips is to find the best spots given the time of year you plan to go, so don't be afraid to ask other anglers for advice.
  5. Plenty of redfish can be caught throughout the year in Southern Louisiana, but the best redfish lures to use on spinning tackle during the summer and fall months are often spinnerbaits (1/2 to 3/4 ounce), chatterbaits, and weedless gold spoons. The flash and vibration produced by these types of lures can help attract this fish species in stained or off-color water.
  6. You can use 25 to 30-pound fluorocarbon leader when targeting reds on spinning tackle. While redfish aren't typically a leader-shy species, it doesn't hurt to tie on a longer leader (2.5 to 3 feet) on calm, sunny days or when the water clarity is high -- the longer leader will offer a stealthier presentation.

The opportunity for a trophy fish, coupled with the diversity and beauty of the marsh eco-systems, understandably puts redfish fishing in Louisiana near the top of many an angler's bucket list. Learn more about red drum, and check the Louisiana fishing regulations before you target these copper-colored favorites.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.