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My First Redfish

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Redfish, also called red drum, channel bass, spottail, red bass, or reds, are one of Florida’s most popular sport fish. Here’s a fish story that you will love. It’s about the one that didn’t get away.



This is a story of the first redfish I’ve ever caught and some crazy events along the way…


I woke up that day feeling under the weather. I was using cold medicine to suppress the roaring cough that lurked in my chest, and the flu like symptoms that came with it. I was not in the mood to do anything. I received a call from my friend Ryan while passed out on the couch awaiting any bit of sleep. “We are fishing at the dock by the house, No is not an answer,” is all he said.  Ryan, too is an avid fisher and had been very adamant about fishing the dock lately. Now I’m glad he was.


So I did what any fisherman would do. I got up, got dressed, and took a big gulp of Dayquil. The Dayquil would offer enough relief to throw the line out a few times. I headed out to the garage and started to rig my reels. I rigged my Kastking spinning reel and rod with a “Redfish Rig.” A redfish rig consists of 2 beads, an egg sinker, a swivel, a leader and a circle hook. I rigged this because in mid-October redfish move into the bay inlets.



redfish, also called red drum, channel bass, spottail, red bass carolina rig

Typical redfish Carolina rig



Ryan shows up and we started walking to the spot. Our “spot” is a nice two story boat dock that is somewhat abandoned off a small trail on the bay. It’s only a five minute walk from my house.  It’s perfect for an after work quick cast or a few peaceful hours on the weekend.



Sabiki Rig redfish bait redfish, red drum, channel bass, spottail, red bass, reds

Sabiki Rig for catching live bait



When we got to our spot, I immediately started catching some bait fish on the “Sabiki Rig” and putting them in our bucket.  A Sabiki Rig consists of four to seven hooks, all different sizes and a weight at the bottom. This allows for the hooks to bounce up and down and attract smaller bait fish. We didn’t have any other live bait so we needed to keep a few extra on hand just in case. After getting the bait fish, we cast off. I threw out the first line and what do you know a sail cat. In the past sail cats were our number one catch at this spot. I’ve never really been a fan of them, but they do put up a nice fight to reel in and by now I’m just used to them being around. We ended up catching 6 sail cats in all. Ryan happily kept them, to clean later and eat the next day.


After a few casts we were surprisingly visited by a swimming dog. It swam right to the dock where we were. She, Bella (we later found out her name) climbed up the dock, ran around to greet us, and jumped back in the bay. She would swim in the path where our lines were in the water. Bella did this about four times, running up to the dock, then jumping back in the water and swimming around. I noticed her breath was getting shorter each time she did this happy routine and she was having a hard time paddling out of the water so we got her to the dock and called the number on her tag. Luckily the owner lived around the corner from where we were. He said Bella loved to swim in the bay every day and that this was a normal thing for her to do. Crazy dog. This was the first we have seen of her, and I’m betting not the last.


I got back to fishing. I caught a small croaker for bait. I hooked it on…and threw it out. It didn’t take long until my drag was screaming and my line was peeling off my reel. At first I thought it was another sail cat as usual, but this fish was running straight to the bay. I was almost out of line on my light tackle setup; so I pinched it with my fingers for custom drag. I fought the fish for about 15 minutes. He would not let up, and I didn’t want to lose him. I got it close to the dock and could finally see what I was wrestling with. It was a huge redfish. It was, in fact, my first redfish. I was more eager than ever to keep him on the line and get him reeled in.



redfishred drum, channel bass, spottail, red bass,  are known for their strength, stamina and long runs.

Redfish are known for their strength, stamina and long runs.


I got him almost to the dock and I was getting more exciting when all of a sudden the hook bent out. Yes it bent a circle hook out just enough to get off. All that hard work was for nothing. I yelled, “No!” in complete disappointment.


Not skipping a beat I ran to my tackle and threw another hook on the line with another croaker. After no longer than a few seconds, what do you think hooked up again? This guy didn’t feel as big as the first but we fought for about the same amount of time. Like before, we fought back and forth and I was able to get it close to see that it was another Red. I could not let this one get way. After some more fight, I got him close enough to the dock and pulled him up with some fish grips.


I was so exciting and my adrenaline was pumping so hard that I completely forgot I was sick. I didn’t feel sick at all.  Any pain I was in could not overcome the joy of holding that monster fish. I took some pictures, released him, and took a break. I didn’t get a weight but he was 40 inches and really fat. What a great fish, a great fight. Holding him up felt like 45 pounds, but I was sick and my strength just wasn’t there. This lit a fire under Ryan. He was so excited he just had to catch one himself. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough daylight left. We called it quits for the day and went home.



Matt Rhodes with his first redfish, red drum, channel bass, spottail, red bass, reds  measuring 40 inches.

Author Matt Rhodes with his first redfish measuring 40 inches. Caught with a KastKing Reel.


I went to work the next day still on a complete fishing high. I couldn’t wait to continue to our spot after work. Ryan was so excited he picked me up early, and we hurried home. We grab our tackle and hit the dock again. We had 4 rigs out in the water this time. All four were “redfish rigs” a.k.a. a Carolina Rig.


A short time later, Ryan’s line started screaming, he had hooked something big. Dragging it closer we could see it was a red, they were really coming out. He got him to the dock; and pulled it in. It was a good size, 36 inches.  We didn’t waste time. We released it and threw our lines out again.  This time my line was screaming. I had hooked another Red. This redfish was about the same size as Ryan’s around 36 inches.

Crazy to think I’ve never caught a redfish or any big fish from our spot before now, besides the sail cats that hang around. Now I had caught two in two days. Not to mention the one Ryan caught. All in all, a great experience.


It just makes you think, there is no time to waste, get out there and fish. You never know what might be lurking that day.

— By Matt Rhodes

Matt Rhodes is an avid angler who fishes fresh water and salt water in the panhandle region of Florida. He is on the angler support staff at Eposeidon. 




Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing™ fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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