January 16, 2011

Redfish in Key West "Rat Reds"

My wife and I went out for about two hours this morning to do a little fishing. The water is still on the cool side, about 63 degrees, from another strong cold front that moved through the Keys last week. We went into one the many channels in the Key West backcountry for some rod bendin' fun. As is the norm in these channels we immediately started catching small jacks.

There are many species available in the backcountry creeks such as ladyfish, snapper, pompano, bluefish and of course tons of jacks and many others. But today we had a special surprise come to the boat, a small redfish. I stopped the boat and we fished the area to see if there were more down there. After about an hour of fishing the same spot we ended with 20 small redfish, no more than a pound or two. We left the fish still bitin', who knows how many we could have caught, but we more than happy with the outcome.

Key West Rat Redfish
Redfish in Key West are somewhat of a rarity. There are a few guys that I know of that get them fairly regularly on the flats during the winter months. Our redfish are different than what you would see in the Everglades or other parts of mainland Florida. Our redfish are much lighter in color to almost all silver like the one shown.


  1. I just caught a 15 inch redfish in a back canal on the atlantic side of big coppitt gieger key area.

  2. My first and only exposure to redfish charters, or angling, occurred more than six decades ago when, as a nine year old grammar school student, a friend convinced me to give the sport a try. The experience consisted of using a drop line while standing on the end of a dock in my hometown of New London, Connecticut. After what seemed like an eternity, I landed a small, very bone fish called a Conner.