Skip to main content
Home East Central General Fishing & The Outdoors

Where do Red Fish go when it gets cold?

I've been fishing Red fish in the banana river and when the water gets cold they just leave. I've been catching large-ish fish 33-45" chunking mullet and ladyfish. Usually in around 1.5 - 2' of water. The last week they just left. This happens every year. So do they move to deeper and warmer waters? Do they head into the ocean? I spoke with one guide and he said they're still in the river and to fish the mullet schools. I usually do that anyway. Not looking for anyone's honey hole. Would like to know if they are still here or did they migrate to another location... Thanks


  • FlecFlec Posts: 734 Officer
    Redfish are very temperature tolerant and don't mind cold or hot water. Those fish are probably still close by.
  • TheSuperApeTheSuperApe Posts: 38 Deckhand
    Where does the local bait go when it gets cold? Thats where the reds went.
  • Off Shore DudeOff Shore Dude Posts: 305 Deckhand
    Thanks for the replies!
    The bait is still there where I've caught the bigger reds. Went out yesterday morning and only caught one red @ 25" chunking a mullet head. We were catching big reds even when there was no bait around. Has anyone in the Banana river caught a red over 30" lately? Makes me wonder if the big reds come into the river to spawn and then leave. Just a side note. We don't sit in one spot and fish all day. If we don't get any hits after about 20 minutes (casting all around the boat). We move to the next spot and do the same till we find them. Only difference is that we're NOW not finding the bigger fish. We fish any area that we see bait.
  • louislouis Posts: 76 Deckhand
    Find them in slightly deeper areas along flats.  Biggest reds i have caught in mosquitto lagoon were in December in the deeper water along shallow bars north end of lagoon .
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,377 Admiral
    On bright sunny days as the sun warms the water up a bit look for  a lot of bait activity up shallow and you will find your predators there as well. I catch them up here in N W Florida in super shallow water all winter long. Some in so shallow their backs are out of water. Find the bait and you find the fish.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now