How To Safely Revive Big Redfish (And The 1 Mistake Most People Make)


Bull redfish are by far my favorite fish to target.

They can get over 50″, they travel in shallow enough water that I can target them from my kayak, and they fight like crazy!

But the only bad thing about them putting up such a good fight is that they nearly fight to the death.

Unless you revive them properly, there is a chance that they will die when you let them go.

So to keep the individual fish healthy and the general population strong, you need to make sure that they swim away lively when you let them go.

See exactly how to do that in the video below.

How To Safely Revive Big Redfish [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡ Click here to join the Insider Club

When I’m targeting big reds, here are two tools that I always have with me to safely land them, take a quick picture, and release them:

  1. YakAttack Leverage Landing Net
  2. Fish Grips

I like the YakAttack Leverage net because it has rubber mesh that protects the fish’s slime coat, and I like these fish grips in particular because they’re safe for the fish, they’re easy to use, and they float so I don’t worry about dropping them in the water.

Now, when reviving fish here’s what you need to remember: water needs to flow in their mouth and out of their gills.

One big mistake is that people push fish back and forth through the water, but when water goes through their gills and out of their mouth, they’re not getting any oxygen that way.

So first grab them by the mouth with the fish grips, and then troll with your boat or pedal your kayak with the fish in the water by your side.

This will get water flowing through their mouth and out of their gills and will get oxygen back into their system.

This may take five to ten minutes or more, depending on how tired the fish is and how long the fight was, so be patient and take your time with them.

Once they’re looking more lively you can start moving them in a swimming motion to get them going.

Finally, I grab them by the tail and wait until they’re kicking pretty strongly before releasing them.

This lets me know that they’re feeling good and I can safely let them go.


cut bait for bull redfish

Big redfish are strong fighters.

This makes for a fun catch but can put the fish in a dangerous situation if you don’t release them properly.

Once you’ve landed the red, grab them by the lips with a tool like the fish grip, pedal or troll to get water flowing through their mouth and out of their gills, and then when they’re kicking you can grab them by the tail and let them go.

This makes sure the fish is recovered enough to survive once they’re released.

If you don’t do this and just toss them back in the water after you’ve caught them, they may die.

Have any questions about reviving big redfish?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who targets big reds, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

Related articles:

Disclaimer: When you buy through links on our site, we sometimes earn affiliate commission from places like Amazon, Bass Pro, Tackle Warehouse, etc. It’s one more way we can help you quickly find the best deals on the web while making sure we’re still around to serve you for years to come (and you do want us to be around to help you catch fish for many more years, right)?

Related categories:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Caden Kaufman
3 years ago

How many and what types of Kayaks do u own, cause I see u using a lot of different ones

Mike Connelly
3 years ago

EXCELLENT Post!! The amount of “floaters” that there are in the St Johns this time of the year is sickening at times!!

Caden Kaufman
3 years ago

Where do you normally go Kayak fishin

David Nolen
3 years ago

I use the same technique, Tony. I do make sure that the fish grips tether is firmly around my wrist, as I have almost lost one when it suddenly kicked.

Caden Kaufman
3 years ago

My status says I am a member, but I can’t access any of the members only articles.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Ok thank you


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

How To Set Up Your Kayak For Inshore Fishing (Tackle, Tools, & More)

Want to see everything you need for inshore kayak fishing? Check out this video to learn what you need, and what you don't...
See Full post

Live Shrimp vs. Frozen Shrimp vs. Fiddler Crab (Bait Durability Test)

Have you ever wondered what happens to your bait when you drop it down? Check out this video to learn more about our Bait Durability Test...
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)