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

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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]

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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.

Conclusion

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!

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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.

Caden
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Ok thank you

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