Can you Lip a Redfish?

You can lip a redfish. Some suggest it’s okay to lip smaller redfish, but you should avoid attempting it with larger ones you intend to keep. There’s also the belief that redfish might give you a scrape or two even after the act.

can you lip redfish
can you lip redfish

When it comes to fishing, encountering a redfish can be an exhilarating experience. These vibrant and powerful creatures are highly sought after by anglers for their challenging fight and delicious taste.

However, a common question arises among fishing enthusiasts: “Can you lip a redfish?” In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of handling redfish, exploring whether lipping them is a safe and effective technique.

How To Safely Handle Redfish?

When handling redfish, prioritize their well-being by minimizing stress. Wet your hands before touching them to avoid damaging their protective slime layer.

Hold them horizontally, supporting their body to prevent injury. If planning to release, handle them swiftly and release them gently into the water, allowing them to swim away strong.

Do redfish have teeth?

Redfish have teeth, although they are not typically large or sharp. Their teeth are located in the throat and are designed for crushing and grinding rather than tearing.

These teeth crush prey such as crustaceans, fish, and other small marine creatures. Anglers should exercise caution when handling redfish to avoid accidental bites, although the risk of injury from their teeth is relatively low compared to other fish species.

Can you Eat Redfish?

Yes, you can eat Redfish! It’s a popular seafood choice enjoyed for its mild, sweet flavor, moist white flesh, and versatility in cooking methods. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Edible and Delicious: Redfish is a popular seafood choice known for its delicious taste and tender texture. It’s often compared to red snapper in flavour and is suitable for various cooking techniques like grilling, baking, pan-frying, and blackening.

Health Benefits: Redfish is a lean protein source with low saturated fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals like selenium and phosphorus.


  • Size: Smaller Redfish (under 10-15 pounds) tend to have more tender and flavorful meat. Larger fish (“bull redfish”) can be coarser and stringier.
  • Sustainability: Check local regulations and choose sustainably sourced Redfish to ensure healthy populations and responsible fishing practices.
  • Cooking: Redfish is versatile and takes well to various seasonings and sauces. Experiment with different recipes to find your favourites!

Overall, Redfish is a delicious and healthy seafood option with many benefits. Just be mindful of size, sustainability, and cooking methods for the best experience.

Are Redfish Edible?

Yes, redfish are edible and considered a delicious and healthy seafood choice. They’re often compared to red snapper for their mild, sweet flavour and moist white meat. However, there are a few things to consider:

Size: Smaller redfish, typically under 10-15 pounds, are generally preferred for eating as their meat is more tender and flavorful. Larger fish, or “bull redfish,” can have a coarser, stringier texture.

Sustainability and Regulations: Redfish populations can vary depending on the region, and some areas have regulations to limit catch size or seasons. It’s important to check local rules and choose sustainably sourced redfish whenever possible.

Cooking: Redfish can be prepared in various ways, including grilling, baking, pan-frying, and blackening. The mild flavour takes well to a wide range of seasonings and can be enjoyed with different sauces and sides.

Health benefits: Redfish is a lean protein source low in saturated fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals like selenium and phosphorus.

Understanding Redfish Behavior

Understanding Redfish Behavior

Redfish, also known as red drums, are powerful swimmers and skilled fighters. They inhabit a range of environments, from shallow flats to deep channels.

Understanding its behavior and habitat preferences is crucial to catch a redfish successfully.

The Controversy of Lipping

Lipping a fish involves holding it by its lower jaw; a technique often used to control and display the catch. However, lipping a redfish is a topic of debate within the angling community due to its sensitive jaw structure.

Anatomy of a Redfish

Redfish have a specialized jaw designed for bottom-feeding. Their lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw, making it vulnerable to damage if mishandled.

Benefits of Lipping

While lipping a redfish can provide an exciting photo opportunity and a sense of achievement, it should be done carefully and consider the fish’s well-being.

Risks and Considerations

Lipping a redfish incorrectly can lead to jaw injuries, potentially impacting the fish’s ability to feed and survive in its natural habitat.

Alternative Handling Techniques

To minimize harm to the fish, anglers can use alternatives like gripping the fish’s body gently or using specialized tools to hold the fish safely.

Tips for Safe Catch and Release

If you plan to release the redfish, use barbless hooks, handle the fish with wet hands, and avoid keeping it out of the water for too long.

Protecting the Ecosystem

Practicing responsible fishing is essential for preserving redfish populations and their ecosystem. Follow catch limits and adhere to fishing regulations.

Landing Your First Redfish

To increase your chances of landing a redfish, use the right bait, choose the appropriate tackle, and cast strategically in areas where they are likely to be present.

can you troll for redfish?

Yes, you can definitely troll for redfish! It can be a very effective way to catch these feisty fish, especially when they’re scattered or lethargic in warmer weather.

can you grab a redfish by the mouth?

Technically, yes, you can grab a redfish by the mouth, but it’s not ideal. It can damage their jaw and gills, reducing their chances of survival. Use a fish gripper or cradle them instead for better handling.


In conclusion, while lipping a redfish can be a thrilling experience, it’s essential to prioritize the well-being of the fish.

Proper handling techniques, such as wetting your hands, using barbless hooks, and avoiding excessive stress, can contribute to the survival of these magnificent creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Can you hold a redfish by the gills?

While technically possible, holding a redfish by the gills is highly discouraged. This can damage their delicate gill structures and compromise their breathing, potentially leading to death. For safe handling, please support them with your hand under the belly. Let me know if you want more details on proper redfish handling techniques.

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