Redfish Laws In the United States

[Page updated 30 July 2022]

Redfish are a protected species due to legislation enacted by George Bush in 1987. States have their own laws, and each of these is detailed below. If you are aware of an update we don’t have listed – please let us know.


Red drum caught on the oyster bed.
Huge bull redfish (red drum) caught in Florida on the oyster bottom.

Follow the guidelines below to learn How Many Redfish Can you Keep?

How To Measure a Redfish to Stay Within the Laws Below:

  1. Stretch the redfish out on the ground or another flat surface with the jaw closed.
  2. For the soft-tailed redfish, squeeze the entire tail together to obtain the maximum length it can reach.
  3. Measure a very straight line from the tip of the snout to the furthest part of the tail as you hold it scrunched up.

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Alabama State Redfish Laws

Alabama has a number of saltwater fishing license restrictions and guidelines. Read all of them here: 

Redfish creel limits are as follows.

Daily Limit: 3

Minimum size: 16″ to 26″

Sportsmen can keep one fish over the 26-inch limit per day out of the 3 total reds allowed per day.

Official Source

Date of this regulation: May 2017.

Florida State Redfish Laws

NOTE – New regulations for Redfish have been decreed on June 1.

NOTE: Beginning June1, 2021 Redfish regulations will change back to normal in Tampa Bay, Pasco and Pinellas Counties and north of State Road 64 in Manatee County plus the Braden River but not including Palma Sola Bay.

For Sarasota Bay down through Collier County, redfish regulations are catch and release ONLY through May 31, 2022. This covers ALL STATE WATERS SOUTH OF STATE ROAD 64 in MANATEE COUNTY including PALMA SOLA BAY through GORDON PASSin COLLIER COUNTY. Does not include Braden River or Manatee river or its tributaries.

First, start with getting a saltwater fishing license.

Florida anglers have to figure out Florida’s extensive laws before fishing for red drum, or any fish. Fishermen/women can use rod/reel or cast nets to bag their daily limit.

Daily Limit: 1*

Minimum size: 18″ to 27″

Redfish Season: All year redfish are in season.

Redfish must be between 18 and 27-inches (slot limit).

* In the northeast section of Florida (see map below) by Georgia, you can take two fish per day. Everywhere else is one redfish per day.

Full-text redfish law – download PDF here. Florida Redfish Laws Full Text-68B-22

Here’s a chart to make the Florida Redfish Laws easier to understand:

Florida zones for redfish limits. Limits are different based on the areas of the state of Florida.
Chart of Florida Redfish Laws based on zones and size.

Note – Gigging, spearing or snatching redfish is prohibited in the State of Florida.

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Georgia State Redfish Laws

Annual fishing licenses cost $15 for state residents and $50 for non-residents. A free Saltwater Information Permit is additionally required to fish in saltwater. Information about saltwater licenses and ordering your license online is here –

Daily Limit: 5

Minimum size: 14″ to 23″

Redfish Season: Assumed to be all year, there is no information regarding date restrictions on their website.

Link to Georgia State Redfish Laws – 

Louisiana State Redfish Laws

Anglers must possess a saltwater fishing license when fishing below the saltwater line (all redfish fishermen best be safe to get the saltwater license).

Daily Limit: 5

Minimum size: 16″ to 27″

Redfish Season: Open year-round in Louisiana State waters.

No more than one redfish over 27†max total length

Notes: Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two day’s bag limit of red drum on land; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit of red drum in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours.

Note – catching or possession of redfish in federal waters is prohibited.

Link to State of Louisiana Redfish Laws online

Mississippi State Redfish Laws

Daily Limit: 3

Minimum size: 18″ to 30″

Redfish Season: Open all year unless otherwise posted at the state website below.

Recreational fishermen may keep only one Redfish over 30 inches in total length.

Link to Mississippi online fishing laws

Download Mississippi Guide to Saltwater Fishing PDF here.

North Carolina State Redfish Laws

A recreational coastal fishing license is required for saltwater fishing. Purchase online here.

Daily Limit: 1

Minimum size: 18″ to 27″

Redfish Season: Open all year.

NC Redfish Laws

South Carolina State Redfish Laws

Daily Limit: 3

Minimum size: 15″ to 23″

Redfish Season: Open all year in South Carolina State waters.

Note: Gigging of redfish from December to February is illegal.

Download South Carolina State’s Saltwater Fishing Regulations and Tips (PDF)

Lots of good information about Red Drum at their official site here.

Texas State Redfish Laws

Saltwater fishing licenses are $63 for non-residents. Yikes.

Information here.

Daily Limit: 3

Minimum size: 20″ to 28″

Redfish Season: Open year-round.

Note: During a license year, one red drum over the stated maximum length limit may be kept when tagged with a completed Red Drum Tag. One red drum over 28″ may be kept when affixed with a properly completed Bonus Red Drum Tag.

Any fish retained under the authority of a Red Drum Tag or a Bonus Red Drum Tag may be retained in addition to the daily bag and possession limit as stated in this section.

State of Texas Redfish Laws Page

Virginia State Redfish Laws

A saltwater fishing license for Virginia is necessary, though the online information was missing when I queried it on 30 December 2017. Will update soon.

Daily Limit: 3

Minimum size: 18″ to 26″

Redfish Season: Open all year.

Redfish and other Virginia fish regulations here.

Best Redfish Fishing Reels?

Reel #1 (PENN) Very high ratings; Made in America (Seattle, WA.)

Check the price on Amazon

REEL #2 (PENN) Very high ratings; Made in America (Seattle, WA.)

Check the price on Amazon


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