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Redfish vs Red Snapper: 12 Differences You Need to Know Now

If you are new to the fishing world, you might be confused with many similar fish.

Names like redfish and red snapper might sound like the same type of fish.

But similar names are very misleading in this situation.

Redfish and Red snapper are different on many levels.

The differences are in their appearances, sizes, and even their natural habitats.

If you want to know more about redfish and red snapper, this blog is what you need.

We will walk you through basic similarities and differences as well.

So read on for proper insight!

Redfish vs. Red Snapper
The main differences between Redfish and Red Snapper are their taste, cooking method, color, physical appearance, size, weight, mouth shape, fins, natural habitat, life cycle, price, and consumption limitations. Both of them carry the word “red” in their names, but only the Red snapper has an actual red color on its body.

What is Redfish?

Anglers love to catch this fish, and for good reasons.

They are relatively easy to catch, and you will find countless ways to hook them.

Redfish also goes by other common names, such as spot-tail bass and red drum. 

Their natural habitat is the Atlantic Ocean.

Also, you will find schools of redfish thriving along the Gulf coast.  

When you hear the name “redfish,” you will typically think it has an obvious red color.

However, redfish is, in fact, coppery with a reddish hue. 

It would be best to look for a black spot on the tail to make recognizing his fish easier.

There could be multiple spots in the same area.

This explains how it got its common nickname, “spot tail bass.”

The average length of a mature redfish ranges between 30 and 35 inches (76 and 88 cm).

The expected weight of redfish is around 25 kg.

It also lives for over four decades and is considered a fast-growing fish.

They reach sexual maturity at the age of four.

The variety of baits is one of the factors that makes catching less of a challenge.

You can use shrimp, mullets, and even crabs.

Any common fish bait will do the trick, as redfish are not very selective.

What is Red Snapper?

This fish is famous for its beautiful ruby-red color.

Also, it is easy to catch due to its widespread distribution all over the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Aside from its ease of catch, red snapper is prized for the noticeably sweet flavor of its white flesh.

It is common to find red snappers settling close to underwater structures, especially oil rigs.

Throughout their life cycle, red snappers like to settle in deep water, especially when they are mature.

Red snappers tend to live for more than fifty years.

As juvenile fish, they live in shallower waters.

But they tend to dive deeper as they head toward maturity.

Mature red snappers can grow over a meter long and weigh more than 13 kg.

Red snappers are covered in various shades of red.

Its flank is usually bright red, while the back has a deeper red shade.

What are the Differences between Redfish and Red Snapper?

At first, redfish and red snapper may seem identical, especially to fishing newbies.

However, as you get to know them well, you will see differences in their physical appearance, tastes, and places of living.  

1. Taste

Redfish is not rich in fat, so it won’t give you the rich, oily taste of salmon or mackerel.

Still, they can feel slightly sweet when you enjoy them grilled or fried.

Red snapper has a similar flavor, but it is sweeter.

Also, it is easy to notice the increased nuttiness of red snapper compared to redfish.

2. Cooking method

Another way to tell these similar fish apart is how they are cooked.

Redfish can be enjoyed grilled or fried.

Red snapper, on the other hand, tastes best when grilled or baked.

3. Physical appearance

Redfish have thin, more elongated bodies and slenderprominent heads.

On the other hand, the red snapper has a fuller body and an oval appearance.  

4. Color

The color is the main cause of confusion in the redfish vs. red snapper comparison.

They both carry the color red in their names.

However, a quick look at both fish will reveal a significant difference in color.

Redfish is not exactly red, as it is coppery.

Red snapper, on the other hand, combines lighter and darker shades of red.

5. Size

This is one of the most apparent signs to differentiate between redfish and red snapper.

They are not the same size.

The red snapper is longer than the redfish.

You can see long red snappers exceeding one meter long, whereas a mature redfish won’t exceed 88 cm.

6. Weight

Just like they differ in length, redfish and red snapper differ in their mature weight.

Redfish are generally heavier.

It weighs around 10 kilograms more than a mature red snapper.

7. Shape of the mouth

The mouth of redfish has a more prominent upper lip, whereas the mouth of red snapper has a more prominent lower lip.

8. Natural habitat

While both types of fish live in the Atlantic Ocean, they thrive in different places.

Redfish like to form their schools in sandy, shallower areas.

Red snappers, on the other hand, thrive in deep waters.

They settle on hard bottoms, especially near rigs and shipwrecks.

9. Fins

The dorsal fins of redfish and red snapper are another distinguishing feature.

The red snapper has a single large dorsal fin, whereas the redfish has two distinct dorsal fins.

10. Life cycle

Red snappers live longer than redfish.

Technically, red snappers live at least 50 years, whereas redfish end their life cycle after only 40 years.

11. Price

Red snapper is caught to be cooked in fancy restaurants.

In contrast to redfish, which is more commonly cooked at home.

This leads to raising the price of red snapper.

But remember that not all red snappers on the shelf are indeed snappers.

There is some kind of mislabeling in this matter.

12. Consumption limitations

While both fish have protein within their tasty flesh, they should only be consumed with caution.

Redfish is safe as long as you consume less mature fish.

Older fish tend to have worms inside their flesh

Red snapper, on the other hand, is unsafe for kids and pregnant women due to the risk of mercury consumption.

Redfish vs Red Snapper: Are they the same?

Redfish and Red snapper are different types of fish.

Despite the presence of some similarities, they differ on significant points.

First, Red snapper has a richer nutty flavor to add to its sweetness, whereas redfish is mildly sweet without such nuttiness.

Also, red snappers have oval bodies, while redfish are more on the slender side.

The most obvious sign you can rely on to distinguish redfish and red snapper is their color.

Redfish have a copper color, while red snappers have a ruby shade.

Furthermore, red snapper is more expensive and is considered a fancier fish.

Despite their differences, both fish are fun to catch for all types of anglers.

However, a fishing trip that catches either redfish or red snapper will be a great joy.

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