Red Drum

Red Drum

Sciaenops ocellatus
Redfish, Channel Bass, Spot Tail, Puppy Drum

Life History

Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: Iridescent silver-gray with bronze overtones. They will have one or more large spots near the base of the caudal fin. Unlike others in the drum family, reds do not have barbels under their chins.

Size: Average 15 to 20 pounds

Age at Maturity:
Around 30 inches (3-4 years old)

Range: The Florida Keys to Long Island, can be found as far north as New England

Habitat: Juveniles stay inshore in estuaries and other shallow areas. At maturity they will move farther away from shore but can still be found near the surf during certain times of the year.

Angling Information

Bait and Tackle : Any kind of casting tackle works well for catching fish of all sizes, but mostly smaller fish (under 20 pounds). They also like live baitfish, shrimp, crabs or squid or dead or cut baits.

Fishing Method: Casting, drifting, still fishing

Food Value: Delicious under 10 pounds, larger fish are not very good

State Regulation

Daily Limit: 5

Minimum size: 14″-23″ TL

Federal Regulation

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