The Red Drum fish is known by a whole lot of different names: redfish, channel bass, spottail, red bass or reds. But whatever you call it, you know it’s a top Florida sport fish. It’s also one of Florida’s most widespread estuarine fish. So pretty much, where ever you are in Florida, you’re gonna find a drum or two.
- Did you know that the Red Drum got its name from the drumming sound they make during spawning and when taken out of the water?
- Did you know that Red Drum can be found from the Gulf of Mexico, all along the Florida coast and as far up the eastern Atlantic coast as Massachusetts?
- Oldest recorded Red Drum was aged out about 40 years old (to live 40 years and then be caught? #SucksToBeHim)
- The largest Red Drum on Record was caught off the NC shoreline in 1984 and was a whopping 94 pounds 2 oz!
Tips For Catching A Red Drum
First know your size limitations, bag limits and legal gear. Nothing like having your catch taking by Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Southern Florida Zone:
- Size limit: Not less than 18″ no more than 27″ total length
- Bag Limit: 1 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit
- Legal Gear: hook and line, cast nets
- If fishing in rivers, bays, canals, tidal creeks or passes in estuaries, you are probably only going to catch smaller, juvenile Red Drums. They stay in these protective environments for up to 4 years.
- For the most natural presentation, avoid weights and floats.
- Use live baits like mullet, croakers and mud minnows for more natural presentation (hook through top and bottom lips)
- Though cutting edge anglers think a popping cork is a sign of an amateur, it’s an effective way to catch Red Drums
- You can catch them by casting soft-bodied jigs, spoons and even top-water plugs
- Fish where a strong current washed bait across shallows. Like a spot where there’s a drop off.
Hopefully with a bit of luck, and a little skill you can land one of these tasty little fish for dinner!
Stay salty my friends-