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 Red Fish or Red Drum
(Sciaenops ocellatus)


 Distribution & Size

Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Juveniles are found inshore migrating out of the estuaries at about 30" (4 years) and joining the spawning population offshore.  A fish of 27" weighs about 8lbs. They are caught widely from a pound to 10 or 12lbs.  A 30lb fish is not unusual.   
The Florida record is a staggering 52lbs 5ozs.
World record is a phenomenal 94lbs 2ozs.

 General Description

Redfish up to around 10lbs rank among the favorite fish of all Florida anglers. In winter, redfish are found in seagrass, over muddy or sand bottoms, or near oyster bars or spring fed creeks. Juvenile redfish are an inshore species until they reach roughly 30 inches (4 years). They then migrate to the nearshore population.

 Tackle & Bait

Redfish is a fine game fish putting up a good fight with long bullish runs of strength and stamina.  All kinds of casting tackle are used to catch this specie with many anglers having their own special technique.  Redfish of all sizes are found off the beach, bridges, piers and offshore. Red drum are one of Florida’s most popular sport fish and the state’s most widespread estuarine fish. Floating a live shrimp under a popping cork is a good way to fish for redfish. They also chase crabs, mullet, pinfish and killifish (mud minnows). Casting soft-bodied jigs, spoons and even top-water plugs will catch the attention of these powerful estuarine musicians. Redfish make great table fare.

 Eating Qualities

Redfish of up to 10lbs are excellent to eat.  Some people avoid the red meat parts.

 State Limits and Regulations

Size Limit 

Closed Season 

Daily Rec. Bag Limit 

Remarks

Min 18" max 27"

None

2 per person per day NE/NW regions.

1 per person per day Southern Region.

Vessel limit of 8 fish

Gigging spearing and snatching prohibited. Must be landed whole.

Harvest in Federal Waters prohibited.
 


 
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