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Red Drum (Redfish)

Redfish Summit 2021

Please join us for a day-long public discussion on redfish Aug. 24 in Ocala. Registration is open, and space will be limited.

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UDPATE

Tampa Bay boundary

Pasco County:

  • Normal regulations have resumed for redfish in all state waters in Pasco County north of the Pinellas County line, including all waters of the Anclote River and its tributaries

Tampa Bay (NEW):

  • From July 16-Sept. 16, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay due to recent impacts from red tide This applies to all Florida waters of Manatee County north of State Road 64, including all waters of the Braden River, and all tributaries of the Manatee River, excluding all waters of Palma Sola Bay; all Florida waters of Hillsborough County; and all Florida waters of Pinellas County, excluding all waters of the Anclote River and its tributaries.

Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County:

  • Redfish remains catch-and-release through May 31, 2022.
  • These regulations are for all state waters south of State Road 64 in Manatee County including Palma Sola Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County but not including the Braden River or any tributaries of the Manatee River.

 

Southwest Florida infographic

Red Drum Management Zones

Red Drum Map

Northwest Zone

Escambia through Fred Howard Park Causeway near Pasco County

Slot Limit: Not less than 18" no more than 27" total length

Daily Bag Limit: 1 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit

SW Florida:

  • Tampa Bay (NEW):

    • From July 16-Sept. 16, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay due to recent impacts from red tide This applies to all Florida waters of Manatee County north of State Road 64, including all waters of the Braden River, and all tributaries of the Manatee River, excluding all waters of Palma Sola Bay; all Florida waters of Hillsborough County; and all Florida waters of Pinellas County, excluding all waters of the Anclote River and its tributaries.

    Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County:

    • Redfish remains catch-and-release through May 31, 2022.
    • These regulations are for all state waters south of State Road 64 in Manatee County including Palma Sola Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County but not including the Braden River or any tributaries of the Manatee River.

South Zone

Fred Howard Park Causeway through Monroe County (west coast) and Miami-Dade through Volusia counties (east coast)

Slot Limit: Not less than 18" no more than 27" total length

Daily Bag Limit: 1 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit

SW Florida:

  • Tampa Bay (NEW):

    • From July 16-Sept. 16, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay due to recent impacts from red tide This applies to all Florida waters of Manatee County north of State Road 64, including all waters of the Braden River, and all tributaries of the Manatee River, excluding all waters of Palma Sola Bay; all Florida waters of Hillsborough County; and all Florida waters of Pinellas County, excluding all waters of the Anclote River and its tributaries.

    Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County:

    • Redfish remains catch-and-release through May 31, 2022.
    • These regulations are for all state waters south of State Road 64 in Manatee County including Palma Sola Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County but not including the Braden River or any tributaries of the Manatee River.

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Northeast Zone

Flagler through Nassau counties

Slot Limit: Not less than 18" no more than 27" total length

Daily Bag Limit: 2 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit

 

Other Regulations

Red Drum

Bag limits apply in areas adjacent to fishing sites such as docks and parking lots

6 fish per person transport limit applies when traveling in a vehicle on land away from a fishing site.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore

Commercial harvest prohibited

Gear requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast nets
  • Illegal Gear: Spearing (includes spearfishing, gigging and bowfishing) and/or use of multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait is prohibited

Red Drum Management

Management of red drum in Florida is considered a success story.  In the late 1980s red drum was overfished, thus several emergency closures were established to reduce fishing pressure. In 1989, the slot limit of 18-27 inches, the bag limit of one fish per person and a closed season from March-May were put in place. Red drum stocks have rebounded and are currently meeting or exceeding the FWC's management goal of 40% escapement in most parts of Florida. Escapement is the proportion of fish that survive through age four relative to the fish that would have survived if there was no fishery.