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Red Drum (Redfish)

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FWC will host workshops on redfish in June 2022.

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Redfish Summit 2021

Hosted in August 2021. learn more about what happened at the Redfish Summit.

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UPDATE

Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County:

  • Redfish remains catch-and-release through Aug 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:

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:

Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County:

  • Redfish remains catch-and-release through Aug 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 snatch hooking) 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 and allow the stock to rebuild. 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 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. In 2022, FWC adopted a more holistic management approach for redfish focused on smaller management regions, in which management decisions are informed by 6 management metrics: escapement, relative abundance, habitat, harmful algal blooms, fishing effort, and stakeholder feedback. Each year, FWC will evaluate the redfish fishery in each region using this metrics, and the results are summarized in Annual Reviews (see links below).