Skip to main content

Quick Facts About Red Drum

  • Red drum have also been called redfish, spottail, red bass, and channel bass.
  • The life span of a red drum can exceed 40 years.
  • Red drum inhabit inshore and offshore waters along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Key West and throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The majority of the red drum life cycle is spent in nearshore waters and estuaries.
  • Since estuaries are such vital nursery grounds for red drum, we must realize that deterioration of water quality or loss of suitable habitat can have drastic effects on the number of young fish that survive into adulthood.
  • Since red drum are not normally long distance travelers, they don't stray far from the areas in which they were born.
  • In Florida waters, on average red drum can grow to 40 inches, 40 pounds on the Gulf of Mexico coast; 45 inches, 52 pounds on the Atlantic coast.
  • Red drum begin spawning in the fall when daylight hours decrease and water temperature begins to cool.
  • Commercial harvesting of red drum is prohibited throughout the gulf coast states with the exception of Mississippi, which has a very limited inshore fishery.
  • The red drum is an extremely popular Florida game fish due to its ability to fight for extended periods of time and to its popularity as a food fish.

State Record: Conventional Tackle

52 lb, 5 oz
Cocoa: George E. Hogan, Jr., 2/24/1996

State Record: Fly Fishing Tackle

43 lb
Banana River: Greg Braunstein, MD, 5/7/95