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Where to find them and how to catch them ...

Red Drum

(Sciaenops ocellatus)

 

 

The widely distributed Drum family contains over 200 tropical and warm-temperature saltwater marine species, including Drum, Croaker, Seatrout, Seabass, and Weakfish. The range of the Red Drum is from Massachusetts USA south to Northern Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

The Red Drum, also known as the Redfish or Channel Bass, has a reddish overall coloration and one or more dark spots at the base of the tail. It feeds at the bottom on crustaceans and mollusks. It also takes small fish, especially mullet. The usual adult weight is under 40 pounds but can reach into the 90 pound range.

The Redfish is a super-challenging opponent on the grass beds and flats of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The shallower the water, the more thrilling the fight. The bulk of small marine life and food will be found in shallow water around structures and near grassy cover. This offers the small fish, crustaceans and mollusks protection from predators. Therefore, Redfish will be found near this abundant food supply.

Fishing Basics:

Redfish are very wary and will spook very easily. This is especially true in shallow or very clear water. Approach quietly with a push pole taking extra care not to make any unnecessary noises.

Tides:

Incoming tides bring with it food, bait fish, etc. that the Redfish will feed on. Also, small crabs and shrimp become more active on the incoming tide enticing the Redfish to feed at those locations. The opposite is true for outgoing tides – as the water withdraws, the Redfish will wait and feed on whatever bait is carried back out with the tide. Channels and deeper areas are good places to find Redfish on an outgoing tide. Work these locations for some terrific action.

Lures and Baits:

Shrimp, pinfish, small crabs, finger mullet, and cut baits are excellent for catching Redfish. They can be fished under a float or free-lined into currents past structures or grass flats where the fish are.

There are several artificial lures that work well in catching Redfish. They include a gold spoon, several varieties of MurroLure, and jigs. Fish these around structures during rising and falling tides.

Tackle:

Tackle selection could include spinning or baitcasting gear, 10 to 20 lb rating and a 1/0 to 4/0 hook.



 


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