Red Drum Fish

Oscar, jack, will, and joe

background research

  • The Red Drum (Sciaenops Ocellatus) is also referred as “redfish”, “channel bass”, or the “spottail bass”.

  • The Red Drum’s name originated from the “drumming” sounds it created during the spawning season.

  • The body of the Red Drum consists of a long body with reddish-bronze color, and have series of spots at the base of the caudal fin.

  • The Red Drum can be found along the Atlantic coast of the United States from Delaware to Florida.

  • Male mature at three years (27-30 inches) while females mature at four years (32-36 inches).

  • As Red Drums develop, they live in different habitats. Juvenile Red Drum are commonly found in shallow creeks that meander through cordgrass. Sub Adult Red Drum are more commonly found in larger creeks and rivers.

  • The males make a “drumming”

  • sound by contracting their muscles, they do this in order to attract females

  • During the warm months, as the incoming tide begins to reach the marsh grass, fish move into the grass. Here, they feed on fiddler crabs (80% of their diet), mud crabs, grass shrimp, and fishes that are associated with this structured habitat.

  • Typically mate in August and when September ends

  • They prefer warmer water to develop and reproduce in. The larval swim to warmer waters and feed and grow and their early stages.

  • Port St. Joe is a city located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 98 and State Road 71 in Gulf County, Florida, United States of 2010, the population according to the U.S. Census Bureau q3,445.

  • Scientific Name Sciaenops ocellatus Size On average can grow to 40 inches, 40 pounds on the Gulf of Mexico coast; 45 inches, 52 pounds on the Atlantic coast Range From Massachusetts to Key West along the Atlantic coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico Habitat Juveniles occur in seagrass meadows and over muddy and sand bottoms in inshore estuaries; adults normally occur in open oceanic and gulf waters Status Only recreational harvest of red drum is permitted, with size and bag limits.


The cause of the decline of the Red Drum fish is largely due to commercial fishing. It is causing lots of overfishing. Sport fishing and tournaments are held already so the combination of both commercial and sport fishing are causing the decline in the population of the red drum


a.The fishery is very popular for both recreational and commercial use. Tackle selection includes spinning or baitcasting gear, 10 to 20 lb rating and a 1/0 to 4/0 hook. 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 MirroLure, and jigs. Fish these around structures during rising and falling tides.

b. The fishery is currently struggling. There has been a decline in the number of fish and commercial and recreational fishing are suffering. Less money is being brought in and less and less people are coming to the fishery for the red drum. If the fishing continues to go on the way it is the fish population will continue to decline more and more rapidly.


d. The habitat is along shell bars and rocky or grassy shorelines and on shallow flats off the coast of Florida. Reds also forage in the surf of outside beaches nearly everywhere on the Gulf Coast and along the upper half of the East Coast, especially in the fall. They roam into coastal rivers and creeks at any time of year, and in winter swarm into them, seeking warmer water.

e. The type of fishing gear used is not one of the major problems because there is not very much bycatch. However decreasing the sport fishing and access to the fishery would certainly help. Lures with less hooks should be used so the fish can be thrown back with minimal damage. Also, less commercial fishing boats that harvest large amounts of fish should be allowed in order to prevent overfishing. Fishing for red drum will be prohibited from the months of november to march and during the legal time when they can be harvested only 2 per person per day can be caught and kept. The red drum may not be harvested at all in federal waters.