Red Drum (redfish)

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Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS
Sciaenops ocellatus
Illustrations and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Il
lustrations are for viewing purposes only.


Description: chin without barbels; copper bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters; one to many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots); mouth horizontal and openng downward; scales large.

Similar Fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis.

Where found: juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population OFFSHORE.

Size: one of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds.

*Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Remarks: red drum are an INSHORE species until they attain roughly 30 inches (4 years), then they migrate to join the NEARSHORE population; spawning occurs from August to November in NEARSHORE waters; sudden cold snaps may kill red drum in shallow, INSHORE waters; feeds on crustaceans, fish and mollusks; longevity to 20 years or more.

* The Florida records quoted are from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's printed publication, Fishing Lines and are not necessarily the most current ones. The records are provided as only as a benchmark.


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