Red Drum / Redfish – Sciaenops ocellatus

Also known as: Channel Bass, Puppy Drum, Red Fish, Spot-tail Bass, and in South Georgia, we simply call ’em,  “Bass.”

Bill's RedFound in the western Atlantic Ocean from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. The red drum is a schooling species that occurs inshore over sandy or muddy bottoms. It inhabits both salt and brackish waters and can tolerate fresh water. It is found in inlets and channels, and smaller specimens may be found in shallow estuaries.

The red drum can be distinguished from the black drum (Pogonias cromis) by its lack of chin barbels and more elongated body. The body has coppery red overtones on a silvery gray background. The most obvious and characteristic marking on the red drum is a large black spot about the size of the eye on either side of the caudal peduncle, just before the tail fin. Sometimes there are two spots on each side, and occasionally there may be similar spots on the body.

It is a strong, hard fighter when hooked. Fishing methods include drifting or still fishing on the bottom, jigging or casting from boats or from shore, and slow trolling.  Most anglers use baits and lures that include crabs, shrimp, clams, jigs, plugs, spoons, strip bait, and streamer flies.

While most anglers blind cast for these fish,   Fly Cast Charters specializes in sight fishing and stalking redfish on the mud and grass flats in the Marshes of Glynn.

Large red drum can be taken from just above the breaker line on an incoming tide or near channels, inlets and shell beds.  Very large specimens are often call bull reds.  These are usually females. and can be caught in the waters just outside the barrier islands.  They are most frequently caught in the Fall, but are available all year-long.

Fly Cast Charters strongly encourages catch and release on all Red Fish.

Fly Cast Charters is part of Fly Cast Charters and Outfitters, LLC