Other names: red drum, channel bass, bull red, and rat red
Description: Redfish are easily distinguished by a large black spot at the base of the tail, usually one on each side. Rarely, specimens are found with no spots. Color may vary from silvery to bronze to almost black, but most often is reddish-bronze. Redfish are excellent table fare.
Where Found: Adults at least four years old spawn each fall in the Gulf; eggs hatch in a day or two and the tiny fish move at once through passes into bays for food and shelter. Except during extremely cold weather, when they move to open water, the smaller fish remain in the bays year around. Specimens 12 pounds and more stay mostly in the Gulf except during brief periods in autumn when they enter bays. Redfish can also be commonly found in shallow, grassy flats where schools are sometimes seen "tailing" the surface as they feed in a head-down position searching the bottom. Piers, jetties, and the surf are good in fall and winter; rough weather provides the best redfish action.
Tips to Catch & Tackle: Lures or natural baits should be fished on or near the bottom, with care taken not to spook the schools. The best natural baits are live shrimp, small finger mullet, small croaker, and small live blue crabs. Artificial baits such as gold, copper, or silver spoons are excellent. Fish-shaped plugs, both floating and shallow-running, shrimplike plastic worms and jigs are also good. The big reds are best caught with bigger natural baits.
Size: Average size is three to four pounds, occasionally reaching 35 to 50lbs
Season: Spawning occurs from August to November in Nearshore waters where they feed on crustaceans, fish and mollusks