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Red Drum

Redfish, channel bass, spottail bass


Robust, large-scaled fish with a reddish brown coloration, white belly, and one or more distinct black spots, normally near the tail. Have a downward turned mouth with a few gripping teeth. Closely related to the black drum. Can grow to more than 90 pounds but average 4 to 30 pounds.

Habitat and Range

Range from central Mexico to Massachusetts. Juveniles live in seagrass beds and over muddy and sandy bottoms in inshore estuaries; adults are found in open Gulf waters. Often found in schools along estuaries and barrier islands.


Spawn from mid-August to mid-October. Males make a drumming sounds by vibrating muscles against their inflated swim bladder to attract females for mating. Females spawn once every two to seven days, producing an average of 1.5 million eggs per spawning season. Voracious predators, feeding on crustaceans such as blue crab and shrimp and small finfish including Gulf menhaden, striped mullet, and Atlantic croaker. Can live more than 40 years.

More Information

Red Drum Brochure 

Common Saltwater Fish of Louisiana Poster