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Red Drum

Interesting Facts about Red Drum Fish (Sclaenops Ocellatus) Species

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Red drum fish or redfish are very common in southeastern states. This prominent game fish are aggressive eaters and would attack several types of lures and baits you direct at them. The redfish are called “red” for a reason. Of course, they are red, but that’s not the main reason. The name was given to them because they create a drumming noise during their spawning season by resonating their swim bladders. This fish boasts of several other interesting facts you should know.

The Red Drum is a saltwater game fish found in some parts of the Atlantic coast and the entire Gulf of Mexico. They can attain a height of 5 feet and weigh around 90 pounds. This species of fish has an average lifespan of 35 years. It is dark red and orange with lots of black spots on its tail, including the back of their dorsal fin.

The redfish are very popular in Florida. Its popularity is due to its aggressive nature and because it is a food fish. There are lots of anglers who cherish and go after this species of fish; thus, it adds to their popularity as well. If you want to know why this fish is regarded as some of the best game fish out there, I suggest you sit back, relax and stay focused as I unveil facts about this fish to you.

Name: Red Drum
Scientific Name: Sclaenops Ocellatus
Other Names: Redfish, Spottail, Rat Red, Bull Red, Channel Bass, Poisson Rouge
Appearance: Has a slivery frame that comes with a reddish ting, including a slivery-grey to white tummy. It has scales with dark center, creating an irregular pattern on its body. It also has a unique dark spot at the bottom of its tail.
Habitat: Ranges from Massachusetts down to Key West and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Size: Average length is about 39.4 inches (100 cm)
Lifespan: Up to 50 years
Reproduction: Spawning usually take place from mid-August to mid-November
Similar Species: Black drum (Pogonias cromis)
World Record: 94.2 pounds and was 59 inches
Best Live Bait: Croakers, menhaden, spot, pinfish, cut mullet, live crabs, cut of live squid, live shrimp

Interesting Facts about Red Drum Fish (Sclaenops Ocellatus) Species

Aren’t you anxious to know why lots of anglers go after this fish? Why they rejoice and take multiple photos of their catch when they pull it out from the water? If you are, just like every other angler would, you are about to find out.

Other Names: Redfish, Spottail, Rat Red, Bull Red, Channel Bass, and Poisson Rouge.

The redfish has a slivery frame that comes with a reddish ting, including a slivery-grey to white tummy. It has scales with dark center, creating an irregular pattern on its body. It also has a unique dark spot at the bottom of its tail. According to scientists, the spot(s) may not be there for fancy. It is believed that the spot acts as a replica of the eye. This makes predators attack the wrong end of the fish thus giving the redfish enough time to save itself.

As an angler keen on adding this species of fish to your trophy cabinet or “caught list,” you can find them near the shoreline: around the opening of the Bay. You can also find the school close to the water’s surface. Unlike some species of fishes, redfishes don’t travel far; they often roam around their birth area.

Red Drum Habitat:

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You have heard so much about the red drum. In fact, each weekend, your close friend sends you pictures of some of his catch. This makes you eager to catch one or more. However, there is one major problem. You don’t know the red drum habitat and you don’t want to inquire from your friend because you want it to come as a surprise. So, what is the habitat of this fish?

The red drum habitat ranges from Massachusetts down to Key West and into the Gulf of Mexico. However, if you are intent on getting the biggest species, you should consider Florida’s southern marshes such as the Indian River Lagoon, including related “skinny water” venues located on coastal Louisiana and Texas.

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The young redfish, commonly known as juveniles, are inshore fishes. You can find them in bays, rivers, including creeks. These young fishes cherish creeks with oyster beds. They often move out of the estuaries when they are around 4 years of age and have reached a length of 30 inches. They then tag along with the spawning group offshore. The best way to find this fish is by sight fishing the shallows. You can spot them in shells and mud flats at the mouth of bays and bayous when the temperature is warmer.

Red Drum Season:

In order to be successful in your pursuit of this species of fish, there are some significant information you ought to know. Of course, it is important that you know the habitat of this fishes. However, of greater importance is knowing the red drum season.

The red drum season is around April, May, and June for small reds. However, for the more oversized reds (bull redfish), the season is usually in late fall, before December. Massive movement occurs during October and November. During these months, you can often see schools tailing on shallow flats.

When the water temperature reduces, redfishes often migrate to deeper water. If you are fishing for reds during winter, be ready to do lots of scouting work because they may be hard to find. But, since the water is nippy, they won’t migrate far; so if spooked, you won’t have to cover much distance to locate the school.

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Red Drum Bait:

A bait is a very crucial component in a tackle. It is any substance or object used to lure fishes, e.g., placed on a fishing hook or in a fishing trap. Because fishes are attracted to various animals, you must ensure that the bait you use is able to attract whatever fish you are after. For instance, the red drum bait you should use must be able to attract the fish. So what bait do you use for this fish?

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For bottom fishing, the ideal bait to adopt for red drum is blue crabs cut into two and mullets, or its pieces. You can also make use of shellfish meat. Generally, the ideal dead or live baits for reds are little crabs, mullets, and shrimps. This is simply because the abovementioned organisms are their primary prey. For artificial bait, you can make use of all types of plastic in combination with a jig head.

Aside from the abovementioned, you can try out other baits. These baits are: groundfish, ground crab meat combines with cornmeal. You can also make use of menhaden milk or oil; they are good for attracting reds. If you prefer not to use groundfish or oil, some cans of cat food will do. Create some holes on the can, then leave it hanging on the water. Shake the can while it’s suspended and watch the magic that unfolds.

Red Drum World Record:

For all species of fish, there is always a world record. This isn’t just limited to the fishing world alone; it is extended to other sports and life endeavors. The world record simply indicates the biggest fish to be caught. With that being said, what is the red drum world record?

The largest redfish to be captured weighed 94 lb. 2 oz. It was captured by Mr. David Deuel while fishing mullet along the bottom of a sandbar in Avon, North Carolina, in the year July 11, 1984. No one has broken the red drum world record set by Mr. David. In fact, ever since the record was set, no one has come close. The closest that was ever recorded was that of George E. Hogan, Jr., on February 24, 1996. The redfish he caught weighed 52 lb., 5 oz.

Redfish can live for about 50 years. They can be 45 inches long and weigh around 51 pounds. These fishes are aggressive feeders. The young ones consume little crabs, shrimp, and marine worms. As they grow, their diet tends to change. Growing channel bass often feed on bigger crabs, shrimps, little fish, and sometimes they can feed on their relative, the Atlantic croaker. Channel bass feed on bottom animals; this makes them bottom feeders.

How to Catch Red Drum?

This is the most interesting part as far as fishing for reds is concerned. Now, you are aware of the season these fishes come out to play and their habitats. Now, the big question is, how do you catch a red drum?

If you would like to know more about the reels to use while catching reds, you can find all the required information in this post.

There are two techniques to consider when going after reds. You can consider:

  • Fishing from a little boat (kayak, canoe)
  • Fishing from a fishing boat

Let us take an in-depth look at these techniques.

Fishing from a Little Boat (Kayak, Canoe):

Reds love crabs. Even though crabs are hard, reds have the mechanism to crush them and sap the soft parts. Shrimp is another organism reds love. However, shrimps are quite hard to locate.

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Due to their body structure, crabs are often hard to place and retain on a hook. On the other hand, shrimps don’t have a complex body structure like crabs, so they are easy to place and retain on a hook. So when fishing for reds, consider using shrimps. These organisms are quite easy to fix on the hook; this slows them down so they can’t escape from the opened mouth of the redfish.

If you prefer to use crab, I suggest you make use of artificial crab bait. Redfish cherish them, and as soon as you determine which works best in your location, you will be hooking up reds on a frequent basis.

How you fish for reds hinges on their location in the water. Normally, you find spottail on the bottom or close to it. If you are fishing in shallow water, and you can view reds tailing, freeline a shrimp and it will drift naturally, inviting attacks from reds

If you are fishing in deeper or fast-flowing water, include a sinker to your line to drag the bait to the seabed. Test how far away from your hook you include your static weight. You can start with 1 yard (meter) and check if it works. If it doesn’t, you can make it longer. The longer it is (the leader) away from your sinker, the more your shrimp can drift naturally, hopefully bouncing on the seabed and provoking the red to strike.

Fishing from a Fishing Boat:

If you own a boat that is a little bigger, a flat fishing boat, or something alike, you can make use of a fishing equipment called the water depth-finder. The water depth-finder is used to locate areas where the shelve drops off.

The ideal spottail area can be located by searching for drop-offs from 5-30 feet. Currents drag baits down into these pockets where huge reds select what they consume. Place a huge shrimp, crab, or shad on a hook and release it down to these depths during a tide, and you’ll hook up. You can make use of mullets or big pinfish; they are both ideal baits for reds.

Fishing for Red Drum in the Surf

Surf fishing is awesome! Unlike fishing in a boat or a kayak, you don’t need to be on the water to surf fish. A good spot on the shoreline is enough. Or if you aren’t scared of the water, you can decide to wade in the surf to fish. Fishing for red in the surf is possible, provided you know the “HOW” and you have good knowledge of the tackles to use.

If you would like to know more about best rods to use while catching reds, check out this article.

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When surf fishing for redfish, you would want to ensure that you are armed with the right tackle. Spinning reels and conventional level-wind reels are your best pick when surf fishing for this fish. You can use whichever suits you. In addition, any of these baits (mullet, Rays Ladyfish, Blue Crab, Croakers) would be effective in this condition. Locate places that have some shore and underwater terrain, as that’s where your catch would likely be. Cutouts, sloughs, sandbars, and troughs are things you should take note of.

When surf fishing for reds, you would want to use spinning reels because they can help you cast farther even with little experience. On the other hand, conventional reels can also be effective when surf fishing for spottail, but they are hard to master. After selecting your tackle and finding a good location, the next step is to arrange your spread. It is common to use a minimum of 2-3 rods, set up in rod holders, and separated far enough to cover a wide amount of water. It is important that they are far enough to prevent tangled lines, but not too far so that you can get them fast when the fish bites. Early morning and late evening are the appropriate time to locate the bigger bull reds in shallow water.

Red Drum Tackle:

A tackle is a general name used to describe a fisherman’s equipment. When fishing, it is important that you go with right tackle. You must ensure that the tackle you go with is designed to catch the fish you intend to capture. For instance, it may be unwise to take tackles meant for capturing a tuna when embarking on a Largemouth bass fishing trip. With that being said, what is the red drum tackle to use?

When fishing for channel bass, you should consider using a light to medium spinning or casting tackle with 15 to 20-pound test line. Reds are quite exuberant. They will attack artificials like plastic grubs and topwater, but are mainly caught with the aid of live or dead bait. You can also make use of any spinning or baitcasting tackles with 10 to 20 lb. rating and 1/10 to 4/0 hook.

The tackle you use while going after this fish will play a huge role in your success. If you make use of the wrong tackle, you might return home frustrated. So ensure you make use of the recommended red drum tackle. It makes things smooth and easier for you. Remember, reds are quite alert and can be easily scared. This is valid, particularly in shallow or very transparent water. So ensure you quietly make your move with the aid of a push pole, ensuring that you don’t alert the fish.

Red Drum Lures:

Some people often mistake lures with baits. They believe that these two fishing components are synonymous. Well, that is not really the case. A lure is an artificial bait used to attract fishes. A bait, on the other hand, can either be a live bait or an artificial bait. Having clarified that, what lures are to be used for reds? Put differently, what are red drum lures?

Reds are very attracted to artificial lures. A red jighead that comes with a white grub and pink tail is enough to lure that red out. In addition, this fish would also go after other combination of jighead and soft body. Just experiment in your location to find that which is appropriate. Adopt a stop-and-go rhythm when fishing a jig, letting the jig hit the bottom, and then two or three rapid pulls before submerging it once more.

You can also make use of plugs (surface and suspended); they are quite efficient. Just like plugs, freshwater crankbaits can come handy as well. Ensure that the color is the same as the bait. If you have several mullets in your location, a mullet-patterned topwater can brighten up your mood as you fish. Not only will the red attack it, but other fishes like the bluefish, skipjack, and flounder will attack it as well. If your location lacks mullet, you can use whatever type of baitfish is popular. Red / white patterned plugs are an ideal alternative.

Why Should You Catch Redfish?

It is an amazing game fish. If you reside around one of the coastal regions of the United States or northern Mexico, there are some reasons you would want to catch redfish.

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Here are only a few of them why you should consider going after this fish:

  • They are delicious
  • Catching them is fun

They are delicious:

Can you eat a red drum? Of course, you can! And they are delicious. There are several fish in the world that are naturally delicious. You don’t need spices or fancy ingredients to make them taste good. Redfish is one of those fishes. They taste good, which is why you need to grab your reel, red drum lures, and bait, and go fishing for red drum.

Catching them is fun:

Who doesn’t like fun? The thrill and spills you tend to experience when catching spottail another reason you should go for them. They offer anglers a massive challenge. Thus, capturing one should enhance your bragging rights.

What do Redfish Eat?

There are some significant information about reds every angler ought to know. This information will enable you to understand reds better. If you understand reds well, capturing them wouldn’t be hard compared to someone who doesn’t. One important thing you need to know about reds is regarding their feeding habit; what they eat, to be precise. What do redfish eat?

Reds eat a host of animals. They eat shrimps, crabs, mollusks, pinfish, mullet, shad (menhaden), killfish (mud-minnows), squid, and dead cut-bait.

You may find it unbelievable that a fish like the red can consume a crab. A crab, as you know, has a hard shell. However, the interior of the redfish’s mouth is sturdy, and this makes it easy to squash crabs and other animals with a sturdy external shell. Occasionally, you can find reds on sandy bottom hunting for crabs and other edibles, with their tail inverted. This is commonly regarded as tailing. A tailing red can be spotted easily, and it can also be very easy to catch if you know what to do.

Can You Eat a Red Drum?

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This is one common question anglers are dying to know; novice, especially. What’s the essence of capturing a fish you can’t eat? Not all species of fish are edible, though. Some contain poisonous toxins that can be harmful to your health, so it’s best you do your homework before you send any fish down your esophagus. So, can you eat a red drum?

You can eat redfish, provided you cook it well. You shouldn’t attempt to eat it raw, because it could harbor parasites. If you are over 15 and you haven’t gotten to the childbearing age, you can eat redfish around four times a week; it is safe. Children below 15 shouldn’t eat more than two portions of this fish in a week.

Pregnant women can eat redfish because it has low mercury. However, they shouldn’t consume this fish more than twice a week. Fishes that contain high mercury aren’t safe for pregnant women and those of childbearing age. Redfish can be prepared in several ways. Below are some common cooking methods:

  • Pate
  • Poach
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Bake
  • Boil
  • Broil
  • Fry
  • Grill
  • Saute

Redfish Laws:

Over the years, lots of species of animals have gone extinct. Most times, humans are often the result of their extinction. Thus, in many countries, measures have been put in place to checkmate animal extinction. One of the common measures is the introduction of laws. To ensure that the redfish don’t go extinct as some fishes have, a law was created to regulate the number of redfish taken out of the ocean. The redfish law is meant to protect the redfish from extinction.

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Former president of the United States, George Bush, enacted a law designed to protect the redfish and regulate how it is caught. This law is also designed to protect this species of fish from commercial fishing. It is unlawful to catch red drum in international waters around the United States.

Furthermore, it is illegal to sell wild-caught reds. It remains unsure if restaurant owners are allowed to catch reds, cook them, and sell in a meal. However, it is hard to come across a redfish on a menu in Florida.

Conclusion:

You shouldn’t worry about catching reds; they aren’t difficult to find. The more you go after these fishes, the more experience you gather. Irrespective of oodles of videos you watch or the long articles you read, your best success only comes when you go out there and start fishing.

It is advised that you carry along a small logbook on your phone, take notes of the weather, tides, conditions, including the time of the year. You will be stunned at how predictable these fishes can be. The tides are identical every fortnight or thereabout. Thus, if you were successful two weeks earlier, there is a huge chance that you will taste success if you go out and fish in the same tide or condition.

Also, it is important that you carry the right tackles. Make use of the lures and baits mentioned in this article. The best red drum baits are mullets, crabs, and shrimps. Lure them out of their hiding using what they love, and you will record good success.

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How to Catch Red Drum With Live Bait? – Tips For Beginners

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The red drum, which is also regarded as the redfish, is a fish you would want to catch. This popular game fish isn’t difficult to capture, provided you armed with the right knowledge and, most importantly, red drum bait and tackle. Speaking of tackles, when going for a redfish hunt, the live bait you use matters. However, even when armed with the right live bait, if you lack the tactics, you’ll be frustrated. That brings the question; how do you catch red drum with live bait?

Reds love live baits; this includes croakers, menhaden, spot, pinfish and mullets. Live bait is fished either free-lined, beneath popping cork, or on a slip-lead rig. For shallow waters, use a popping cork. For clearer shallow water, use a free-lined bait. For deeper water, use a slip lead.

Reds are aggressive eaters; this means they will go after anything that appears enticing. With a well selected live bait coupled with the appropriate red drum reels, you should enjoy your time out catching reds. We’ve highlighted some crucial information that could help increase your chances of capturing red drums using live baits. We have also put together some of the best fishing equipment for your red drum adventure.

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How to Catch Red Drum With Live Bait? – For Beginners

You can catch reds via a variety of methods. You can either go with artificial baits or live baits. Artificial baits are baits designed to appear like live baits. Examples of artificial, red drum bait are bomber saltwater grade mullet, soft plastic jerk bait, rapala saltwater skitter walk etc. On the other hand, live baits are live animals; they include shrimps, crabs, mullet, etc.

Squid: Cut the squid or use a whole if they are not too big. If you are utilizing lengthy strips, ensure that you wind them around the hook a few times, so they stay firm.
Live Shrimp: Ensure the shrimp is in perfect shape. This way, they become easy to spot when moving in the water.
Live Crab: Ensure that you cut off its legs, and place the hooks via one of the leg holes. Ensure that the hook is firmly attached to the crab’s shell, so it doesn’t pull off while in the water.
Cut Mullet: A freshly cut mullet will do. In addition, frozen mullets are also effective, but it’s a 50 50 chance because the frozen flesh will turn sloppy in the water and might drop from the hook.

So, with that being said, how do you catch redfish with live bait? Beginners often struggle to get this right. Catching redfish with live bait is easy when you know what to do, the red drum fishing rods (best ones for reds can be found in my other article), the hook, lures, and reels to use.

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First off, you would want to ensure that you are equipped with the right live bait. Reds are fans of crabs and shrimps. I’ll recommend you use shrimps because fixing them to your red drum hook is quite easy. Next, you may want to make use of a free-line, popping cork, or a slip lead rig depending on where you decide to fish.

Reds are usually around structures such as sandbars, dock pilings, grass beds, etc. However, for best results, search the lee sides of bars and pilings. After finding your location, Immerse your live bait attached to a circle hook. You can agitate the bait a bit, so it gets the attention of the redfish. As soon as you feel a bite, retract your hook.

What is the best bait for Red Drum?

Reds remain one of the best sport fish in the United States. They are delicious, they can grow very big, and they are also fun to catch. However, beginners may disagree. To catch reds, there are a host of things you need to know. One of those things is the best bait for red drum.

The bait you use has a significant role to play in your success. We’ve highlighted some of the best red drum bait:

  • Squid
  • Live Shrimp
  • Live Crab
  • Cut Mullet
  • Topwater Jigs
  • Rattling plugs

Squid:

Squid is one of the best bait for several predatory fish, and redfish is not an exception. You can either cut the squid or use a whole if they are not too big. If you are utilizing lengthy strips, ensure that you wind them around the hook a few times, so they stay firm. The amazing thing about this bait is that it can be used as a supplement to lures. Using squid as a trailer on a jig or spoon can be very effective when aiming for reds.

Live Shrimp:

A live shrimp is identical to a squid. One of the reasons why you should consider this bait is that reds seldom ignore them. All you have to do is ensure the shrimp is in perfect shape. This way, they become easy to spot when moving in the water.

This bait is an awesome supplement, especially when there are no croakers or menhaden around. The only issue one may have with shrimps is that they are vulnerable to smaller annoying fishes.

Live Crab:

Crab is regarded as one of redfish favorite. Bigger reds often go for crabs because they have the proper mechanism for eating them. To rig your live crab, first ensure that you cut off its legs, and place the hooks via one of the leg holes. Ensure that the hook is firmly attached to the crab’s shell, so it doesn’t pull off while in the water. If you are after smaller reds, you can cut the crab in pieces and attached them to the hook.

Cut Mullet:

Cut mullet remains the best bait for reds, based on popular vote. This bait will successfully attract reds. A freshly cut mullet will do. In addition, frozen mullets are also effective, but it’s a 50 50 chance because the frozen flesh will turn sloppy in the water and might drop from the hook.

Mullets are handy in different types of waters. If you are trying to aim at bull reds, make use of mullet head. If you are after smaller reds, you can adopt 2-4 inches of mullet body to lure the fish. Don’t make use of the tail fin as it can complicate things with your line.

Topwater Jigs:

If you are fishing in shallow waters, especially around the Mosquito Lagoon or flats, you can use topwater jigs to attract redfish. If you are out on grassy water hunting for reds, you will need to retract the lures as fast as possible to prevent them from getting tangled in the grass.

Topwater jigs are also effective for clear waters because you can place them as you prefer, even underneath. Lures such as bait busters don’t sink rapidly, so you will have adequate time to display the bait properly.

Rattling plugs:

This bait can come in handy in muddy waters where it is hard to spot reds. Since reds stay close to the bottom when feeding, a rattling plug is the best bait to use in muddy waters. This bait is improved with a rattling chamber inside, which has metal components that shakes as the bait moves. This leads to vibrations underneath the water surface. It is these vibrations that attract the fish to the plugs. This bait is very effective, particularly when fishing for reds in potholes.

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What is the best Red Drum tackle?

A tackle is simply a collection of fishing equipment. Your tackle plays a vital role in the success of your fishing trip or escapade. As a beginner embarking on a trip to catch reds, you will need to equip yourself with the best red drum tackle.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the best redfish tackles:

Rods:

There exist two major types of rods for red drums: the long, heavy, or medium heavy surf rods, should you be surf fishing, or a light/ medium action rod if fishing from a vessel. The Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rod, Ugly Stik GX2 or Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod are your best pick. However, if you plan on fishing from a pier or the beach, an Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod would do well.

Hooks:

A Gamakatsu is a good hook for reds. Alternatively, you can also consider an Owner circle hook.

Line:

A monofilament line is ok

Rigs:

Go for a gliding sinker rather than a fixed one.

Reel:

Consider: Penn Conflict or Penn Battle II & III (spinning reels), Abu Garcia Revo SX or SHIMANO Curado K (baitcasting reels), Daiwa Sealine-X SHA or Daiwa SL20SH Sealine (surf fishing reels).

When using rigs, ensure you check the regulation in your area. You are not allowed to use certain types of rig in some areas.

What is the best hook size for Red Drum?

When fishing for reds, you will need to ensure that your tackles are on point. Your line must be fit for catching reds; the same goes for your rigs and your hook. The hook size you use in capturing reds matters. If you use a smaller hook size, you may be left frustrated. If you use one that is too large, you may not catch anything. So, what is the best hook size for red drum?

The best red drum hook size for white baits is 1/0 to 3/0 size circle hooks. If you are using small whitebait (2-3′), use a hook size of 1/0. For medium size whitebait (3-4″), use a hook size of 2/0. Ultimately, for bigger whitebait (5″+), use a hook size 3/0.

With the right tackle, tactics, and patience, you should smile back home from your fishing trip. The condition of your fishing spot also plays a major role in your success. For this reason, ensure you select a spot that you are comfortable with.

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Red Drum Bait and Tackle – Proper Set Up

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Catching reds is not easy like it is with other fishes. For this reason, you will need the best red drum bait and tackle when hunting for this fish. Reds are known to be aggressive and opportunistic feeders. This means that, if you are eager to capture them, you’ll need to equip yourself with a bait and tackle capable of executing the job flawlessly.

Talking of baits, you can either make use of the live bait, dead bait, or artificial bait. A good live bait is a shrimp or mullet. You can make use of jigs or a Shimano suspending waxwing as artificial bait. A good dead bait would be cut mullet or croaker.

Below is a breakdown of the tackle you should adopt:

Fishing for reds with the right tackle is like going to war with the best military equipment; your chances of winning will definitely be high. Why most anglers fail to capture redfish is because they are sometimes ignorant of the tackle to use. If you complement your knowledge of reds with the appropriate tackle, such as the best red drum fishing line, lures, etc., you will be overwhelmed by the result.

Red Drum Bait and Tackle – Proper Set Up

Red drum can be captured with an array of tackle. However, the tackle to be used will depend on your location and the size of red you intend to catch. If you are fishing in estuaries or river mouths and you have your sight set on puppy drum, you can go for an ultra-light gear. On the other hand, if your attention is set on the big bull drum, it is best you go for one of those large conventional red drum reels for trolling baits with a heavy downrigger.

Red drum caught inshore are smaller than those captured offshore, and most times are caught in shallow waters. Tackles can size down accordingly. For inshore reds, you will need to arm yourself with an ultra-light, light, or medium-light rod. However, when you arrive at the fall around passes, you would need to scale-up your tackle to handle the bull reds; and trolling calls for heavier gear unless done at slow speed. Furthermore, you will also need to adopt one of those red drum fishing reels, one with a good drag and quality line. For offshore reds, you will need to make use of heavier tackles. Medium-heavy or heavy rods are perfect, with a large reel spooled with a minimum of 250 yds of 30-lb line.

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A good bait for red drum would be shrimp, mud minnows, finger mullet, and pogies (live bait). Sometimes, dead bait can be ideal. For dead bait, you can make use of any cut slab or a filet from mullet, croaker, pinfish, etc. Peeled shrimp is another good alternative.

What are the Best Lures for Red Drum?

To capture a redfish, you will need to lure it with something captivating, something it would find hard to resist. That is where a lure comes in. A fishing lure is simply an artificial bait created to draw the attention of a fish. Because reds are aggressive eaters, you will need to equip yourself with the best red drum lures if you wish to attract them. With that being said, what are the best lures for red drum?

The best red drum lures are Gold Johnson Silver Minnow, Bass Assassin Sea Shad, Rapala X-Rap, and a Redfish Magic Spinnerbait. These artificial lures are amazing because they can help you catch redfish in any fishing situation.

The majority of the redfish lures manufactured are designed to catch them in shallow water. They come with a lone hook that rides up, lessening snags. Other lures, such as jigs, will fool red drum in deeper waters. Ensure that you select a lure that suits the water you’ll be fishing in. Factors that can affect lure choice are depth, cover, structure, and current.

Catching reds for novice anglers can be difficult; however, with the right knowledge about red drums, novice anglers should have less problem catching this fish.

What is the Best Fishing Line for Red Drum?

The fishing line you use in hunting reds matters. A fishing line is simply a long thread of silk or nylon affixed to a baited hook, with sinkers or float, and used for catching fish. There are several types of fishing lines out there; however, you will need the best to be successful in your red fishing adventure. So, what is the best fishing line for red drum?

There are three major types of fishing line, the braided, monofilament, and the fluorocarbon. The best braided red drum fishing line is a 20-30Lb braid (when sight casting to redfish or fishing with lures). If you are fishing for big bull reds, go for a 40-50Lb braid. Moving to the monofilament fishing line, the best is a 12-15Lb for inshore reds and a 20-30Lb for bull reds. When fishing for reds with artificials, the best fluorocarbon fishing line to use is a 20-30Lb. If you are after bull reds, make use of a 40-50Lb fluorocarbon.

Sometimes, the line you use doesn’t really matter. As long as it boasts of a good cast and retrieves, you are good to go. The braided fishing lines are often more expensive, so carefully scrutinize your options before selecting a fishing line.

What are the Best Rods for Red Drum?

If you are eager to capture a red drum, you will need to equip yourself with the best rods. A fishing rod is simply a long and flexible rod used by anglers to capture fish. It is made of either bamboo, steel, or fiberglass. There are various types of fishing rods in the market, but you’ll need the best for an effective catch when fishing for reds. So, what are the best rods for red drum?

  • Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
  • Cadence Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod:

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The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod boasts of a sturdy yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction. This rod is quite powerful, which is why it is recommended for redfish and trout. It doesn’t cost much. You would also love the construction of this piece. The ugly stik gx2 spinning rod is easy to use. Beginners shouldn’t have a hard time trying to master this rod. Saltwater is a well-known enemy of tackles; however, when it comes to this rod, you have nothing to worry about as it can withstand most water conditions.

Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod:

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The Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod is one of the best red drum fishing rods. If you are eager to capture lots of reds, you will definitely go after this piece. This rod is constructed with a 30-ton carbon graphite blank, making it strong, lightweight, and very durable. The cadence spinning rod is also constructed with premium materials for high strength and sensitivity. This rod is indeed an affordable option for beginners who are eager to go after the bull reds or other big species.

What are the Best Fishing Reels for Red Drum?

A reel is a very important component of an angler’s tackle. This fishing equipment is a cylindrical device affixed to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing lines. Because reds are aggressive in nature, you would want to utilize a fishing reel that can match their aggressiveness. There are lots of fishing reel options, but you must go for the best. Having said that, what are the best fishing reels for red drum?

There are majorly two types of reels; the baitcasting reel and the spinning reel. The best spinning reel for reds is the Penn Conflict, Penn Battle II & III. On the other hand, the best baitcasting reels for reds are the Abu Garcia Revo SX and the Shimano Curado K. The above-mentioned red drum fishing reels are for serious anglers. So consider them only if you are serious about your red drum quest.

You can’t use a baitcasting reel and a spinning reel together, so you will have to settle for one. In my opinion, a baitcasting reel is best for redfish. Why? Because it has a better casting accuracy, it has more reeling power, and it is more durable than a spinning reel. A spinning reel can develop several problems with its exposed interior. In addition, the wide line guide of a spinning reel can get caught on everything. It can also be fragile. With all that has been said, ensure that you make a wise decision when selecting between the two types of reels for your fishing adventure.

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Best Red Drum Reels – Important Factors to Look for When Choosing One

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When choosing from the variety of the best drum reels for yourself, there are many factors you should consider and this article will surely help you with that. The tackle you use when fishing for reds will determine if you’ll be successful or not. A good tackle, that is one tailored for the type of fish you intend to catch will increase your chances of catching that prize fish you cherish for. A poorly selected tackle, however, can make you toil the sea for eternity.

A reel is one of the most important components of a tackle. When hunting for reds, you will need to equip yourself with the best fishing reel. This is because reds are aggressive eaters; they can grow to a length of 37 inches, and can weigh more than 60 pounds. Due to the amazing features they possess, it is safe to say that reds are one of the toughest game fish to catch. That being said, if you aren’t conversant with the tackle market and you need help regarding the selection of redfish reels, I’ve got you covered.

The Best Red Drum Reels – All Types:

In this section we will provide 5 of the best red drum reels for any type of fishing you might choose along with short description and stats.

Reels: Type: Material: Gear Ratio: Bearings: Weigth: Price: Our Verdict:
Penn Conflict Spinning Full Metal Body 6.2:1 7+1 7.8 oz 170$ 9.9/10
Penn Battle II & III Spinning Full Metal Body 6.2:1 5+1 12.8 oz 82+$ 9.6/10
Abu Garcia Revo SX Casting X2-Cräftic™ alloy frame 7.3:1 9+1 7.8 oz 140$ 9.8/10
SHIMANO Curado K Casting Power AL aluminum frame 8.5:1 6+1 7.8 oz 180$ 9.8/10
Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Surf Fishing Power AL aluminum frame 6.1:1 5+3 18.72 oz 200$ 9.9/10

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PENN Conflict

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Features:

  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Made using only the highest quality components
  • Tested for quality and durability
  • Features a full metal body with a braid ready superliner spool and line capacity rings
  • High strength graphite rotor (models 1000-4000)
  • Aluminum rotor (models 5000-8000)
  • All rotor designs are Techno-Balanced for smooth and balanced retrieve every time
  • 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and an Infinite Anti-Reverse bearing

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Penn Battle II & III

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Features:

  • Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
  • Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti reverse bearing
  • Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity

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Abu Garcia Revo SX

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Features:

  • 9 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth Operation
  • C6 carbon sideplates provide significant weight reduction without sacrificing strength and durability
  • Duragear brass gear for extended gear life

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SHIMANO Curado K

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Features:

  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1, Weight: 7.6 ounce
  • Mono Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • PowerPro Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 30/190, 50/120, 65/80
  • Line retrieve per crank: 26 inch
  • Max. dragforce: 11 lbs, Bearings: 6 S A RB and 1 Rollerbearing

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Daiwa Sealine-X SHA

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Features:

  • Free-floating spool, separates the spool from the gear train on outcast for less friction, longer casts and faster Lure drop
  • Massive, six-element sealed drag, ultra-smooth and consistent
  • Tough marine bronze and stainless steel gears
  • High-tensile aluminum spool, super-strong yet Super light in weight
  • 5 bearing System (3CRBB)

Important Factors to Look for When Choosing Red Drum Reel:

All anglers want to be successful at what they do. They want to go out there, plunge their fishing rod (best red drum rods are provided in this article) in the river and reel in a big catch. No angler wants less than that. However, what most anglers don’t understand is that to be successful in this endeavour, one needs to pay attention to several details. It’s not just about your skills. You might be a good angler and are pretty good with a rod. Well, even with such exceptional skills, without the right tackle, you’ll end up being frustrated.

Important things to note when selecting one from the variety of red drum reels for yourself:

  • Line Capacity
  • Gear Ratio
  • Size and Weight
  • Drag Design
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Ball Bearings
  • Action

Most anglers (novice in particular) don’t conduct in-depth research before visiting the tackle shop to buy tackle. They simply walk in a pick any red drum bait and tackle that look appealing. A professional angler wouldn’t do that.

You would agree that it would be unwise to fish for reds with a reel that is meant for catfishing. Thus, when selecting a reel, there are some crucial factors you have to consider. The line bearing capacity, the drag design, the ball bearings, etc. are some of those important factors. So ensure that the features of the red drum reel you intend to buy can help you not just capture reds, but match their aggressiveness as well.

Line Capacity:

Reds are known to be fast swimmers. They can be here one second and the next, they are nowhere to be found. So to capture this fish, you will require a lengthy fishing line. If peradventure, you decide to go after reds during the winter season, you will require a very long fishing line because at that period, they can be found at the base of bays including deep holes.

But, during summer, you can always find them 10 to 30 feet underneath the water. So at that period, a shorter line would execute the job. But, my general advice is to go for a deep spool with higher line capacity.

Gear Ratio:

In a reel, a gear ratio is an indication of the number of times the reel spool rotates each time you rotate the reel handle. The gear ratio of a reel is regarded as one of the most significant hardware that makes the reel efficient and enhances the functionality of the reel. It is recommended that every angler goes for a reel that boasts of a higher ratio because a reel with a lower ratio will end up being slow. This is certainly not what you would want when going after a fish as aggressive and fast as the redfish.

In addition, I’ll recommend that you go for a reel that comes with a gear ratio of 5:1 or more. This will improve your efficiency and allow you capture reds precisely.

P.S Novice anglers often find it hard to catch red drum with live bait. If you are among the fold, be rest assured that it is quite easy. All you need is composure and the right live bait.

Size and Weight:

To catch reds without much stress, you will need to equip yourself with a medium-sized or ultra-light reel. So, if you wish to select a medium-sized reel without compromising its effectiveness, then it is important you have an insight into the different materials manufacturers use to build reels. Graphite and aluminum are regarded as the two most popular materials utilized by manufacturers in making spinning reels.

Graphite and aluminum both have pros and cons. Let’s take aluminum, for instance. This metal is well known for its durability and high quality. Reels made of this material are durable; they can withstand the harshness of saltwater. However, aluminum is heavier than graphite, but graphite is not as durable as aluminum. Because of this, lots of anglers often find it hard to select the appropriate material for their redfish reel.

I’ll always recommend that novice and professional anglers go for aluminum made fishing reel because it is not as heavy as stainless steel, and you can capture reds with such reel, which is a little heavier than the mid-weight reel. However, if you are a novice, you might have to opt for mid-size, mid-weight reel because it will assist in your battle against aggressive reds. But here is something you should understand; graphite made reels are not as long-lasting as aluminum made reels. You cannot make use of them on the horizon of time; however, if you look after your graphite reel well enough, you should be able to use it for 3-5 years.

You can also consider reels made of composite materials. Most of the composite materials are lightweight and long-lasting as well.

Nowadays, lots of brands are making use of aluminum and graphite to manufacture a reel. This allows them to take advantage of the benefits of both materials, thus making the reel more long-lasting and lightweight. So, when purchasing a fishing reel, it is important that you scrutinize its built material meticulously because it will help you grasp the weight of the reel. In addition, you must also make sure that the size of your reel isn’t small; neither is it too big. A mid-size reel is best for capturing red bass.

Drag design:

Reds are bigger than lots of freshwater fish out there. Because of this, you will require a very potent reel that boasts of greater drag strength to capture this fish. The average size of a redfish sold in the market is 25 kg. So, while purchasing red drum fishing reel or rod, you have to make sure that it has the capacity to handle that much weight.

The drag strength of a reel is likewise accountable for its versatility. Here you must understand that most saltwater fishes are bigger and stronger than the freshwater counterpart. Because of this, you will need to arm yourself with a reel that boasts of versatility and strength. A reel that boasts of an enormous drag strength will allow you to capture bigger species of saltwater fish like yellowfin tuna, striped bass, great barracuda, and so on.

Corrosion Resistance:

Reds are inshore fishes, so when you attempt to capture them, your reel becomes vulnerable to the corrosiveness of inshore environments. At this point, it is very important that you understand that corrosion can wreak havoc on your reel. It can destroy the workability and durability of your equipment. Because of this, you must scrutinize the quality of the reel meticulously before purchasing it. In addition, it is also important you ensure that the reel is equipped with protective coatings. If you buy any reel after looking out for these two things, the corrosive nature of the bay won’t have much effect on it.

Ball Bearings:

Ball bearings remain a very significant factor to consider when purchasing a reel. Ball bearing ensures that your reel boast of a smooth retrieval and casting. Several anglers think that they should derive the most ball bearings. But this is unnecessary. When targeting reds, you should make use of a higher gear ratio. This is because reds are very strong. Thus, you will require a spool that can turn fast to obtain more power against the fish.

Action:

This is certainly not the type of action you witness in action movies; this type of action is quite different. If you are targeting a red drum, it is wise to consider a moderate or fast-action rod. This will allow you to make far cast a well. In addition, a fast-action rod boasts of sensitivity, compared to its counterpart.

Conclusion:

When it comes to buying the best reel for reds, most anglers often complain that it is difficult to find the ideal type. Of course, getting the ideal reelcan be difficult, only if you lack the information I just shared. With the factors mentioned above, you should be able to confidently walk into a tackle shop and select the ideal fishing reel for your channel bass fishing trip.

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