The Red Drum is a game fish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the
Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Northern Mexico. It's the only species in the genus Sciaenops. Reds are
usually found along coastal waters, inlets, rivers and bays. Juveniles, called Puppy Drum in some regions
of the United States, and typically weigh six to eight pounds in three years. The largest on record
weighed 94 pounds 2 ounces and was caught off Cape Hatteras North Carolina in 1984.
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Mature Red Drum spawn in near shorelines but range into open waters. Juvenile red drum inhabit bays
and coastal marshes until they reach maturity between 3 and 6 years of age. On October 20, 2007 the
President designated the Red Drum as a protected game fish. It is also the North Carolina State Salt
From Virginia to the Gulf Coast Red Drum or Redfish are one of the most popular inshore gamefish. They are stronger than most any fish their size and typically make multiple runs that can challenge even a seasoned angler. Steve Kendall and Dr. Julie Ball (photos top and bottom left) with 50 pound red drum caught on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Smaller red drum or puppy drum are good eating and fun to catch (photos top and bottom right).