Species: Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Location: Graffiti Bridge, Pensacola, FL Date: August 1, 2017
Everyone should go fish the Gulf at some point in their life for Redfish or Red Drum. At least, that’s what fishing culture has told us. I have fished in Corpus Christi and parts of Florida where they could be found, but I’ve never landed a “Bull Red” that we all yearn for.
That said, I did manage to get a “Calf Red” if we’re sticking with the bovine terminology while fishing the rocky lagoon for anything and everything that would bite. I was using a No. 8 Sabiki cut in half (three hooks are much easier to manage than six) and tip each with shrimp. I typically use pieces of pre-cooked cocktail shrimp because it’s easy to find anywhere you are, but it’s worth a shot.
The Red Drum didn’t fight as well as other Drums and Croakers I’ve caught since, but it still fought well for a foot-long, one-pound fish. I was especially pleased because it had a few tail spots (two on one side, one on the other) for which the species is so renowned.
I fished for them again in Corpus Christi and in a freshwater lake near San Antonio this summer (yes, really), and I caught other fish but no big Redfish.
This is one species I will continue to chase even though I’ve now caught my “lifer” and registered it here.