Fun Red Drum Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Feb 08, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Red drum facts about the fish that sometimes becomes a host for different parasites such as myxozoan.

The red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) is also known with many different names such as redfish, channel bass, puppy drum, spottail bass, and lastly simply red. It is a species of game fish which are commonly found in different parts of the Atlantic Ocean and in some parts of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to northern Mexico.

The red drum are often connected to the black drum fishes, the two species can cross breed to form a totally robust hybrid breed.

Among the significant characteristics of the red drum fishes is that they have a dark red color on their back, which dramatically fades away into white on the belly side.

There is a significant eyespot or black spot near or the base of the tail of the red drum and it has a streamlined body.

They are most commonly found in reddish-bronze color, from where they get their name as redfish, but there are more colors in which they can be found and can range from deep blackish, coppery, and silvery gray.

Red drums are also known as one of the fastest-growing fishes worldwide. The habitat of red drum fishes that is preferred by them is shallow waters, with submerged vegetation such as sea grasses.

They are also to be found in oysters reefs.

Their habitat mainly consists of fresh waters and have been found many miles upriver.

The development process of the red rum fish is also quite unique as once the eggs are released by the females the next step is taken by the males and then the eggs are fertilized externally by the male.

After almost 22-28 hours of post-fertilization, the eggs will hatch and instead of direct babies there are larvae that are produced, which are going to fed on planktons.

After around two weeks, the red drum will grow to an average size, and after that, the growth will occur rapidly. Isn't that interesting?

If so, let's read more about them.

You may also like to read our facts on suckerfish and Chinese paddlefish.

Red Drum Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a red drum?

Red drums are a type of fish that are commonly found in some parts of gulf of Mexico and some parts Atlantic coast, although these species of fish are mostly found in offshore waters or coastal waters.

What class of animal does a red drum belong to?

The red drum or Sciaenops ocellatus belong to the classification of fish.

How many red drums are there in the world?

Red drum fish are found in shallow waters and they are one of the most populated species amongst the shallow waters fish. There is no exact data or stats provided for how many red drum fish are there present in the world.

Where does a red drum live?

The geographic locations of these red drum fish are quite diverse. There are many places where they can be found for example different types of coast like the gulf coast such as Mexico, the United States from Texas to Florida, and in the northern coast of Brazil southward to central Argentina.

What is a red drum's habitat?

Looking in more depth at the red drum habitat, they actually thrive in the marine environment with different types of other fishes.

The red drums inhabit areas where the oyster bottoms, unvegetated sand bottoms, and marsh grasses along the coastline are easily found.

They also prefer to inhabit deep coastal waters which can be sometimes at a depth of up to 40 m but are usually to be found in shallow waters by the land at a depth of about 1 m. In the time of spawning seasons or period, the red drum will go into different kinds of inlets and estuaries, mostly in the marsh grasses, depending on the tidal region, and also is seen to survive in brackish waters.

Who do red drums live with?

Red drum fish are mostly seen to live with their own kind. They usually love to or prefer to live in big packs as it also helps them to be safe from predators.

How long does a red drum live?

The red drum fish is mostly seen or found in captivity where they have been kept in a man-created aqua lifestyle which is why there is no exact information reported about the natural lifespan. However, it can be said that the red drum lives for an average of 35 years.

How do they reproduce?

There is a total separate process for reproduction in red drum fish.

Firstly to attract the females, males red drums have to produce a croaking sound with the help of the muscles along their swim bladder.

In this process, males have to change the color of themselves from a lighter version of red to a dark version of red above their underbelly, which stays white. The red drum are also polygynandrous, which are those who are likely to have many partners throughout their mating period.

The females are supposed to be attracted to the drumming noises produced by the males and swim towards them, then the males are supposed to nudge the females with their heads, which causes almost a million eggs to get released by the female and then fertilized by the males.

The next step is to find suitable environmental conditions for the young red drum, like an average water temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

What is their conservation status?

The red drums fish are considered as the Least Concern species of fish, as the quantity of the fish is mostly regulated by different marine agencies under state laws which are meant for them to keep protected.

Red Drum Fun Facts

What do red drums look like?

There are a lot of things to note about the appearance of an adult red drum.

First of all the size of these may vary a lot, for example on average they can be 100 cm long and weigh 22 kg and sometimes the wild individuals can be as long as 160 cm and weigh 42.6 kg.

The body shade of the red drum fish also vary from being amber red and golden and it can change hue upon spawning season making it a more darker and more intense shade.

There are times when the shade and size also depend on the habitat and geographic region.

These fish are also known to have a black dot on the rear part towards the caudal fin. This black spot at the base of the tail is characteristic of the fish.

There are dots on both sides of the lateral line to the dorsal fin back to the caudal fin.

Find out about the characteristics and habitat of the Red Drum fish.

How cute are they?

Most fishes are found cute to all of us human beings, but in case of red drum fish some people may find them a bit creepy.

How do they communicate?

There is very little information regarding the communication between the red drum, although there is a time of mating when the males actually make a sound similar to a croaking sound during the time of spawn to attract females.

During the time of red drum fishing, they again make the same sound of croaking or when they are experiencing stress when they are being pulled by an angler out of water.

The males also produce a 'knock' sound from vibrations against their swim bladder.

How big is a red drum?

The red drum size is dependably big, it can be up to a quite good size when talking about the freshwater red drum.

Red drums are also known as one of the fastest-growing fishes worldwide, which can reach up to a length of 11 in and 1 lb in its first year, 17-22 in and 3.5 lb in two years, and 22-24 in and 6-8 lb in three years.

How fast can a red drum swim?

They can swim in a good pace whilst it also depends on what exactly they are doing. If they are falling prey to fishing or are in a danger of other predators such as bottle-nose dolphins, they can swim possibly at a good speed although the speed hasn't been specified anywhere.

How much does a red drum weigh?

Red drum fish can grow exponentially big with a great speed in a very short interval of time span. The red drum size limit can reach 6-8 lb in three years.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There has been no specific name given to the red drum fish genders although there's a red drum scientific name i.e. Sciaenops ocellatus.

What would you call a baby red drum?

The juvenile red drum is only referred to as a baby. There is no specific name for the young of this fish, although they could be called fry like other fish young.

What do they eat?

The variety of food and dietary habit may change from habitat to habitat in the case of red drum fish. During the time as a juvenile, the red drum will have a diet which is consisting of shrimps only.

After they began to grow in size to around 15-20 cm, they will began to eat small crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and small fish.

Are they eaten by humans?

Red drum fish is mostly used as bait to catch other big species of animals in the waters and for catching other predators from the shallow water. They are most often used for fishing, but this type of redfish can also be eaten.

If you're wondering about redfish vs red drum, red drum is a type of redfish and comes under the redfish umbrella.

Redfish are healthy to eat and are a source of many vitamins. As the red drum is a parasitic fish, it should really only be eaten cooked through.

Would they make a good pet?

Quite frankly, they won't a good pet at all because these red drums require more space to swim, spawn as well as live.

Did you know...

The red drums hold the record of weight to be one of the heaviest fish. The weight is something over 94 lb and was caught in 1984 on Hatteras Island!  

Another interesting fact about the red drum is that the oldest red drum caught in the wild was 58 years of age.

Also, the red drum has the capability of reproducing in water up to 20 m deep.

The look of the red drum plays an important role. Some fish can be found with up to 12 dots to change that look, and it also not too uncommon to find a fish with a large number of dots on each side.

Although the main predator is humans, other large fishes and some birds also prey on the red drum. It is believed that the black spot at the base of the tail is used to confuse predators into attacking the tail instead of the red drum head.

Red drum fish aren't known to swim very far from where they were born.

Redfish can be caught using various live baits such as sardines, mullet, and croakers. You can also catch them with shrimp and crabs. Cut mullet is a favorite among fishers.

Why are red drums such popular game fish?

Red drum fish is known as game fish because it can fight for extended periods of time. It is also known as such for its popularity as a food fish.

What has a negative effect on a red drum's habitat?

Estuaries are key for red drums, as this is where this species of fish likes to breed or spawn. The worsening in water quality or loss of these estuaries as a suitable habitat can have terrible effects on the young red drums as they fight to survive long past their youth.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including wels catfish, or tetra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Red drum coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Chandan Shukla picture

Chandan ShuklaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, Chandan is a skilled and passionate technophile. He has completed a machine learning training program and is adept in various programming languages. He has been working as a content writer for two years while also striving to become a proficient tech professional.

Read full bio >