Inshore fishing is a popular method of saltwater fishing through Georgia, North Carolina, and Georgia because of the long runs to offshore pelagics in these three states. Some of the most notable inshore species include the sea trout, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, and the highly sought-after redfish. Redfish are known not only for their fighting abilities but also as excellent table fare. What is a puppy drum?

What Are The Different Names For Redfish

Redfish are notorious for having multiple names, which can confuse an angler unfamiliar with local fish species. 

We have heard redfish called the following names through our fishing adventures. The most common are redfish, followed by reds, red drum, channel bass, bull reds, puppy drum, slot reds, and lastly, spot tail bass. 

With all the names, tourists and those new to fishing become baffled. The mentality becomes that there are more coastal gamefish species than is what is available to catch. Therefore it is essential to know that each name refers to a red drum. 

How Does A Slot Limit Relate To Catching Redfish

It is essential to understand what a slot limit is before throwing a red drum or other species in the cooler. 

A slot limit is a size range that can be both the size range in which a fish can be kept or vise versa, that the fish must be released. Scientists do extensive research to determine a slot range that helps sustain a healthy fish population. 

Understand that the laws are in place to sustain natural reproduction. Fish reproduce based on a specified age and length; therefore, the slot size coincides with the fish’s length when it can spawn. 

Mind you, not every fish falls under slot limit regulations. In the southeast, the vast majority of fish species fall under a minimum size regulation instead of a slot. 

What Is A Puppy Drum

While most would believe that puppy drum would best describe a baby redfish, this is not the case. 

Fisherman refers to a puppy drum as those which measure between 16 and 31 inches in length. The majority of anglers wouldn’t consider that size range as puppies. A puppy is considered small when compared to fully grown. Redfish between 16 and 31 inches would be a drag-pulling battle when hooked. 

Fortunately the size range of a puppy drum falls primarily as a slot sized fish therefore they can be kept. Make sure to check with state regulations as to what exactly the slot size measurements are. Lastly, obtain a saltwater fishing license for which the state you are fishing.

Why Is Fishing For Redfish So Popular

Redfish are arguably the most popular inshore fish targeted by anglers. The combination of strength and table fare place redfish at the top of fishermans wish list.

While the puppy drum is an averaged sized red drum, a bull redfish is a puppy drum on steroids. When you’re ready for a bruising battle target bull reds. Bull red drum exceed 50 inches in length and weigh over 30 pounds. 

Lastly, slot fish which can be harvested and filleted are versatile and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. The classic method is applying blackening seasoning before frying or grilling the fish. However, redfish can also be deep fried, broiled, baked, or fish tacos. 

What Type Of Gear Is Required To Catch Puppy Drum

Fortunately catching puppy red drum will require a minimal amount of gear. Purchase or bring along a medium weight rod on a 4,000 size reel spooled with 25 pound braided line.

A popping cork is the easiest and one of the most effective methods. Beneath the cork should be one to two feet of leader line, a small weight, and circle cook. 

The best bait for catching redfish is shrimp. Live shrimp is most desirable however dead shrimp will work in a pinch. 

Now That You Can Identify A Puppy Drum It’s Time To Head Out Fishing

Considering nearly all puppy drum fit the size requirements of a slot fish we highly recommend knowing how to catch, identify, and measure the fish caught. Bring along plenty of ice to store the fresh catch in addition to a sharp fillet knife and plastic bags to transport the cleaned fish back home. Enjoy spending time catching puppy drum in the southeast.