Red Drum

Fish Recipes

The Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), also known as channel bass, redfish, spot tail bass or simply reds, 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. At the age of 3-4 years the red fish is mature fish about 30 inches long and 4 kg (8.8 lb) in weight. As red drum grow longer, they increase in weight and size. Red fish may have red colored body but its meat is white and delicious when cooked, however, to enjoy the fish, you have to catch the fish yourself. They may no longer be commercially harvested in U.S. federal waters or in most state waters. Commercial netting disappeared after coastal states like Florida declared red drum prohibited for sale. Red drum are a red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The fish is called the red “drum” because they make a drumming sound when distressed. Red drum is good for eating. It is a big meaty fish that offers large fillets.

Red drum

Captain Brian Mitchell holding red drum, Treasure Island, Florida. The most distinguishing mark on the red drum is a large black spot on the upper part of the tail base.

Smoked Red Drum

Fillet the fish and rinse.

Fillet the fish. Rinse.

Immerse in 80º brine for 10 minutes. (Add 2.2 lbs of salt to 1 gallon of water. This makes 80 degrees brine). Rinse and drain.
Air dry for 1 hour.
Apply a light smoke at 100° F (38° C) for 30 minutes.
Increase the temperature to 185° F (85° C) and smoke with medium smoke for 120 minutes.

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