Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus)

red drum

The red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) is often found near oyster reefs as a juvenile.


The red drum, also called channel bass or spottail bass, is common in South Carolina estuaries (where rivers meet the sea) and offshore areas. Juvenile red drum are often found near oyster reefs in shallow tidal creeks and flooded salt marshes—where they find food and refuge. Juvenile red drum feed on fiddler crabs, mud crabs, grass shrimp, and small fish and are eaten by various larger fish. Adult red drum live in deep estuarine waters and offshore. Recreational harvesting of red drum is allowed in South Carolina, but commercial harvesting is restricted.