Louisiana redfish

Redfish tournament angler Steve Ward with a Louisiana redfish caught in Houma

Why Do Redfish Have Spots?

Fish, as well as all other taxa, are given two types of names: a scientific name, which is derived from the Latin or Greek language, and an official common name given by scientific entities in order to standardize public usage, although, most of the time, the scientifically accepted common name is the least familiar among anglers. The scientifically accepted common name of the fish in this article is the red drum, although South Carolinians and Georgians refer to it as spot-tail bass, while North Carolinians refer to it as channel bass, and any state associated with the Gulf of Mexico region refers to it as redfish. The scientific name of red drum is Sciaenops ocellatus. The word Sciaenops is derived from the Greek words skiaina + ops, which translate to red mullet appearance, while ocellatus can be traced back to the Latin word for spotted, or in the case of the distinctive spot located on the tail of red drum, eyelike spot.

Although most redfish spots are distinct and independent of one another, variations in spot shape, size, and connectivity can lead to unique shapes, signs, or even letters! Although multi-spot redfish are a rarity, still more rare are the reds born with no spots.

Some biologist theorize that redfish spots and numbers range based on certain environmental factors such as salinity or geographical location. Some, however, believe it is as simple as random genetic selection, with no real dependence on environmental factors such as the aforementioned.

Emerald Coast Redfish Pro Series Weigh-In

A common myth about redfish spots is that reds can change the number and shape of their spots on command, something like a cuttlefish. This is not true, for the number and shape of spots that a red drum has are fixed.

What’s the most spots you’ve ever seen on a red drum? Leave you comment below.

For awesome photos of unique redfish spots, follow @drumspots on Instagram, furthermore, if you catch a red drum with unique spotting, post your picture to #drumspots on Instagram.

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Thanks for following and tight lines,

Taylor – Founder of Boca Chica Baits

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