Red Drum

What is it: You’ll hear most locals call this species “Redfish” thanks to its rusty tint, and the black spot on its tail is hard to miss. But the real treasure is on the inside. This cousin of the Black Drum is a firm, succulent fish with a mild, sweet flavor that’s ideal for blackening.

When to Get it: Red Drum is one of the more abundant species in the Gulf, so you’re likely to find it on your line any time of year. But the ideal time to hook a few Redfish is during the winter months when warm-weather fish are in lower numbers.

Where Does it Come From: These fish will migrate in large numbers to shallow water in the early fall. Throughout the year, though, you’ll find the larger Red Drum in deep estuary waters and island passes while the younger drums are living inshore near piers and jetties.

How it’s Prepared: In the 1980’s, Red Drum were a big catalyst in the rise of the blackened fish craze, and that’s still a popular preparation. Just make sure you’ve got all the proper equipment for blackening (and don’t forget to open your windows and turn on your ventilation system).