World Record Redfish: State and National Records

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Redfish goes by many names, including Spottail Bass, Channel Bass, Red Drum, Puppy Drum, and many other nicknames and local terms. Whatever you call them, Redfish is a very popular sportfish that can be found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the coastal Atlantic Ocean from south Florida to Massachusetts. 

Trophy redfish can reach more than 50 pounds in weight and measure 45 inches or longer in length; however, more reasonably sized redfish are around 28 to 33 inches. Regardless of the size you may get on the end of your line, redfish are exciting to fight on the end of the line. They are fast and energetic, giving you a good run for your money when it comes to getting the fish on the boat.

All Tackle World Redfish Record

Big Redfish on Fly Tackle
To qualify for the record, redfish must be caught in accordance with the IGFA’s rules and must be weighed on a certified scale.

In November of 1984, the world record for redfish was set by David Deuel of North Carolina when he hauled in a record red drum while surf fishing that weighed more than 94 pounds. This massive fish was caught in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was larger than the previous all-tackle world record red drum by 10 pounds.

Mr. Deuel fought this monster-sized red drum for roughly an hour after setting the hook before he finally hauled it onto the shore. The fish measured 38 inches around the barrel and was 57 inches in length, quickly landing North Carolina native Mr. Deuel the all-tackle world record according to the International Game Fish Association.

What Is the Biggest Redfish Caught by State?

Redfish held by fisherman with boga grip
Redfish are prized for their fighting ability and are often sought after by recreational anglers. The size of redfish can vary greatly, with some reaching lengths of over 50 inches and weighing over 50 pounds.

Alabama Record Redfish

In the summer of 2013, a 45-pound 9-ounce red drum was caught by Al Mead in Theodore, Alabama, setting the state record for the biggest redfish.

Connecticut Record Redfish

The state record for redfish in Connecticut is somewhat smaller than average, with a 19.8-pound redfish setting the record. This red drum was caught by Joe Diorio in July 2016 and measured 38 inches long.

Delaware Top Redfish Catch

In June of 1976, the International Game Fish Association state record for red drum was set in Delaware by James Vandetti. This redfish weighed a whopping 75 pounds. This record has yet to be broken due to the lower general population of redfish in the state.

Florida’s Largest Redfish

In 2014, a red drum was caught in Mosquito Lagoon by Tom Olivo and Billy Rotne. This fish was estimated to weigh around 60 pounds, but since it was not officially weighed by state officials, the official record for Florida’s biggest redfish is 52 pounds.

Georgia Record Redfish

Back in 1986, Richard Price hauled in a monster redfish that weighed just under 48 pounds. This red drum record has yet to be broken due to the small number of redfish anglers in the state.

Louisiana Redfish Record

The Louisiana state record for redfish has been going strong since 1992 when a monster-sized redfish weighing 61 pounds was hauled in. This male fish was caught by David Weber and took more than 30 minutes to land.

Mississippi Record Red Drum

For almost 50 years, a state record of 44 pounds stood strong for redfish. However, in May of 2016, this previous record was broken when a 52-pound 4-ounce redfish was caught by Antonio Rubio, who set the new state record.

North Carolina Redfish Record

In November 1984, a channel bass so large was caught in North Carolina that many didn’t believe the rumors. David Deuel spent nearly an hour fighting with a massive redfish male using a rod and reel. When he finally hauled the fish in, it measured almost 60 inches long and weighed 94 pounds 2 ounces, crushing not only the North Carolina state record but setting the world record as well.

New Jersey Redfish Record

In the Great Bay area of New Jersey, fisherman Daniel Yanino set the state record in 1985 for the biggest redfish when he hauled in a girthy 55-pounder. This record has yet to be broken due to the limited number of redfish and redfish anglers in the state.

South Carolina’s Largest Redfish

Many years ago, in 1975, a huge redfish was caught that set the South Carolina state record. This 75-pound fish was caught by AJ Taylor in Murrell’s Inlet, and the record has yet to be broken by any other angler to date, though some have come close!

Texas Record Fish

Texas’s largest redfish in the record books was set in 2000 by Artie Longron. While fishing along the coast in the Gulf of Mexico in January, he hauled in a 54-inch long, 59.5-pound redfish that set the state record and has yet to be broken.

All About Redfish

Are redfish good to eat feature image
Redfish are popular game fish and are known for their distinctive reddish color, which gives them their name.

Redfish or Red Drum can grow to very large sizes and have a massive girth as well, which is how they got the name “drum.” By their first year, redfish can measure 14 inches or more in length from nose to tail, and by their third year, they can weigh 10 pounds or more, giving the angler that catches them a nice fish to haul in.

Red drum are found in Atlantic coastal waters and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Redfish have been caught all along the coast from Florida to Massachusetts, with a much smaller number being found in the upper New England area as well.

These fish love staying around thick grasses and will spawn along shell-covered sandy areas in brackish bays. Due to this habitat preference, red drum are most commonly found in the southern areas of Florida and the Gulf on the Texas side. As they mature, redfish will often move towards man-made structures that are covered in barnacles, such as pier supports, sunken boats, and more which makes these areas prime fishing spots.

The unique thing about redfish is they sometimes look like massive carp with a unique red-gold sheen on their top half and a cream or snow-white color on their belly. Their scales are highly reflective and can glitter and shine in the sun once they are landed, making them beautiful fish to photograph.

It’s not uncommon to see redfish in a variety of colors as well. While red-gold is the most common, dark red and even pale pink can be found. Copper and orange are also not unheard of. Some redfish can even be a solid color, lacking the white belly entirely, and others can have intense leopard spots though this patterning is very rare.

Redfish are one of the few fish that can make vocalizations as well, which could be another way the fish got their common name of “drum.” These vocalizations include grunts and croaks, which they will do when hauled from the water in an attempt to scare their captor into dropping the fish back into the water.

Whether you are a new angler or an experienced pro, fishing for this unique game fish on your next fishing trip could be a way for you to set the next state or world record! While you might not break the 94 pounds 2 ounces world record, you can still set a new state or area record in some cases!

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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