The red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), also known as channel bass, redfish, spot tail bass, or simply red, is a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum has a characteristic eyespot near the tail and is somewhat streamlined. The most distinguishing mark on the red drum is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. The red drum uses its senses of sight, touch, and downturned mouth to locate forage on the bottom through vacuuming or biting. The top and middle of the water column use changes in the light that might look like food. Adult red drum feed on crabs, shrimp, and mullet; in the spring and winter, adults primarily feed on menhaden, mullet, pinfish, sea robin, lizardfish, and spot, Atlantic croaker, and mud minnows.
Red drum are naturally found along the southern Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Immature red drum prefer grass marsh areas of bays and estuaries when available. Both younger mature red drum (3-6 years of age) and bull red drum prefer rocky outcroppings, including jetties and manmade structures, such as oil rigs and bridge posts. Around this type of structure, they are found throughout the water column.