Red drum are a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum have a characteristic eyespot near the tail and are somewhat streamlined. Three year-old red drum typically weigh six to eight pounds. When they are near or over twenty-seven inches, they are called “bull reds”. The largest red drum on record weighed just over 94 pounds and was caught in 1984 on Hatteras Island.
Snook are found from central Florida south, usually inshore in coastal and brackish waters. They are also common along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges. Snook are also on reefs and around pilings nearshore. They congregate in large schools during summer in deep passes and inlets to spawn. Snook begin life as males, but between 18 and 22 inches long some become females. Spawning occurs primarily in summer. Snook school along shore and in passes during spawning season. They feed on fish and large crustaceans. The Florida state record is 44 lb. 3 oz., caught near Ft. Myers, FL
Live crabs and small fish are good baits for cobia. Keep bait near the surface or, if cobia are deeper, add just enough weight to get the bait down and still retain its movement. Medium to heavy tackle is required to land these fish which average 30 pounds. Large specimens in the 50-80 pound class are frequently caught and cherished by the lucky angler who outmatches these powerful fish. Cobia are excellent table fare. The Florida state record is 130 lb 1 oz, caught near Destin, FL
Tarpon are considered one of the great saltwater game fishes, not only because of their size and their accessible haunts, but also because of their fighting spirit when hooked; they are very strong, making spectacular leaps into the air. The flesh is undesirable and bony. In Florida and Alabama, a special permit is required to kill and keep a tarpon, so most tarpon fishing there is catch and release.
Although a variety of methods are used to fish for tarpons (bait, lure and fly on spinning, conventional or fly rod), the method that has garnered the most acclaim is flats-fishing with a fly rod. It is a sport akin to hunting, combining the best elements of hunting with fishing.
Flounder inhabit a wide variety of coastal habitats including brackish water rivers, tidal creeks, bays, estuaries, beaches, muddy or sandy bottoms and near-shore rocky bottoms. Anglers generally use light spinning tackle and often target flounder close to shoreline structure including stumps, dock piles, seawalls and bridge piles, which are good points of ambush. While flounder can be caught with a wide variety of natural or artificial baits, most anglers prefer to use live mud minnows, live finger mullet, live or frozen shrimp, cut bait or jigs. The Florida state record is 20 lb 9 oz, caught in Nassau County
Seatrout found inshore and nearshore in and around seagrass meadows, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels and above oyster bars. Free-line live shrimp or small pinfish or pigfish (grunts) near the bottom to entice trout out of grass-bed holes. Attaching a float will allow these baits to drift over the grass beds as you search for trout. Casting with soft-bodied jigs, top-water poppers and spoons can be effective.