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How to Identify Redfish and Spotted Seatrout


Having trouble telling the difference between a redfish and a spotted seatrout? Both of these game fish thrive in the estuarine waters of Mosquito Lagoon. Climb aboard a skiff with Captain Matt Lee and let’s travel the lagoon to learn how to spot a redfish and a spotted seatrout. No pun intended!

How to Identify a Redfish


Redfish or Red Drum are formally known as Sciaenops ocellatus, but commonly called channel bass, bull red, or rat reds. Redfish are actually quite easy to identify. They have a bronze color with a white belly. Their unique identifying marks are a single spot on each side of the caudal peduncle, just before the tail. It can get tricky, if you rely solely on the spots as an indicator, because young redfish or puppy drum have numerous spots, instead of the single spot on each side before the tail. Depending on the age of your fish, you won't be able to rely solely on that spot for identification.


Redfish do not require high water salinity levels; therefore, they thrive in marshes, small lakes, and the redfish honeypot, Mosquito Lagoon. Redfish travel in schools. If you can identify one, there is probably a school nearby. The average redfish is about 12 pounds, but keep your grip on that rod, because every once and a while you snag a heavyweight bull.

How to Identify a Spotted Seatrout


Spotted seatrout, also known as speckled trout, and formally known as Cynoscion nebulosus, are another estuarine fish species that thrive in Mosquito Lagoon. The American Fisheries Society endorsed the common name, spotted seatrout. However, the first thing to note when identifying a spotted seatrout is that it isn’t in the trout family at all. It is actually in the drum family or formally classified as Sciaenidae.


Spotted seatrout are also pretty easy to identify. This fish species has prominent canine teeth. They have an elongated soft dorsal fin that is separated by a deep notch from the spinous dorsal fin. It commonly has two anal spines. The spotted seatrout has its own distinct markings in the form of scattered spots. It is important to note that they do not have any chin barbels. The shape and coloration is similar to a brown trout.


The major identifying characteristics of a spotted seatrout are large mouth with a protruding lower jaw that extends below the back part of the eye, sloping forehead, high divided dorsal fin, yellow pelvic fin, and a black lateral line that extends to the tail. Just like all members of the drum family, including redfish, mature males make a drumming sound to allure females during the spawning season.

Join Captain Matt Lee on the water, and learn how to easily identify and catch redfish and spotted seatrout. Climb aboard a skiff at Code Red Fishing Charters for an all-inclusive inshore fishing adventure in the skinny waters of Mosquito Lagoon!


Call Captain Matt Lee at (386) 214-3530!

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