Being one of the most accessible, available game fish over a very large area (from the westernmost Gulf of Mexico to the mid-Atlantic states) helps account for the tremendous popularity of the red drum (aka redfish) among inshore and nearshore anglers. Redfish are found in a great variety of habitats, from clear flats to muddy bays to Atlantic beaches to the base of structure in more than 200 feet of water offshore. They’ll readily strike bait, lures and flies. Their habit of tailing in shallow water and the schooling of bull reds at times in open water off beaches make them a favorite target of sight-casters. Reds hit hard and run strong, particularly in skinny water. They’ve been given game-fish-only status in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas; in all federal waters, no red drum may be kept by anyone. The all-tackle record weighed 94 pounds, 2 ounces, from North Carolina in 1984.