What Is The 2024 World Record Redfish?

world record redfish

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Prepare to reel in a whopper of a story: the 2023 world record redfish weighs in at a hefty 94 lb 2 oz. David Deuel, a seasoned angler, caught this aquatic titan using traditional fishing gear and a chunk of appetizing mullet. The battleground? The scenic waters of Avon, North Carolina, USA.

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The coastal hot spot of Avon, North Carolina, is a haven for record-breaking red drum. Marke d on the map below, it’s a prime destination for anglers chasing big game. If you’re aiming for monster redfish, set your compass towards Cape Hatteras – a hotspot known for its abundant fish population.

Tales of the Titan: The Story Behind the World Record Redfish

David Deuel’s record-breaking catch is a classic tale of being at the right place at the right time – an essential element in any angler’s playbook.

On the crisp morning of November 7, 1984, David took his place among the throng of hopeful anglers lining the shore of Avon. Armed with his trusty surfcasting setup and a chunk of mullet as bait, he cast his line into the water, hoping for the best.

Fate smiled on David that day. His bait lured in the largest redfish ever landed on rod and line. After a thrilling hour-long battle, David finally reeled in his prize: a magnificent redfish weighing 94 lb 2 oz (42.69 kg), measuring a staggering 57 inches from fork to mouth, with a girth of 38 inches.

This catch not only placed David in the all-tackle world record books but also secured him the 50 lb line class world record. David’s impressive catch surpassed the previous record by 10 lbs and also set a new state record for North Carolina.

Getting to Know Redfish

about redfish

Redfish, affectionately known by various names including red drum spot tail bass, red bass, red horse, puppy drum, channel bass, and school drum, inhabit the western Atlantic Ocean. They range from Maine in the north down into the Gulf of Mexico.

Don’t confuse these game fish with black drum. Red drum sport a distinctive red/coppery hue and a noticeable black spot on the tail.

Whether it’s sandy or muddy bottoms, inshore waters close to the coastline are their preferred hangouts. They are typically found schooling in big groups in both salt and brackish water. Their habitats span marshes, flats, inlets, channels, grass flats, oyster bars, and estuaries.

Red drum are opportunistic feeders, munching on anything from crabs to baitfish. Although they were once a staple catch for anglers to bring home for dinner, these days, red drum are more often released alive.

Fishing for redfish offers loads of fun – it’s highly visual, and redfish aren’t picky eaters. Whether you’re using flies, lures, or live/dead bait, you’ll see redfish tailing and bow waking in the shallows. It’s a lot like targeting bonefish on the flats.

The biggest of the redfish are known as bull reds, and these are the champs that make it into the record books.

Planning a trip to Maine? Check out our Maine fly fishing guides here.

Where Have Other Redfishing World Records Been Caught?

North Carolina, USA

We’ve mentioned North Carolina earlier, but it deserves another shout-out. Out of all the International Game Fish Association all-tackle redfish records, 18 out of 20 were caught in North Carolina.

One noteworthy record was set by George Hogan, Jr. on November 15, 1995. This lucky angler hooked a 41 lb 8 oz redfish using a 2-pound line in the surf around Ocracoke, setting the International Game Fish Association 2 lb line class record for the species.

Check out our guide on fly fishing in North Carolina if you’re planning a trip there.

Florida, USA

florida usa

Florida’s inshore waters, teeming with redfish, are ideal hunting grounds for aspiring record-setters. The state record and the 4-pound line class record redfish, weighing 52 lb 5 oz, was caught in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. The record holder? None other than George Hogan, Jr., who also holds the 2 lb record in North Carolina.

Other excellent fishing spots in Florida include Mosquito Lagoon and Banana Lagoon. Although Mosquito Lagoon doesn’t hold any current records, it’s home to some massive redfish.

Banana Lagoon, however, boasts the 16 lb class fly record for redfish, weighing 43 pounds. The proud angler? Greg Braunstein, M.D.

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA

Chesapeake Bay is another prime spot for setting world and state records, with redfish weighing over 40 pounds. On June 3, 2021, Jack Limroth set the all-tackle length record there, landing a 127 cm redfish. Three out of four Junior and Small Fry records were also set in this bay in 2001, with weights ranging from 45 lb 8 oz to 50 lb 4 oz.

Texas & Louisiana, USA

Texas & Louisiana, USA

All but two redfish fly fishing records were set in Texas and Louisiana, states renowned for their marshes and offshore fishing. A notable record was set by Douglas N. Behrman in Hopedale, Louisiana, where he landed a 29 lb 8 oz redfish on a fly rod with a 2-pound class tippet.

E. Stanton Shoemaker and Candace Kern hold the men’s 8 lb class tippet record and the women’s 20 lb class tippet record, respectively, both weighing in at 39 pounds.

See the IGFA Record here.

Ready to cast your line? Remember, every fishing trip is a journey filled with potential and possibility. You never know when you might hook your personal best or even a record-breaker. So gear up, get out there, and let the waters surprise you.

Before you go, don’t forget to download our series of fly fishing books for a treasure trove of tips and tricks. You’ll be reeling in the big ones in no time!

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