Red Drum (Red Fish) (Sciaenops ocellatus)
Iridescent silver-gray with a copper cast, darker above; one or more oscillated spots on upper sides from below soft portion of dorsal fin to base of caudal fin. Mouth inferior and horizontal, teeth set in bands on both jaws. Chin without barbels, smooth pre-opercular margin.
18 inches, 2.6 pounds;
South Carolina State Record: 75 pounds (1965);
maximum age: approx. 38 years (a few individuals as old as 60 have been reported in other states).
Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus)
Dark gray above with bluish reflections. Numerous round black spots irregularly scattered on back and sides, extend to soft parts of dorsal and caudal fins. Two large canine-like teeth at tip of upper jaw, all remaining teeth small, gradually increasing in size posteriorly on lower jaw. First dorsal fin with 9 – 10 spines, second dorsal fin with one spine and 25 – 28 rays. Soft portion of dorsal fin without scales.
14 inches, 1.3 pounds;
South Carolina State Record: 11 pounds, 13 ounces (1976);
maximum age: approx. 8 – 10 years.
Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)
Body gray and nearly oval with 5 – 6 dark vertical bars and one on nape. No dark spot near origin of lateral line. Four broad incisor-like teeth on both sides of anterior jaw, several molar-like teeth also present. Dorsal fin has 12 spines and 11 soft rays. Second spine of anal fin very strong.
14 inches, 3 pounds;
South Carolina State Record: 16 pounds, 6 ounces (2008);
maximum age: approx. 25 years.
Black Drum (Pogonias cromis)
Deep-bodied, silvery-gray to dark gray with blackish fins. Young fish have 4 – 5 vertical black bars that disappear with age. Mouth inferior and horizontal, lower jaw with 10 – 13 pairs of barbels in multiple rows. Body scales large and comblike, lateral line extends to hind margin of tail fin.
14 inches, 2.2 pounds;
South Carolina State Record: 89 pounds (1978);
maximum age: approx. 60 years
Silvery, scales large, eyes large; lower jaw projects forward of fish. Dorsal fin originates near mid-point of body; last ray on dorsal fin filamentous and very long.
40 – 60 inches, 40 – 60 pounds;
South Carolina State Record: 154 pounds 10 ounces (1987);
maximum age: approx. 50 years – possibly up to 70 years.