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Bull Red vs. Redfish

22206 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  PiePuncher
may be a dumb question, but what's the difference between the two ???
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They're the same species........ a "bull red" is a big redfish. I call anything over about 35" a "bull red". A "slot red" is 20"-28", and a "rat red" is under 20".
i kinda knew that. so all redfish can become a bull red ??
the big reds (bull reds) are the females. i am no expert, but i think the males top out at about 35". It's only the females that get HUGE.
I told my wife to think of it the same way she would people....she finally got it and I almost lost my casting arm... :) Sorry guys -I'm landlocked at work today....
sigmanu723 said:
i kinda knew that. so all redfish can become a bull red ??
Not the ones I eat.
All the Bulls you catch are females , males get about 28" and thats it.
They usally leave the bays for good when they get 30 " and then its surf zone and offshore living
HonkyFin said:
All the Bulls you catch are females , males get about 28" and thats it.
They usally leave the bays for good when they get 30 " and then its surf zone and offshore living
Not according to the column written about bull reds by Chester Moore in the latest issue of TF&G. I thought the same thing til I read the article. Some of the bulls are males, but the really big ones (40+) are the females.
"Rat red" up to 20 inches.
"Slot red" 20 to 28 inches. Sometimes called a "keep" or "keeper".
"Bull red" anything over 28 inches.
Males do get large(40inch+). They are usually much slimmer than the females.
It takes a redfish 3 years to reach sexual maturity, and coincidentally (actually, due to the excellent work by fisheries managers working for TPWD) a redfish reaches a length of around 28" by the time they are 3 years old. In fact, after 2 years, most reds are about 20" long. So the "slot" reds are juveniles in their 3rd year of life, who haven't reached sexual maturity.

After 3 years, they mature and move out of the bays and into the gulf, and hence the term "Bull" red or oversized red. Both males and females get very large, just that their growth rate slows after maturity. I believe I read that a 40" red is something like 10 or 12 years old (can anyone confirm this?).
Not all bull reds are female. I had some guy try to tell me a while back that all the big bulls would have eggs in them, boy was he wrong. He pulled out the stomach trying to tell me it was an egg sac, I cut it open and told him that he was a fool! The egg sac is easily visible!!! The males can also get very large, I caught quite a few big guys that were full of milt a couple of weeks ago.
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