Bull Red Gender

Watching and listening to the show Unfathomed over the weekend and Captain George Gozdz was in Charleston doing an episode called Chucktown Reds. He was fishing with local Captain JR Waits. Capt Waits stated that with the big bull reds you couldn't tell if they were male or female. Aren't the ones that drum males? Do they stop drumming when they get a certain size? Just wondering if that's really the case on big spottail? Anyone else catch the episode?

Paging Barbawang...

I tried to post this yesterday but damm forum wont let me post but once a day or something.

Fishing Nerd

"No bar, no pinball machines, no bowling alleys, just pool... nothing else."

...well, some fishing too!

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Males drum, but not necessarily all the time. Same for spotted seatrout and black drum. They begin drumming before maturity, and never lose the ability. Thus, one can only confirm male-ness, but absence of drumming shouldn’t necessarily be construed as female-ness.
BTW posing this from just offshore of Bulls Bay, and its a very nice day
BTW posing this from just offshore of Bulls Bay, and its a very nice day Originally posted by barbawang

Must be tough being out there... lucky dog!

So as far as the spottial go, the only way to know for sure is by hearing the drumming? There are no visible factors in determining the gender? And that goes for any size fish? Just trying to have a clear understanding here. Thanks for the reply!

Also, the first time I heard a trout drum, I instantly knew it was a male. So I guess I learned some6at some point haha.

Fishing Nerd

"No bar, no pinball machines, no bowling alleys, just pool... nothing else."

...well, some fishing too!
Last edited by StumpNocker
you're correct. "visible factors determining the gender" are called sexual dimorphisms in my trade, and a blue crab is the perfect example. different shape (salmon kype), color (lots of reef fish), size (many cichlids), patterning (striped killifish and mummichogs) are examples of sexual dimorphisms in fish.

the exception for current discussion is one of relativity wherein young seatrout, red drum, and some others can be more or less sorted into "size bins" based on sex. This is really only true for large datasets because there's plenty of overlap. for example, if you measured and aged 100 male trout that were 2yrs old (their spawning season is basically all summer, so we assign them a "birthdate" of July 1 but recognize there's huge plasticity), they should be closer on average to 14" than the 100 females that would center closer to 15.5-16". just an example, my numbers might be a little off. it blurs after a year or two as growth varies between individuals, especially for the longer lived species such as red drum.

the reason i brought that part up is applicability to the fishery: in the fall of a seatrout's second year of life, i am more likely to keep a 15-16" grunting fish that has passed on his genes for at least one season (sometimes 2 if they were born early) as opposed to a non-grunting 17-18" fish that is more likely to be a female. Stump, I'm glad you asked and I think you already knew this part... but I also think it can help others frame an idea of what their own personal accountability can be if they are interested. Other hugely relevant example is the female-ness of almost 100% of legal-size southern flounder ;)

ramble over for now.
That's the type of answer I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time to explain, it is certainly appreciated! thumbsUp

Fishing Nerd

"No bar, no pinball machines, no bowling alleys, just pool... nothing else."

...well, some fishing too!
(sexual dimorphisms)
Thank goodness for Google..

As far as the drumming is that 100%???
I had a chicken once that started crowing about 2 weeks after my rooster got killed by a fox.

I am fragile.
Not like a flower.
But like a bomb.

22 life's a day
it's 100% for fish as far as we know, males make those sounds with muscles along their swimbladders that the females don't have.

my alpha chicken wakes me up every morning, and she's never been around a rooster. i wouldn't call it crowing, but it's darn annoying enough. Don't think she even lays any eggs, just chases the others around and b****es at 'em.
Way back before the dark times I spent a little time at the Waddell Center and I seem to recall an ichthyologist telling me that a stressed female red drum can make the drumming sound.

I am certain he said black drum females have the ability to make the drum sound.

Mr barbawang I know that sounds like a know it all thing to say, but inference is difficult with the written word, so just know that I am saying that, but in a question tone of voice. I am no expert and recognize that you are.

Was the old guy with horn-rimmed glasses and gin on his breath wrong?

I don't think Striped Bass Drum, but they make a popping sound when top feeding,,,,,or so I'm told

Great discussion. Thanks Barbawang, as always.

As you mentioned, size can also be an indicator - but not 100%. For example, if you catch a trout over 22" you can be pretty sure it's female. Any male trout over 20" is a "gator" in terms of age - in our waters, about 7 years old.

I'm not edumacated on redfish growth rates, so will not make anything up.

I bet most people don't know that virtually 100% of "keeper" size flounder are female.

It's important to let the big ones go, all species. #releaseover20

1966 13' Boston Whaler "Flatty"
2018 Sportsman Masters 207
www.eyestrikefishing.com #predatorsstriketheeye
That's my Barbawang.

My chickens are sans rooster as well. The biggest hen took over all his duties...I take it as the natural order of things...prevents chaos.

The point about big Flounder can't be over emphasized...they stick out like a sore thumb under the light.

I can't think of a game fish species where the males are larger than females except dolphin...can you?

The ENTER-NET Fisherman

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