Red drum, also known as redfish and spottail bass, was on sale at 99 Ranch Market in Richmond today, so I ordered one in the #6 style, which means cleaned and then fried crispy. They do all of that extra stuff for free at 99 Ranch, which is helpful. You can eat your fish as-is when you get home, or cut it into steaks for recipes that require frying before braising.
I usually peruse all the fish and then buy what’s on sale or looks interesting. Today, at $2.99 a pound, the red drum seemed like the way to go. They all had clear eyes and smelled good.
These bottom feeders were overfished during the 70’s and 80’s, the latter period no doubt the result of Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish, which was all the rage for a few years. Found mainly off the coast in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico – which explains their popularity down South – they’re mild and flaky if caught small (under 15 pounds).
Apparently they can live to 60 years and reach 90 pounds.