Channel Bass (Red Drum)
Each spring and fall, pier and surf fishermen expect to catch Channel Bass weighing 40 to 50 pounds. Often called the Red Drum because of its copper-red color, the Channel Bass may live as long as 30 years and reach a length of five feet. These fish spawn in coastal waters near inlets and bays. Wind and water currents carry the newly hatched larvae to nursery areas in the estuary. Within six to eight months, the young fish move to salt water.
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries: Red Drum  - Characteristics, habits, status, and other information for sports fishermen. They also have a nice color illustration of the fish.