Color code

Around 8:30, Jeremy Heimes came tight on a stout fish, but quickly tilted his head with a despaired sigh.

His partner Micky Gibbs joked: “Get a marker.”

That color change reference provided a little comic relief to the frustration of hooking the wrong species — a black drum.

Redfish (Sciaenops ocelatus) are properly known as red drum, a close relative to the black drum (Pogonias cromis), which is not eligible for tournament entry. Side by side, the two are unmistakably distinct, with black drum sporting a taller profile, longer pectoral fins, fleshy chin barbels and a lighter base coloration painted with dark vertical bars.

Similar to the relationship between freshwater drum and bass, black drum and redfish like the same habitats and forage; so while competitors loathe wasting tournament time on an ineligible species, these incidental catches definitely indicate a favorable area.