Black Drum

Fight Rating 4/10

Peak Season: All Year

Black Drum are edible, with a moderate flavor that is not oily. They have very large scales which can make them very hard to clean. They feed on the bottom eating crustaceans, mussels, and oysters mostly, and are not a hard striking fish. They oftentimes mouth bait before fully taking it, do wait until they mouth off with your bait before reeling down hard on this fish.

Black Drum can reach impressive sizes of over 100lbs, although most caught are under 30lbs.  Juveniles have a different appearance from adults, with black vertical bars that can be easily confused with Sheepshead. They are appropriately named Black Drum because they make a loud drumming sound with their air bladder that can sometimes be heard outside the water.  They are a robust fish, and somewhat hearty.

Don’t expect an aerobatic airshow when hooking a drum. They will fight you a bit but don’t make any dramatic runs or long-winded battles. They do not run for cover or break you off in the rocks. We can use relatively light tackle and use shrimp or crab as bait. You might even site fish a Black Drum because they don’t chase after their food or go at it very aggressively at all.

Because of their nonoily moderate flavor, southern states restaurants serve them in quite commonly. They can have a mild, sweet flavor with firm meat and moist flakes. Some might say its comparable to Red Snapper or Redfish.

“When you bring these up, they make the strangest sound. Like an alien drum.”

Angela S.