Black Drum

The Black Drum fish is a saltwater fish that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a member of the drum family, which includes other species such as the redfish and croaker. The Black Drum is the largest member of its family, reaching up to five feet in length and weighing up to eighty pounds.


Its body is dark grey or black in color, with a white underside. It has a long, protruding lower jaw, and two barbels (or whiskers) on each side of its mouth. The Black Drum is a bottom-dwelling fish, and can often be found around reefs, shipwrecks, or other areas where there is plenty of cover.

The Black Drum is an important fish commercially and recreationally. It is often caught by recreational anglers, and is considered a good food fish. The Black Drum is also popular in aquaculture, and is farmed in many parts of the world.

How to Catch

To catch a Black Drum fish, anglers can use a variety of methods. The most common method is to use baitfish, such as shrimp, crabs, or mullet. Another popular method is to use artificial lures that mimic the appearance of baitfish.

When fishing for Black Drum, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, Black Drum are generally found in areas with plenty of cover, so anglers should look for areas with reefs, shipwrecks, or other structures. Second, Black Drum are bottom-dwelling fish, so anglers should use bait that is heavy enough to reach the bottom. Lastly, Black Drum are large fish, so anglers should use heavy-duty tackle that can handle the fish’s size.

Taste and Recipes

The Black Drum is a good food fish, and its meat is often compared to that of the Redfish. The flesh of the Black Drum is white and flaky, with a mild flavor.

There are many different ways to cook Black Drum fish. One popular method is to fry the fish. This can be done by coating the fish in a flour or cornmeal batter and then frying it in hot oil. Another popular method is to grill the fish. Black Drum can also be baked, broiled, or sautéed.

When preparing Black Drum fish, it is important to remove the dark lateral line that runs along the length of the fish. This line contains a large amount of blood, which can make the fish taste bitter.

Black Drum is a versatile fish that can be used in many different recipes.


Is Black Drum good eating?

Yes, Black Drum is generally considered to be a good eating fish, with a mild, sweet flavor and firm, white meat that is low in fat. However, the taste and texture can vary depending on the size of the fish and how it is prepared. Smaller black drum (less than 10 pounds) are often considered better eating than larger ones, as the meat can become tough and less flavorful in larger fish. Black drum is commonly prepared by grilling, frying, or baking, and is often served with a variety of seasonings and sauces. Overall, black drum is a highly valued food fish among anglers and seafood lovers alike.

What does black drum taste like?

Black drum has a mild, sweet flavor that is often compared to the taste of redfish or sea trout. The texture of the meat is firm and flaky, with a low fat content. Smaller black drum, which are often considered to be better eating, have a more delicate flavor and a softer, more tender texture, while larger drum can be slightly coarser and tougher. The taste of black drum can be influenced by factors such as the age and size of the fish, as well as the method of preparation. Overall, black drum is a versatile and highly valued food fish with a taste that is enjoyed by many seafood lovers.

Are sheepshead and black drum the same?

No, sheepshead and black drum are not the same fish. While they may have some similarities in appearance, such as both having black and white stripes, they are distinct species with different characteristics. Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) is a smaller fish than black drum (Pogonias cromis), typically growing up to about 2-3 pounds, and has a more compressed, oblong body shape. Sheepshead also have teeth that resemble those of a human, and feed on a diet of shellfish and crustaceans, while black drum have blunt teeth and feed on a variety of prey including crabs, shrimp, and small fish. In terms of flavor, sheepshead has a sweeter taste with a slightly firmer texture than black drum. So, while sheepshead and black drum may look somewhat similar, they are different species with distinct characteristics and taste.

Can black drum live in fresh water?

Black drum are primarily a saltwater species, and are most commonly found in the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. While they may occasionally venture into estuaries and brackish water, black drum are not typically found in freshwater environments. However, some populations of black drum have adapted to live in areas with low salinity, such as the lower reaches of rivers and inlets. These fish are known as “freshwater drum” or “sheepshead,” and are a separate species from black drum (Pogonias cromis). Freshwater drum are also known for their ability to produce loud drumming sounds by vibrating their swim bladders, which is a unique feature among freshwater fish. So, while black drum are primarily a saltwater species, there are some related species that have adapted to live in freshwater environments.

What is the size range of black drum?

Black drum is one of the largest members of the drum family, and can grow to impressive sizes. The average size of black drum is typically around 10-30 pounds, with lengths of 2-3 feet. However, black drum can reach much larger sizes, with some individuals weighing over 100 pounds and measuring over 5 feet in length. The world record for black drum caught on a rod and reel is 113 pounds, although larger fish may have been caught using commercial gear. The size of black drum can vary depending on factors such as age, habitat, and availability of food, and larger fish are generally more common in deeper, offshore waters. However, even smaller black drum can provide a fun and challenging fishing experience, as they are known for their strong fighting ability. Overall, black drum is a highly sought-after game fish that can provide a thrilling catch for anglers of all levels.

What is the best bait for black drum?

Black drum are opportunistic feeders that will eat a variety of prey, including crabs, shrimp, clams, and small fish. The best bait for black drum can vary depending on the specific location and time of year, as well as the size of the fish you are targeting. However, some popular baits that are known to be effective for black drum include live or cut shrimp, blue crabs, clams, and sand fleas. Other baits that may work well for black drum include cut mullet, squid, and other small fish. When using live bait, it is often best to fish on the bottom using a fish finder rig or Carolina rig, with enough weight to keep the bait on the bottom where black drum typically feed. Overall, the key to success when targeting black drum is to use natural baits that mimic the fish’s natural prey, and to fish in areas where black drum are known to be present.

What taste better red drum or black drum?

The taste of both red drum and black drum is highly regarded, and both species are popular food fish in coastal communities. However, their flavor and texture can vary slightly, and personal preference can also play a role in which is considered to taste better.

Red drum, also known as redfish, has a mild, sweet flavor with a firm, flaky texture that is often compared to that of snapper or grouper. The meat of red drum is typically a light pink or red color, and has a slightly sweeter taste than black drum.

Black drum, on the other hand, has a mild, sweet flavor that is often compared to redfish or sea trout. The texture of the meat is firm and flaky, with a low fat content. Smaller black drum are often considered to be better eating, as their meat is more tender and delicate in flavor than larger fish.

Overall, the taste of red drum and black drum can vary depending on factors such as the size of the fish, how it is prepared, and personal preference. Some people may prefer the sweeter taste and firmer texture of red drum, while others may enjoy the milder flavor and flakier texture of black drum. Both are highly valued food fish, and the choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal taste.

What is the best time of day to catch black drum?

The best time of day to catch black drum can vary depending on a number of factors, including the location, weather conditions, and time of year. In general, black drum are most active during the daytime, when they feed on a variety of prey such as crabs, shrimp, and small fish.

One good time to target black drum is during the incoming tide, as this is when the fish are often feeding in the shallower waters of the flats and along the edges of channels. Early morning and late afternoon can also be productive times to fish for black drum, as these are periods of lower light when the fish may be more active and less wary.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that black drum can be caught at any time of day, and their feeding patterns may vary depending on the location and time of year. Some anglers have had success targeting black drum at night using cut bait or artificial lures. The key is to experiment with different baits and techniques to see what works best in a particular location and under the current conditions. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check local fishing reports and talk to other anglers to get a sense of the best times and places to target black drum in your area.

Do all black drum have worms and what are they?

Many species of fish, including black drum, may be infected with parasites such as worms. One type of worm that is commonly found in black drum is called the “spaghetti worm,” which is a type of nematode that lives in the flesh of the fish. The spaghetti worm is typically harmless to humans and does not affect the taste or quality of the meat, but it can be unappetizing to some people.

It’s worth noting that not all black drum are infected with worms, and the prevalence of parasites can vary depending on the location and time of year. To reduce the risk of consuming parasites, it’s recommended to cook fish thoroughly to an internal temperature of 145°F, which should kill any potential parasites. Additionally, inspecting the meat for visible signs of parasites before cooking, such as small white or gray worms, can help identify any potential issues. Overall, while black drum may be infected with parasites such as spaghetti worms, they are generally considered safe to eat when properly cooked and handled.

Are black drum bottom feeders?

Yes, black drum are primarily bottom feeders that forage for food along the ocean floor. They are known to feed on a variety of prey, including crabs, shrimp, mollusks, and small fish, which they detect using their strong sense of smell and their chin barbels. Black drum will often root through the sand and mud using their long snouts and blunt teeth to capture their prey, which they crush with their powerful jaws.

While black drum are primarily bottom feeders, they may occasionally feed higher up in the water column, especially when targeting smaller prey such as shrimp or small fish. However, they are generally considered a demersal species, meaning they are associated with the bottom habitats of the ocean. Their feeding patterns may also vary depending on the time of day, tides, and other environmental factors, as they adapt their behavior to take advantage of the most abundant food sources in their environment. Overall, black drum are highly adapted to their bottom-dwelling lifestyle and have a variety of unique traits that allow them to effectively forage for food in this habitat.

What are the size and bag limits for Black Drum in South Carolina?

The size and bag limits for black drum can vary depending on the location and time of year. At the time of my research, the general South Carolina statewide regulations for black drum are as follows:

Size limit: Black drum must be between 14 and 27 inches in total length to be harvested. Any fish smaller than 14 inches or larger than 27 inches must be immediately released.

Bag limit: The daily bag limit for black drum is 5 fish per person per day, with no more than 15 fish allowed on any boat or in any vehicle at one time.

It’s important to note that these regulations may be subject to change, and that there may be additional restrictions in place for certain areas or during certain times of year. It’s always a good idea to check the most up-to-date fishing regulations with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources or a local fishing guide or tackle shop before heading out on the water.

What type of fish eats black drum?

As a relatively large and powerful fish, black drum has few natural predators. However, there are a few species that are known to prey on black drum, especially smaller individuals.

One common predator of black drum is the shark, particularly larger species such as bull sharks and hammerheads that are capable of overpowering and consuming adult drum. Other potential predators of black drum include larger fish such as redfish, snook, and grouper, as well as marine mammals such as dolphins and sea lions.

Despite being a relatively well-protected species, black drum can still fall victim to overfishing and habitat loss, which can have significant impacts on the population as a whole. As a result, it’s important to practice sustainable fishing practices and conservation efforts to ensure that black drum and other species can continue to thrive in their natural habitats.

Additional Questions

Is Black Drum Fish Good to Eat?

**Yes, black drum fish are quite delicious to eat**, often compared favourably to the flavour profile of red snapper. With a flesh described as firm yet flaky, black drum fish is versatile in the kitchen, working well in recipes that require frying or baking. However, one must also take into account the size of the Black Drum Fish when considering its edibility. The larger fish tend to have a rougher, more textured skin, as compared to the smaller ones, which lean toward the smoother side. Anecdotal experience from many chefs has informed us that smaller Black Drum Fish are preferred for their smoother texture. Therefore, while selecting, go for the smaller varieties if you like your fish meat to be smoother.

Are Sheepshead and Black Drum the Same?

Although young Black Drum Fish and Sheepshead can confuse even the most seasoned anglers due to their similar black and silver stripes, **they are actually quite different species**. As the Black Drum Fish matures, it progressively sheds its stripy appearance, favouring a more even-toned, silver-gray skin. The Sheepshead, on the other hand, retains its black and white stripes. To add to the confusion, both types of fish display black and white colourings but in differing orientations. Sheepshead sport black stripes against a white backdrop, while Black Drum Fish have an overall gray appearance with dark bars.

Does Black Drum Tastes Like Red Drum?

Interestingly, the flavour profiles of both Black Drum Fish and Red Drum Fish bear a lot of similarity. However, the Black Drum Fish features a more pronounced, meatier texture compared to Red Drum. **The flesh of both species is purely white once cooked**, making them visually indistinguishable, but certainly not in terms of taste. When it comes to the taste factor, smaller fish in both species tend to win the prize for sweetness and flakiness. Speaking from culinary experience, if you prefer a fish with a sweeter, flaky flesh, then going smaller with regard to both Red and Black Drum Fish is the way to go.

What Type of Fish is Black Drum?

Being part of the croaker family, the Black Drum Fish is closely related to the Atlantic croaker, red drum, and spotted seatrout. **A standout feature of this family of fish is the intriguing ability to generate croaking or drumming sounds using their air bladder**, thereby earning monikers like ‘croaker’ and ‘drum’. This means there’s more than just taste to attract one towards the Black Drum Fish. This fascinating species also brings a distinctive ‘musical’ element to your fishing and culinary experience.

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