Black Drum Description: Drum can be caught both inshore and offshore around Florida's east coast. The black drum is close to it's cousin the red drum but it's feeding habits are much less predatory as it's often too lazy to chase baitfish unless it has an easy chance. Typically the black drum is more cumbersome and feeds on opportunities dead crustacean and mollusk. They will bight on live crabs and shrimp and occasionally take live fin fish if they're feeling frisky, but more often than not the black drum will not expend the energy to chase too far and fast.
All our lagoon systems on the east coast of Florida host black drum including the Indian, Banana and Mosquito Lagoons. Schools of black drum are often seen meandering the shallow grass flats with November being some of the best times to seek them them out. Best way to fish for these drum are with dead or live baits and they often take flies if presented well.
High arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels; gray or black colored body in adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobblestone-like teeth capable of crushing oysters; scales large.
Where Black Drum Are Found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE near wrecks and beaches.
Florida Record Black Drum: 93 lbs.
Remarks: Largest member of the drum family; spawns NEARSHORE in winter and early spring; feeds on oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years.
Florida Black Drum Regulations: Not less than 14" or more than 24". Five per harvester per day. May possess 1 over 24"
One of the most common dwellers of the inshore is the Black Drum or just simply the drum. Drum are not considered as glorious as the red drum because for their size they don't have the same fight pound for pound as their bronze cousins, but what they Blackdrum lack in fight they make up for in size. Drum can get over one hundred pounds are often caught in excess of fifty pounds in the inshore waters of the lagoons in waterways. Black drum are fine tablefare when they are small but can often contain flesh worms when they mature due to thier feeding habits that include eating just about anything they can find from dead carcasses to live shrimp. We've caught drum in the North Banana River to over seventy pounds and that's with light ten pound tackle in shallow water but you can catch them around pilings and along the beaches in Florida.
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