Banded Drum, Oyster Drum, Sea Drum, Drummer, Gray Drum, Pompey Drum, Striped Drum -- this fish is a fish of many names. Juvenile Black Drum are gray or black with light black stripes. They lack the spot on the tail like a Red Drum. A juvenile red drum or black drum is called a "Puppy Drum". Mature over slot size red drum or black drum is called a "Bull Drum". They can grow to nearly 5 feet and weigh 95 pounds. The largest black drum on record weighed 146 pounds. When they reach this size we like to refer to them as "Bridge Donkeys or Big Uglies". A young black drum has sweet & flaky meat which "if cooked correctly" is comparable to red snapper. Puppy Black Drum are also sometimes confused with Sheepshead due to their stripes.
#TeamDorsal also uses them as shark bait. They are the perfect size for a single drop and yield great results. They are most abundant in Texas found in all bay and inshore waters and offshore in Gulf waters. When we target this species we like to look for them in grass beds along seawalls. This is a very common area to find the younger ones eating in the shallows. Our rigs of choice is a Carolina Style Rig using a 3oz weight, 3/0 circle hook, & 30lb bullbuster mono. I usually always bring 3 poles with me. Each one with a different bait until I find what is working. A mixture of blue crab/cut shrimp/& cut mullet works great. Black drum are rarely taken on artificial baits since most feeding is done by feel and smell. We have always had our best luck catching them at night. So when traffic dies down and the sound of the day fades we hit the water.
When you go make sure you bring a few items to guarantee a successful trip.
1. Hand Net - bring a good quality decent length hand net to reach down from a sea wall. Be careful on the rocks, they can be very slippery and sharp.
2. Tape Measure - Black drum do have size regulations. In the Florida panhandle the slot limit is 14-24" with one fish over 24"
Below is a quick and easy recipe - Enjoy #BullBusterAmbassador
- Season both sides of the puppy black drum filet.
- Place your cast iron skillet on a medium to high heat, coat the bottom with olive oil and two tablespoons butter.
- Place the drum in the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes and flip.Squeeze lemon over the fish at this point.
- Cook for another 5 minutes and flip again. Squeeze little more lemon.
- Optional topping include shrimp, crabmeat, and mushrooms.
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