Fish Facts: Black Drum – Pogonias cromis

Black Drum (Pogonias cromis) reach a maximum size of just over 100 pounds but the “bulls” usually range in the 25 to 40 pound range. They have deep bodies with 4 or 5 broad black bars on there sides. They look very similiar to sheephead but get much larger. They also have barbel around the mouth unlike sheephead. Black drum occur throughout the Gulf of Mexico, up the Atlantic to Maine and even down to Brazil.

Black Drum feed on a variety of things, such as, small fish, crustaceans, and oysters. They are an important commercial fish but only a sportfish of moderate importance. They can be found over sand or mud bottoms in bays and marshes and on the beaches.

Key Notes and Tips:

  • Black drum aren’t usually caught on artificial baits. They lack the speed to chase down lures and depend heavily on smell.
  • These fish aren’t know for their great fighting ability. They tire quickly and just seem to give up.
  • Black Drum have the ability to produce croaking or drumming sounds with the air bladder, which is the reason for the common of drum.
  • The larger the fish, the coarser the flesh. Rather than eating these larger drum, anglers usually release them to spawn and fight another day while keeping the smaller one for table fare.
  • Spaghetti worms are common in large black drum and, they are not harmful to humans but this leads many angler to release the larger fish.