March 17, 2013
By Florida Sportsman Editor
The Black Drum, Pogonias cromis
Somewhat similar to the redfish in shape, but usually distinguishable by color, and always by the fact that the drum has barbels, or feelers on the underside of the lower jaw. Juvenile black drum have black vertical stripes on dusky white sides. The stripes fade with age and adult drum are usually blackish above and white below, although some develop a decidedly bronze hue.
Drum over 100 pounds have been caught and specimens weighing 30 to 50 pounds are not rare in many areas. Striped juveniles generally weigh 1-15 pounds. World record 113 pounds, 1 ounce; Florida record 96 pounds.
Black drum to about 6 or 8 pounds are as tasty as redfish. Larger ones become quite coarse.
Strong, bullish fight, but not so tough as the redfish, size for size.
TACKLE AND BAITS
Surf tackle and saltwater boat rods are used when targeting big fish, but even the lunkers can be caught rather easily on spinning and casting tackle with a bit of patience. Fly fishing is a challenge. Any sort of crustacean, from shrimp to cut blue crab to whole small crab, makes fine bait for drum. Cut fish and squid work fairly well. Drum are not avid lure-chasers, but can be taken on slowly worked jigs in deep water, and by carefully presented streamer flies and jigs on the flats.
Still Fishing; Casting.
Drum, Striped Drum
All Florida coasts.
Surf and estuarine areas. Most consistently productive fisheries for big drum are found in the St. Mary's River estuary of the northeast coast, the Indian River, Tampa Bay and the Suwannee River estuary. Like redfish, small drum forage along shell bars, shorelines and on shallow flats. Big fish stick mostly to inside channels and surf.
Mosquito Lagoon Black Drum
A nice black drum on fly landed on the Mosquito Lagoon near New Smyrna Beach and Titusville
Terroreyz Black Drum
Forum member Snookslayer772 with a nice black drum on a Doa Terroreyz
Black Drum from the Beach
Forum member Garbo and wife show off a big black drum from the beach on 6 pound test!
Charlotte Harbor Black Drum
Night time black drum on doa terroreyz.
Forum member Lets go Amigo's son and friends tamed this big black drum. right in their backyard!
Forum member Biggary16 with a stud of a black drum on a Gulp.
Big Bend Black Drum
Forum member Scott Crown with a jumbo black drum.
Crystal River Drum
Forum member Wishin i was fishin with a slob black drum in Crystal River
Forum member jmsnookman with a nice drum caught in Cocoa Beach's 1000 Islands while pitching shrimp and Berkley gulp jigs tight to the mangroves.
Big Black Drum
Forum member syxx has been having great inshore success. Here's a beautiful Islamorada black drum
Florida Sportsman Forum Member D.R.R.P. posted his buddy pull in this monster of a black drum which was caught near Dutton Island.
Florida Sportsman Forum Member iberhof pulled this hybrid of a black drum while fishing the Big Bend that had some similarities as of its long lost cousin the red drum.
Florida Sportsman Forum Member iboverhof shows his buddy here with a huge black drum that he caught fishing the Big Bend.
Forum member shuterkng got into some nice fish including this black drum while fishing live shrimp around long point.
Ausin's Black Drum
11 year old Austin finger caught his first Black Drum weighing in at 23 pounds on a gulp!
38 inch Black Drum
Florida Sportsman Forum Member fischintheSouth pictured his friend with one of the many drums they had their pic to choose from while fishing in Lynn Haven Panama.
Huge black drum caught near Wiggins Pass in Naples.
Florida Sportsman forum member shep87's wife caught this black drum in the Indian River Lagoon on a DOA shrimp.
Great Black Drum
Huge Black Drum caught in Chokoloskee along with two others almost as big! By Yuri Hood
Chokoloskee Black Drum
Ed Matson and grandson Ryan Matson with a 30 ' black drum in Chokoloskee.
Black Drum in the Everglades
Dj Dan Decibel, frequent Florida Sportsman forum writer, caught this black drum on an artificial while kayaking in the Everglades.
Tampa Bay Drum
Jeremy caught this estimated 60 pound drum in Tampa.
Big Black Drum
Drake caught this estimated 85 pound black drum.
Katie's Black Drum
Katie Abel's monster black drum. Caught at Clapboard Creek, 26 inches long.
Bella's Black Drum
David Ghant and little Bella with their black drum
Ormand Beach Drum Combo
FS Member CaptScott caught this red/black drum combo near Ormand Beach.
Indian River Lagoon Drum
Member flkayakangler landed this black drum in the Indian River Lagoon.
Big Black Drum
FS Member Capt. Tyler Vollmer posted this large black drum.
Jacksonville Black Drum
FS Member Bigchocolatelab posted this black drum from Jacksonville.
Big Black Drum
Capt. Ryan Weir with a big black drum caught by Mark Johnston off the beach's near Port Canaveral in December on a shrimp.
Suwannee River Black Drum
Carl Riherd, of High Springs, Florida caught and released this 28 lb. black drum in the East Pass of the Suwannee River near the mouth of Dan May Creek.
Flamingo Black Drum
Florida Sportsman member RDO 70 posted this photo of his daughter with a Flamingo black drum.
FS Member Mangroovin posted this black drum photo from the everglades.
Jeremy Bolt caught this 60 pound drum near the Gandy Bridge in Tampa on light tackle.
When Drumfish Attack
Juvienual drumfish is being held and devoured by a couple large predators: Hugh Shrager and Mike Korejwo