Fin Fish

Drum, Black

A saltwater fish, the black drum is similar to its cousin, the red drum. Most black drum range from 5-30 pounds, though the black drum, which is known as the largest of all the drum family, has been known to exceed 90 pounds. The largest (world record) black drum caught was just over 113 pounds. Black and/or gray in color, the black drum have powerful jaws capable of crushing oysters and other shellfish.

Juvenile fish have four to six bold vertical black bars on a light background and can be mistaken for sheepshead at first glance, but are distinguished on closer inspection because sheepshead have teeth and black drum have chin barbells. The stripes usually fade to dull grey as the fish grow from 12 to 24 inches in length.

Black drum are mostly bottom feeders, with adults eating mostly mollusks and crabs. In shallow water, they have been reported to feed with their heads down so that their tails show above the water surface.

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  • One fillet (198g) raw edible portion

  • Calories 236

  • Calories from Fat 88

  • Total Fat 9.76

  • Saturated Fat 2.216g

  • Cholesterol 127mg

  • Sodium 148mg

  • Carbohydrates 0g

  • Protein 34.73g

Flavor & Texture

Moderate flavor and are not oily.


The larger the fish, the coarser the flesh.


Drum is great cooked any way.

Market Segments

This fish is appropriate in the casual dining, fine dining, hotel, and resort/club segments of the market.

Interesting Fact

They lack the speed to chase down lures and depend heavily on smell.

Black drum have the ability to produce croaking or drumming sounds with the air bladder, which is the reason for the name.


The black drum is usually found in or near brackish waters. In the western Atlantic, black drum are found from Nova Scotia to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Antilles (uncommon), and the southern Caribbean coast, and can also be found from the Orinoco delta to Argentina. They are common between the Chesapeake Bay and Florida coasts, and most abundant along the Texas coast.

Harvest Method

Black drum are bottom feeders, so they are most commonly caught with bait either on the bottom or suspended within a couple feet of the bottom.


Red Drum