Black Drum

Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS
Pogonias cromis






11. Black Drum: Sometimes taken in large numbers around the north jetty on bottom rigs with crushed blue crab. Also will hit cut clams and pieces of baitfish. Limit is five fish between 14 and 24 inches, with only one over 24 inches allowed.

Description: 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.

Similar Fish: the vertical bars on juvenile black drum are somewhat similar to those on sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus; spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber; Sciaenops ocellatus.

Where found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE.

Size: common to 30 pounds.

Florida Record: 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.