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Growth[ edit ] Weight vs. Length for black drum based on data from the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana. Fall female curve is obscured by the spring female curve.
Data are from Jenkins, 2004 Length vs. Other studies suggest that black drum in the Gulf of Mexico do not grow as large or live as long; in a sample of 1357 black drum from coastal Louisiana, the largest individual was 22. Age graph shows how the typical length of black drum increases with age. Length graph shows how the typical weight of black drum increases with length; small differences during different seasons have been measured as shown.
More scientifically, it can be used to determine whether a given sample of black drum is above or below expected weight, which may be related to a number of environmental conditions. Fishing[ edit ] Fish on left and right are black drum caught in the jetties of Calcasieu Pass, Cameron Parish, Louisiana. A red drum is in the middle.
Black drum caught in Lake Pontchartrain 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. Bottom fishing methods are used both in surf fishing and inshore fishing. This type of fishing is often combined with chumming , a baiting practice that involves scattering bits of fish parts and blood into the water as an attractant.
Black drum are reported to mouth a natural bait, so anglers need to wait a few seconds before setting the hook. An unsecured rod can easily be pulled into the water. Landing these big fish on light tackle can be challenging, and since drum are primarily scent-based feeders, there is little disadvantage in using heavier line and tackle.
A 40-lb braided line with a comparable weight fluorocarbon leader is a good compromise between castability and strength. However, big drum are frequently caught with everything from 8-lb monofiliment to 100-lb braided lines with heavy steel leaders. An effective strategy for fishing from a boat is to select a spot with a sandy bottom or oyster bed where food is plentiful at a time of day with some tidal movement.
Pier or bank fishing should target jetties, structure, or a boat channel near a rapid increase in depth and some tidal movement. Because bigger drum can make a long, strong run right after taking the bait, preventing broken line often requires a relatively light drag setting early in the fight. One researcher reported good success with trotline fishing techniques, which he used to catch a large sample of black drum for tagging and scientific study.
Check locally to see if spearing black drum is legal in your area. As food[ edit ] Black drum are edible, with a moderate flavor and are not oily. Some restaurants in the southern US serve smaller black drum. Big drum can be challenging to clean; removing the large scales is a challenge. Many fishermen prefer to fillet with an electric knife, first removing the fillet from along the backbone, and then using the electric knife to cut the fillet from the skin and scales. Younger fish are often indistinguishable in flavor from red drum.
World Wide Web electronic publication. Movements, Site Fidelity, and Habitat Use. Northeast Gulf Science, 10 2: