Populations of black drum are more or less holding steady, though there isn’t a ton of research available on this fish. In those cases, the regional management councils work conservatively to maintain strong stock levels. Landings of black drum are relatively small, so it stays local – it’s a great way to get a regional favorite on the menu and support local fishermen.
Identification & Biology: The black drum is a chunky fish with chin whiskers under the lower jaw. Largest member of the drum family; spawns near shore in winter and early spring; feeds on oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years.
Range & Habitat: Black drum can be found along the Atlantic Coast from New York south through the Gulf states to Mexico. It is abundant in Texas, and is found in all bay and inshore Gulf waters.
Flavor profile: firm moist flesh, large flake, mild sweet flavor
Suitable sub: Snapper or other drum
Recommended Preparation: baked, broiled or fried