English: Black Drum, sea drum, gray drum, striped drum, banded drum, oyster cracker.
Spanish: Corvinon negro, corbina, corvina negro, corvina, corvina roncador.
The black drum is a chunky, high-backed fish with many barbels or whiskers under the lower jaw. Younger fish have four or five dark vertical bars on their sides but these disappear with age. The bellies of older fish are white but coloration of backs and sides can vary greatly. Fish from Gulf waters frequently lack color and are light gray or silvery. Those living in muddy bay waters have dark gray or bronze-colored backs and sides. Some are solid silvery gray or jet black.
A length of six inches is reached in the first year, 12 inches the second and 16 inches the third. Increases of about two inches per year occur after that. The largest black drum on record weighed 146 pounds, but most bull drum caught weigh 30 to 40 pounds.
Black drum fishing can be enjoyed by anyone at almost any time. It is a relaxing outing compared with other types of fishing which require experience, expensive tackle, boats and related equipment. Anyone can catch a drum, whatever their skills or finances. Tackle can be rod and reel, trotline, hand line or cane pole, and bait is inexpensive. Fishing can be done from piers or from the bank and the entire family can join in.
Black drum are rarely taken on artificial baits since most feeding is done by feel and smell. Cut fish, squid and shrimp are used, with peeled shrimp tails (preferably ripe and smelly) the most popular. Since feeding is done on the bottom, the basic technique is simple - put a baited hook on the bottom and wait for the drum to swallow it.
The tackle to be used depends on the size of the fish present. For small drum, light tackle is more sporting but for 40-pounders, heavy rods with plenty of backbone are needed. Use a strong single hook with line and leader of appropriate strength. For more sport, try light tackle using a single drop with no sinker, allowing the bait to move along the bottom with the current. If the bait will not sink, a few split shot on the leader will help. The absence of weight increases the fight of the fish. A conventional bottom rig with sinker and one or more drops with single hooks is most common for bank and surf fishing or for fishing from an anchored boat.
Drum will often "mouth" the bait for some time before swallowing it, so anglers must wait until the fish moves off with the bait, then jerk the rod tip up to set the hookAdd Your Photo!