What is Black Drum Fish?

The black drum fish is a large fish found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the most sought-after sportfish because of its size and challenging fight when hooked.

Black drums are also popular with commercial fishermen who harvest them for their meaty white flesh.

Let’s take a look at what makes this species so unique.

Physical Characteristics

The black drum fish has a characteristic long, oval body, with a large head and chin barbels that are used for finding food. In coloration, it can range from olive green and silvery gray to almost black.

Its dorsal fin spans nearly the entire length of its back, while its tail fin is fan-shaped. Depending on their age and location, these fish can grow up to 5 feet in length and weigh up to 100 pounds!

Habitat and Migration Patterns

Black drum prefer shallow waters close to shore or estuaries with sandy bottoms where they can find crabs and shellfish. They migrate to deeper waters during the winter months but tend not to travel very far from their home ranges.

Juveniles will school together in shallow water during summer months before moving into deeper water during winter months when temperatures drop or storms arise.

Feeding Habits

Black drums feed mainly on crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, clams, mussels, and oysters as well as smaller fish like mullet or menhaden.

They use their long chin barbels to help locate food on the bottom of bodies of water. Because they are bottom feeders they tend to stay in areas where there is an abundance of food sources available.

As they mature they may switch up their diet slightly by eating more small fish than crustaceans depending on what’s available in their habitat at any given time.


The black drum is an important part of our ecosystems both for recreational fishing enthusiasts and commercial fishermen alike which makes understanding its habits even more important for conservation efforts as well as effective angling techniques for those hoping to land one during a fishing trip!

With its large size, distinctive shape, and wide range throughout coastal areas, it’s easy to see why this fish has become so popular among both anglers and seafood lovers alike!

Joshua Hickman

Joshua has a vast knowledge of different types of fish and how to catch them, and he loves sharing this information with others. When he's not writing or fishing, Joshua enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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