Black Drum

A close cousin to the redfish, the black drum is often harvested recreationally for its exceptional taste. It ranges in color from silver in the deep Gulf waters to a dark black in shallower muddy estuaries. The fish is recognized by its 12-13 “whiskers” below its lower jaw, and by the vertical stripes down its back which fade as the fish age. Since oysters are a main food source for the black drum, they have teeth at the back of their throat which are used for crushing. 

  • Average Size: 5-30 pounds, although it is not uncommon to catch a black drum weighing more than 50 pounds.
  • Habitat: The black drum can be found from brackish waters to nearshore waters of the Gulf. They tend to aggregate around structures like oyster reefs. 
  • Limits: Recreational fishermen in Louisiana may take 5 black drum per day ranging from 16-27 inches in total length with no more than one above 27 inches.