Black Drum (Pogonias cromis )

Black Drum, puppy drum
Black Drum

Black Drum   (Pogonias cromis )

Description …

Black drum are bronze, grayish, copper back fading to a light colored belly.  Puppy drum (juveniles) have vertical dark stripes they are similar to sheepshead, and these stripes fade in adults.  Their high arched back gives them an appearance of having a hump.
Their teeth are rounded and they have powerful jaws (with crusher plates) capable of crushing oysters. clams, and other shellfish.  Their size can range upwards of 100 pounds, but the adults will average in the 70 pound range.  They have 10 to 14 barbels under the chin,  The caudal fin or tail is square, and the pectoral fins are pointed.  These fish can be heard at night under the water by a distinct sound.  These tones are between 100 Hz and 500 Hz when performing mating calls.  The “drumming sound, can be felt and heard in a boat by anglers.   How Old Is Your Black Drum

black drum, delaware, sussex county, beach plum island state park, delaware bay
Corby Fulton took off the skunk with this big black drum at Beach Plum Island State Park 2016

Black Drum are bottom feeders and clam is usually the best baits for them, but they have been caught on bloodworms, squid, crab and other shellfish, especially sand fleas, their second favorite target in the surf.  Bay fishing form boats is best with clams.  
The juveniles or “puppy” drum will frequently hit the smaller or “lesser” baits (squid, bloodworms, soft crab, peeler crab, and fishbites)  The migratory black drum run will show up in Delaware in the early spring (mid April usually) and can be caught throughout the Delaware Bay, surf, and inland bays

Season and Creel limits for Delaware … 2022

Black drum

All year

16 inches



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