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.  

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

They are bottom feeders and clam is usually the best baits for them, but they have been caught on bloodworms, squid, crab and other shellfish.  The juveniles or puppy drum will frequently hit the smaller or lesser baits (squid, bloodworms, soft crab, peeler crab, and fishbites)  They will show up in Delaware in the early summer and can be found throughout the Delaware Bay, surf, and inland bays.

Season and Creel limits for Delaware … 2015

Black drum

All year

16 inches



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