How Old Is Your Black Drum

(April 2022) … We all like catching big fish, but sometimes that big fish could be older than the angler. Letting these fish go to help increase breeding stocks is the main bonus, not eating a thirty year old fish is the other. People would be surprised just how old some of these fish get. Black Drum are starting to hit in the surf in Delaware finally and they have been for a little while south of us in Maryland and Virginia.

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Black drum in the surf … Suzanne Martin This is about the largest I would eat it barely still has the stripes.

I like to eat the smaller “puppy” drum at 16 to 28 inches, or just to the point they have lost their stripes. Not just for the fact that by letting the big drum go you are helping keep the breeder stocks up, but many large drum have worms. Not all of them do, and the worms are mostly in the tail meat area. Yeah, nope.
Not to mention that sixty pound plus drum is about thirty years old. Eeeeew, don’t think so, that has been marinating in our waters for a long time. Big black drum meat looks like a bland colored side of beef.

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Puppy drum are still hot in the surf at Dewey Beach … Matt Adams

Use clams or sand fleas to target black drum. The sand fleas are in the surf and the drum are foraging for them, as well as any clams they can find to crush and eat. Fishbites Sand Flea and Clam formulas do well for black drum and red drum.
DS Custom Tackle Drum Rigs are perfect, keeps the bait close to the bottom where drum feed. In the late summer we catch a ton of the puppy drum in the surf on fishbites or bloodworms using top and bottom rigs. Just fun action and if you let the big drum run, we will have more smaller drum to eat.

Fish On!
Rich King

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Black Drum age chart for Delaware

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