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Mosquito Lagoon Black Drum

Mosquito Lagoon's Lumbering Shallow Water Giants

Wednesday August 23, 2017

Not to be mistaken for red drum or puppy drum, the "Black Drum" is a less preditory cousin of the Mosquito Lagoon's popular redfish. There's striking differences for these related species and some similarities in both looks and habits, but both can be preditory and scavengers when they want to.

Black drum have a taller or "deeper" body than the red drum and also grow significantly larger. Blacks tend to feed on crustaceans exclusively (but not soley) and don't tend to chase their food with as much enthusiasm. Once hooked their game on the end of the line is slower but still powerful than redfish. A black drum's feeding habits often involve grazing for anything easily available on the bottom from live and dead crabs, shrimp and finfish. If moved to quickly a drum often resorts to a more lazy and slower pursuit and loss of prey. It's no matter, a black drum makes up for it's lack of energy with it's willingness to eat almost anything opportunity presents.

When fishing for black drum great success has been proven with both live and dead shrimp or broken-cracked crabs. Don't discount finfish when crustaceans aren't available, they often produce when cut up.

If you're resorting to artificial lures try scented jigs and jerkbaits like gulps and even try to simply let it sit on the bottom as this method often works wonders on black drum. Fly fisherman have had great luck with a variety of clousers in darker colors.

Drum can be caught both inshore and offshore around Florida's east coast. The black drum is close to it's cousin the red drum but it's feeding habits are much less predatory as it's often too lazy to chase baitfish unless it has an easy chance. Typically the black drum is more cumbersome and feeds on opportunities dead crustacean and mollusk. They will bight on live crabs and shrimp and occasionally take live fin fish if they're feeling frisky, but more often than not the black drum will not expend the energy to chase too far and fast.

All our lagoon systems on the east coast of Florida host black drum including the Indian, Banana and Mosquito Lagoons. Schools of black drum are often seen meandering the shallow grass flats with November being some of the best times to seek them them out. Best way to fish for these drum are with dead or live baits and they often take flies if presented well.

High arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels; gray or black colored body in adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobblestone-like teeth capable of crushing oysters; scales large.

INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE near wrecks and beaches.

Remarks

Largest member of the drum family; spawns NEARSHORE in winter and early spring; feeds on oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years.

Orlando Area Black Drum

Regulations

Not less than 14" or more than 24". Five per harvester per day. May possess 1 over 24"

State Record

93 lbs.

Black Drum in the Mosquito Lagoon

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 02 2016 13:17:31.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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