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Black Drum

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
16 inch minimum (total length)
Daily Limit / Person
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Black Drum are found in estuarine and near shore coastal waters.

They feed on clams, oysters, mussels, and crabs.
General Description
Black Drum are gray to black colored with a high arched back.

They have 10 to14 chin barbels ("whiskers").
Did You Know?
Black Drum get their name from the sound they often make when caught by an angler. The drumming sound is made by vibrating their swim bladder using special muscles.

The chin barbels ("whiskers") have taste buds that they use to detect bottom-dwelling food items.

Juveniles Black Drum are gray with four to five distinctive black vertical bars (stripes) on their sides. The bars disappear with age.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Black Drum are most often caught fishing at night with fresh clams on bottom rigs.
Typical Sizes Caught
Black Drum are commonly caught in the range of 30 to 40 inches in length by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 45 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 39 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 50 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 37.5 pounds minimum
Delaware State Record
115 pounds
Kenneth Smith