Description: 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.
Similar Fish: The vertical bars on juvenile black drum are somewhat similar to those on sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus; spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber; red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus.
Where found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster bed; also OFFSHORE.
Size: common to 30 pounds.
*Florida Record: 93 lbs.
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.
* The Florida records quoted are from the Department of Environmental Protection's printed publication, Fishing Lines and are not necessarily the most current ones. The records are provided as only as a benchmark.
Min. Size Limits: Not less than 14" not more than 24"
Closed Seasons: None.
Daily Rec. Bag Limit: 5 per person per day.
Remarks: May Possess one over 24".