Freshwater Drum Freshwater drum are silver-gray in with a down facing mouth. They are deep bodied with a round tail. Except for color, they resemble the red drum. The fish is deep-bodied and equipped with a long dorsal fin divided into two sections. The dorsal fin usually has 10 spines and 29-32 rays. Freshwater drum are silvery in color and lack the distinctive tail fin spot of red drum.
Drum is endemic to North America and one of the wider ranging species. They have a swim bladder which is able to produce sound and its use is thought to have to do with spawning. The drum's otoliths are large and have been used for jewelry and luck charms.
Drum typically spawn in April or May and occurs in open water, where the eggs float until they hatch. They feed primarily on fish, crayfish, and immature insects. Their heavy throat-teeth also allow them to consume mollusks, also. Primarily active at night, drum form large schools feeding shallow water. Although, considered a rough fish by many anglers, it has a succulent flesh.
Freshwater Drum in Texas
Description Aplodinotus is Greek for "single back", and grunniens is Latin for "grunting", referring to the fact that the species may be observed (or felt) making "grunting" sounds. Except for color, freshwater drum resembles its marine relative the red drum. The fish is deep-bodied and equipped with a long dorsal fin divided into two sections. The dorsal fin usually has 10 spines and 29-32 rays. Freshwater drum are silvery in color and lack the distinctive tail fin spot of red drum.
In Texas freshwater drum may spawn in April or May. Spawning seems to occur in open water. The eggs float until they hatch. Freshwater drum appear to be basically benthic, spending most of their time at or near the bottom. They feed primarily on fish, crayfish, and immature insects, often by rooting around in the substrate or moving rocks to dislodge their prey. The presence of heavy throat-teeth also allows them to consume mollusks to a certain extent. In Lake Erie, they have been found feeding on zebra mussels (although not nearly enough to control the zebra mussel population).
In Texas freshwater drum are ubiquitous exclusive of the Panhandle.
Although freshwater drum is considered a rough fish by many anglers, it is prized as a food fish in some areas. Drum are also sought after as bait for other species. In Texas the rod and reel record exceeds 30 pounds, and the trotline record is 55 pounds.