Black Drum: Pogonias cromis


  • High arched back
  • 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels
  • Gray or black colored body in adults with the  young have 4 to 6 vertical black bars
  • Cobblestone-like teeth are capable of crushing oysters
  • Large scales


Black drum are an inshore fish common to bays and lagoons.  They are bottom dwellers and often found around oyster beds.  Black drum may also be found offshore.


The largest member of the drum family, black drum spawn nearshore in the winter and early spring.  They feed on oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp and occasionally fish.  Black drum may live to 35 or more years.

Additional Information

State Record: 96 lbs, caught near Fernandina Beach

Fishing Tips and Facts: The vertical bars on juvenile black drum,Sciaenops ocellatus, are somewhat similar to those on sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus; and spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber.

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came into existence on July 1, 1999 - the result of a constitutional amendment approved in the 1998 General Election.

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