Post date: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 12:31
Updated date: 3/31/17
Freshwater Drum or Sheephead - Aplodinotus gruniens

 

The Freshwater Drum is the only freshwater member of the Drum family. Saltwater drums are highly esteemed food and sport fishes, but the Freshwater Drum doesn't have nearly the following or popularity of its freshwater cousins. It's a mystery to me why so few people pursue them. They're large, good-tasting, easy to clean, and simple to catch. You owe it to yourself to cook up a drum or two sometime. They're plentiful. Fillet one out boneless (like a giant crappie), cut the large fillets into manageable pieces, and bake them in a casserole dish in lemon and butter. Delicious. Or bread and fry the chunks and eat them with tartar sauce.  Any recipe for blackened redfish will be spectacular with drum.  The meat has firm texture, like its cousin the redfish.  The Freshwater Drum is also known as Sheephead in our area. Freshwater Drum are able to make curious croaking noises. They can reach weights of over twenty pounds, but drum over five are rare in most places. Drum are often found in rivers, although lake drum are found on occasion - and often grow large. Standard bottom-fishing tactics are highly effective for drum, although they also take artificials such as jigs and flies.  There are a large pair of otoliths, or "lucky stones" in the drum's head which it uses to orient itself in muddy waters.  These stones have an L-shaped mark on them, and were used by native Americans as currency, jewelry, and good luck charms!

 

Other NamesSheepshead, Sheephead, Gaspergou, Gou, Goo, Casse-Burgo, Gray Bass, Grunter, Grinder, Grunting Perch, Midwest Red, Cambellite, Shepherd's Pie, Rock Perch, Thunderpumper, Bubbler, Croaker, Croaking Perch, Humpback Perch, Thunder Bass, Drum

 

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