Black drum: Do you eat the big ones? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 03-23-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default Black drum: Do you eat the big ones?

I've never caught one but generally eat what I catch. Are the big ones good to eat? Is there a slot size like redfish? Will they even be around to catch in June?
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:36 AM   #2
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With the big ones, my decision has been not to eat them because most are full of worms. The slot is no less than 14 and no more than 24. You can keep one over the slot if I'm correct. As to June, there's always a good chance of catching a black drum.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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We keep the ones about 20". Any bigger we normally put them back. They are good grilled, deep fried strips or chunks.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:53 PM   #4
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Talked to a old friend today who had caught a 25 lb. black drum on the Navarre pier recently. He was not pleased with the smell or taste of the fish
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:07 PM   #5
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If I get the big ones off the beach, they go back. The smaller ones in the bay are fair game. Most of them are less then 24in.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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I have caught a couple black drum under 20" that were good deep fried. Then I caught a 33" one that weighed in over 25# last January. I was excited to eat it. But as soon as I started cutting it up I was disappointed. It was not a fun experience. I wore out a couple knives just filleting it, the scales were huge and very big bones. The smell wasn't like any other fish I have cleaned either, not great. By the time I cut out the wormy sections and filleted it, there was far less meat than I could have anticipated, a lot less than it looks at 25#'s for sure. It wasn't a great treat to eat either, if a fish can be termed as tough to eat, this one was. After eating this one, and I did, I decided all others over 20" will be set free by me in the future. That's my experience.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:02 PM   #7
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The big ones are like pets. I catch them in my canal pitch em back and catch em again another day. I just like watching the bigons swim around.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:02 PM   #8
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The smaller ones taste similar to redfish.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:25 PM   #9
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My rule is as long as they have stripes you can eat them. Small ones are great eating.
The big ones are just gross. There's a reason they are called big uglies. Fun to sight cast.
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