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I caught some Black Drum today. Regs say I can keep one over slot. So I did. 38" and 40# plus (the scale limited out at 40#). I get home and right in front of the ladies one guy says I should have put it back. Reason he gave is the fish is so full of worms we won't be able to eat it. I question his comments and I will be devastated to think I kept a fish I should have put back.

So. Did I just do something unethical? Will I be able to get good meat from the fish. They will be on ice until I can get to them in the morning.

Thanks.
 

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Neptune calls me "Daddy"
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In a black drum they are harmless. Mostly water

They look likes a little white worm or series of worms.



Take them out with a knife or cook them up.

There's all kinds of stuff in beef, chicken, pork and fish that go away when you cook them.

That's why why you wash your hands when you handle raw meat, just in case you touch raw veggies, your nose, etc.



Jim
 

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I don't worry about worms in fish. The gator trout over here are full of worms. Just pretend you didn't see them and cook everything like normal.

I ate my first black drum a couple weeks ago, and it was fine table fare. Don't listen to randoms at the boat launch. He probably just got finished crashing his boat into the tailgate of his truck.
 

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The Tourist
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Worms are no big deal, just not appealing to look at. Clean your fish in the back away from the ladies and cook it up.

You might find some large sacks in the meat. About 1/3" diameter and a couple inches long. Still no big deal, they deflate when cooked or you can cut them out. Most of the parasites in fish cannot live in the human body. There is a hefty list of them that can, but pork is my main concern when talking about parasites.
 

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A couple winters ago we got into some big black drums while surf fishing. We each kept one oversized fish. I will never do so again. They were without a doubt the wormiest fish I have ever seen. The back 1/3 of the fillets had so many worms it was not worth cooking - more worms than meat. The rest of the fillet wasn't that great. This was the case on all three that size that were cleaned.

You didn't do anything wrong or unethical. Your fish may not be all that wormy. I won't bother keeping large black drum again. Just the same as I have cleaned a 48" red drum from AL. It was nowhere near as good as a slot red. Won't do that again either.

Please report back after you clean the fish and let us know what you find.
 

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Nothing wrong with keeping a legal fish but like others have said I don't keep any the are over slot myself. The worms will not harm u at all if u can get over knowing they are in the fish many fish have them and if just a couple I just pull them out and continue on the the next fish
 

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Nothing illegal. I wouldnt have kept it because I think they are even worse table fare than red fish and red fish IMO opinion arent that great. If its full of worms or it isnt that good, youve learned your lesson and wont keep one again. Maybe donate the fish to the NWF Wildlife Refuge if you dont want to eat it and if it will make you feel better, it wont go to waste over there.
 

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black drum

eat them all the time they are one of my favorites in fact. in the NC\VA area they are a prized fish down here not so much. The worms are nothing to worry about they are mainly in the tail and or belly meat so its not the prime cut anyway. Red grouper or often full of worms and you never hear anyone complain about them on here. The black drum was served for years as a main dish at commanders palace on top of the emerald grand if that tells you anything about the quality of the meat. The Cajuns have replaced blackened redfish in restaurants with black drum in New Orleans. This is just another fish that gets a bad rap for being unattractive. I personally get a kick out of the amberjack crowd I eat it smoked in fish dip or feed it to the stray cats in the neighborhood back home no one ate them down here people fight over them
 

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I caught my first black drum over 18 inches yesterday, this one was over 30" and over 25#. I was pretty excited to have such a big fish, and equally excited to have all that meat to try different recipes. As it turns out, there was less meat than I expected once I filleted it and I found worms in the tail section of the meat. I removed the worms after filleting it and then did as we used to do with large cod that were often wormy, I put the fillets on a large pan on put some salt on the meat and let them sit in the fridge over night. After catching this large fish, I assumed the meat would be very similar to cod, but when I filleted it I found it to be much darker meat, with more blood. The meat was tougher to fillet as well. As I cleaned this fish I was less excited about the meals it would make, but I have come this far and will go ahead with my plans to deep fry some and chowder the rest. I have only caught two black drum prior to this one, I caught a couple that were about 16-18 inches down in Naples a couple years ago. Those were excellent in the deep fryer.
 

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Worms are in Reds/Blacks/AJ's/Trout....I have thrown a fish back when theworms are soooo bad they are sticking out the skin!!! But fried up it'll all eat!
 

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Smaller black drum are really good, better than redfish IMO. Bigger ones have coarse flesh (like big redfish) and aren't as good to me. I'll keep a 5 to 7 lb black drum any day! I prefer them fried, but have bronzed and blackend them too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for the replies. I'm on my way out to clean fish. And I'm going to enjoy frying it up.

That my be the last "over slot" I keep. Being the biggest fish I've caught (in, well, about 70 years of fishing) I "just had" to bring this one home.

Thanks again.
 

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Cut the worms out, trim all the dark red off and it will be fine, if you want to go an extra step then soak the filets in ice/salt water.

If the filets are thick you may want to split them, depending on how you plan to cook them.

Too late now, but it is important to put your fish on ice as soon as you catch.
 

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Good luck steveCal, let us know how you make out cleaning and cooking. I will do the same.

I couldn't fit mine in my cooler to ice it down but I had it home and filleted in about an hour anyway. I then refridgerated it over night with salt on it, will try some in the deep fryer tonight.
 

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Good luck steveCal, let us know how you make out cleaning and cooking. I will do the same.

I couldn't fit mine in my cooler to ice it down but I had it home and filleted in about an hour anyway. I then refridgerated it over night with salt on it, will try some in the deep fryer tonight.
O.K. Soupy. I got it butchered. And I mean the first side looked butchered. First one I have cleaned. Second side was a little better. That was an experience I AM NOT going to repeat. But those are some thick slabs of meat. I feel I lost a lot to the critters. They were in the lower rear section of the tail meat. Nasty looking things.

A friend suggested salting the slabs and leaving in the refrigerator overnight. Then rince in the morning and leave in the refrigerator until I cook it tomorrow night. As of now I plan to bread and fry it. Not much recourse since I don't have a deep fryer yet.

Will let ya'll know how it tastes tomorrow night. Have company coming for supper.:D

By the way. I saved the skin for recapping tractor tires.
 
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