Freshwater Drum get's NO Respect

Freshwater Drum NO Respect; Laterally compressed, silver, deep bodied fish. Has a long dorsal fin relative to its total length containing a deep notch.




Features and behaviors of Freshwater Drum

Freshwater Drum NO Respect

Freshwater Drum NO Respect; Laterally compressed, silver, deep bodied fish. Has a long dorsal fin relative to its total length containing a deep notch. Mouth is sub-terminal with a blunt rounded snout. Anal fin has seven soft rays and two spines, with the first being much shorter than the second. Dorsal fin usually has 10 spines and 29 to 32 rays. Possesses 20 to 24 gill rakers. A unique feature of these fish is that the lateral line extends into their rounded caudal fin. Scales are ctenoid and the number of scales on the lateral line ranges from 49 to 53. Except for general coloration and the absence of a dark spot on the caudal fin, this species closely resembles its saltwater relative, the Red Drum.

A deep-bodied fish with a noticeably notched dorsal fin, freshwater drum range in color from bright silver to a coppery brown depending on water conditions in their habitat.

Freshwater Drum NO Respect

Freshwater Drum NO Respect

Freshwater drum are deep-bodied, silvery fish with long dorsal fins divided into two distinct parts. They have a distinctive humpback appearance because the head and body slope up from the snout to the dorsal fin. In addition, these freshwater fish have a visible lateral line on their side used for detecting vibration and pressure. The lateral line on a drum fish extends to the end of its tail, which is further than most fish species.

“One thing that I think is really neat about them is they have the really big caudal fin…And the pectoral fins are really long and pointed…and they hold them out, kind of like wings when they’re just sort of drifting through the shallows. So they have a really elegant method of swimming that I think is just really notable with them.”


Freshwater drum feed on prey at all hours of the night. They peruse the bottom in schools in search of many different items. They generally root around and move rocks and other substrates to flush their prey. Adults feed primarily on aquatic insects such as mayflies, small fish (in particular shad and immature drum and mollusks.


Freshwater drum inhabit backwaters and areas of slack current in a wide range of habitats including deep pools in medium to large rivers and large, deep to shallow lacustrine environments. They are a benthic fish that particularly like silty to rocky substrates


Freshwater drums aren’t picky eaters, especially when it comes to any live bait. Bottom fishing is the best method, using bottom bouncing nightcrawlers; another effective technique is bobber fishing with nightcrawlers, shad, crickets, and shiners. Some artificial fishing lures that may be produced are jerk baits, spoons, especially gold dimpled or solid silver spoons, and lead head jigs. In general, drums bite numerous different lures and baits, so there are many options to choose from based on your preferred style; using the seasons to decide which method to use is often best. They are known to hit aggressively, fighting as hard as big largemouth bass when hooked.

When targeting freshwater drum, the top tips from the experts are to focus on water depth, look for structure, find baitfish, fish along with strong currents for big fish, fish around sunset and sunrise, and try walleye jigs and bass lures. A lot of the characteristics are similar to crappie.

back to top