Can You Eat a Black Drum? (Shocking Truth!)

Black drums are saltwater fish that normally weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds. They are the largest fish in the drum family, and some have even grown to weigh up to 90 lbs. That’s one huge fish! A 90 lb fish would feed a lot of people. 

A lot of new anglers are curious about this massive fish. Can you eat a black drum? Yes, you can eat a black drum. They are an edible saltwater fish. Before you get too excited thinking that you can catch a 90-pound fish to feed your family for weeks, there are a few things you should know.

First of, most experienced anglers who have eaten their fair share of fish caught locally will say that the small black drums are better quality food. A rule of thumb is to throw the fish back if it weighs more than 20 pounds. 

Black drums don’t replicate or grow as fast as some other types of fish that are better to feed off of, so many anglers will put larger black drums back in the water. Another reason that most people prefer not to eat bigger black drum is because they are full of worms.

Is it Safe to Eat a Black Drum with Worms?

Most black drum fish are at risk of containing worms. These worms are referred to as spaghetti worms and usually use saltwater fish as host, this includes black drums. They are white in color and usually between 1 to 3 inches in length. 

Black drum fish typically host 5 to 15 worms at a time, which can usually be found around the tail. They can live for nearly 7 years too. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?

All of this may sound disgusting, but the worms don’t bother humans. They don’t even affect the quality of the fish meat. Spaghetti worms are actually very easy to remove. Since they are larger in size it is easy to spot them. All you have to do to remove them is to grab the worm between the knife and your thumb and gently pull it out. 

After a few tries, it becomes really easy. If you miss a worm or two it’s no big deal. A lot of anglers don’t even bother to remove the worms. This isn’t because they are lazy, when the fish gets cooked the worms are unnoticeable. They have no taste to affect the flavor of your fish meat. It’s just extra protein, right?

To put all of your worries aside about the issue, the heat from cooking the fish completely kills the worm. Not a single person has been recorded to date from falling ill due to eating a spaghetti worm. So go ahead and enjoy that delicious black drum you caught!

What Does Black Drum Taste Like?

Black drums have a mild flavor, making it a more tolerable fish for people who don’t enjoy a strong fish taste. A lot of people notice a slight sweetness to the meat as well. The flesh of the fish is larger and firm making it easy to use in various recipes. The flakes are nice and moist too.

For saltwater fish, the black drum can be one of the better fish to eat. What many people like the most is that the fish doesn’t have any oily taste to it. A lot of people enjoy black drum fish fried with light seasoning, but it isn’t limited to being cooked only that way.

Check out our other article to learn How to Catch Black Drum.

How to Clean a Black Drum

If you have recently caught a black drum then you are probably very excited to prepare this fish for dinner tonight. Before any cooking can happen you will need to clean the fish. This is probably most people’s least favorite part, but if you want to enjoy the meat you need to do some work.

It’s best to clean your fish outside because things get a bit messy. Start off by finding something to lay your fish on, such as cardboard or a piece of spare plywood. You can use your garden hose to start scaling the fish. 

You will need to locate the gills of the fish next. Once you do, start to cut from behind the gills and work your way down to the dorsal fin. Then you need to cut from the top down and then around all of the ribs. Then you should lift the fillet and cut it free.

Now that you have that nice meaty fillet, lay it down flat on your surface. When you cut the meat, start at the skin. If you would like the meat cut up into fish steaks you should do so at this time. 

Once you’ve done that, wash off all of the black drum meat. When it’s clean you can put it in bags and put it in the fridge or on ice right away. If you don’t intend to eat the fish meat within 2 days you should move it to the freezer. 

How to Eat Black Drum Fish

When you catch and clean a black drum you have a lot of fish meat to work with. While pan-fried and blackened seem to be the two most common ways to eat this fish, there are plenty of other ways you can get creative with your fish meat to make a delicious meal. Here are a few other meals you can use black drum in:

  • Pasta
  • Fish Tacos
  • Chowder
  • Sandwiches
  • Creole

The next black drum you catch could be turned into a tasty meal!

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