“Red and Black” Drum

Eric Henson 

Drum is probably one the most fun species in our area to target! There are many different “drum” species here in SW Florida but, my two favorites are the “Red and Black” Drum. Both species can be caught in a lot of the same places, using a lot of the same techniques, and even have some similar characteristics… But they are two completely different fish. The number one trait they both have that makes them a part of the drum species is their ability to make croaking sounds. They use these low drum-like sounds to communicate in cloudy waters and males especially use this during the spawning season. I have fished my entire life and it is the only species of fish that I’ve ever heard communicating underwater while I’m out of the water above them. It is truly a remarkable phenomenon! Red Drum aka “redfish” are generally a bronze color with reddish pectoral fins, and they usually have one or more spots towards their tail throughout most of their lives. Black Drum in their juvenile state, start out grayish with black and white vertical stripes along their body. Then as they mature they lose their stripes and become more of a solid silver/grayish color with darker fins. Another very familiar trait are their downward shaped mouths and crushers in the back of their throats. This makes them primarily feed in the middle of the water column and crushers play a huge role in breaking up many different types of crustaceans like shrimp, crabs, oysters, etc. but this isn’t their only meal ticket! They are optimistic and will eat just about anything that can fit in their mouth including small bait fish, pinfish, mullet. My favorite way to target them is with artificial lures and flies mimicking their food source at different times of the year. You can find them in a wide variety of places from the shallows to deep structures, and from salt to freshwater! They also tend to be one of our hardest fighting fish making them one of my absolute favorite fish to target!


Please enjoy our waters BUT, PLEASE try and do your part in taking care of our environment. Consider picking up trash if you see it or at the very least you leave the waters the same as when you started. :) Thank you so much for all your efforts and I look forward to catching you out on the H20! Tight lines and Tight knots to everyone!

Eric Henson is the owner of Casting Kayaks LLC. a guided kayak fishing company out of Sarasota Florida.  He specializes in inshore light tackle or fly fishing from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor. To book a guided fishing trip with Eric check out his website www.CastingKayaks.com or give him a call at 941-504-134