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Black Drum

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dave Weissman

Jul 29, 2016
I'm new to spearing, but I went shooting with an outfit in West Plam Beach-Ocean Quest. They just gave me and my buddy guns and we were on our own. Lots of strong current so got behind a wreck to wait and shot a Black Drum. I got occupied untangling my line from the wreck and noticed my buddy ditched me-yeah buddy! As I surfaced a big Barracuda started menacing me-our plan was to shoot a Barracuda for sure; my buddy could've helped with that. Anyway the crew was very critical I had shot the Drum as it was trash, nobody eats them, etc. When I mentioned my displeasure with not being able to get the Barracuda they said Barracuda was trash too and "reef" fish were dangerous to eat due to some parasite or something. Well snapper, grouper are reef fish that are pretty tasty-barracuda is nice too so I'm confused about what they said and Florida DOF&G has a bag limit of 5 for the drum. I don't understand why there'd be a limit if nobody wanted them. Anyway I was so bummed by Capt Sandy and her crew saying how horrible the drum was I didn't even try it. WTF, anybody know if black drum is worth shooting. I'm a fly-fishing guide in Alaska and I'd never dis on somebody like these people did. Like I refused to tip them, but my buddy who ditched me ended up tipping them for me-gosh, thanks so much...
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What they told you was fundamentally correct, but pretty slanted and their interpersonal skills were not what they should have been. Black drum, when large, aren't very good, but certainly can be eaten. Under about 10 lbs they should be fine. They are similar to red drum. The big ones aren't very good either, but blackened redfish is famous restuarant fare and is usually made from big ones. Barracuda taste just fine, but the larger ones are famous for ciguatera, fish poisoning. From personal experience I can tell you, avoid it. However ciguatera is pretty rare and lots of people do eat the big ones ( not me though). Grouper, snapper, hogfish and most other reef fish can rarely give you a dose of ciguatera. I no longer eat grouper over 10 lbs or hogs over 4. Some of the bigger snapper, dogs, cubera, for example can be bad about it, also yellow jacks.
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