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Black And Red Drum

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Have you ever been fishing before? Not fishing based on lucky casts with worms or a bobber but fishing based on knowledge of what the fish do under the waves. I've been interested in fishing since the beginning of my time here on earth. Fish fascinate me, and catching them on rod and reel excites my inner primal being. I chose this topic to get into the mind of the fish I aim to catch. I already know much about my quarry. I know that Red Drum come in from the ocean to spawn in salt water back bays. I know that Black Drum eat stuff off the ocean bottom. I also know that Red Drum get caught by anglers during their search of spawning territory. These are the few facts I know about Drum. I want to learn much more. I want to learn enough to be called Ð''Ryan the Drum slayer.' I wonder where drum go while in open ocean? I wonder where Drum spawn and why they spawn there? I wonder how big the biggest Drum ever caught is? These questions and many more encircle my head. I hope in reaching up and snatching a circling question, then answering it, I can become the greatest fisherman in the world.

What is the scientific name of the Red and Black Drums?

Well this answer is easy. The Red Drum's scientific species name is Sciaenops ocellatus.(Red Drum in Texas). The Black Drum's scientific species name is Pogonias cromis. (Black Drum in Texas).

Where exactly do the fish live?

The Black Drum is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts coasts to Southern Floridian coasts. The Black Drum is found across the Gulf of Mexico an into North Mexican shores. The Black Drum rarely is found North of New Jersey (Schaltz, Ken "Black Drum").

Red Drum are found in the western Atlantic Ocean. They inhabit the coastal waters from the gulf of Maine to the Florida Keys and all of the gulf coasts to Northern Mexico. (Schaltz "Red Drum"). The Red drum are an estuarine-dependent fish that morphs into an oceanic fish later on in life. It can be found in brackish water or saltwater. It can be swimming above sand, mud, or weeds. It is found in weeds of shallow inlets, bays, tidal passes, bayous, and estuaries (Schaltz "Red Drum"). Why the drum head out of their sheltered bays and into the ocean is a mystery. What is known is that Red Drum grow up in Estuary waters. They grow fairly swiftly and around age four weighing ten to fifteen pounds they leave the shallow waters for the open ocean of either the Atlantic or Gulf. (McNally, Bob).

Why do Black and Red Drum live where they do?

It is not known why Red Drum head out into the ocean. It is a mystery to scientists. Juveniles are routinely caught offshore. This defies what some scientists believe to be true. Thus, when it comes to explaining why Red Drum live where they do scientists know about as much as the fishermen who catch Red Drum in different areas (Moore, Chester).

What exactly do Black and Red Drum eat?

The Red drum eats a multitude of things. It is somewhat like me. It enjoys the finer things, specifically crab. As a young pup, Juvenile Red drum develop a taste for small crabs, shrimp, and marine worms. As the Red drum matures he moves on to larger more filling morsel. He preys on larger crab, shrimp, and fish (Moore).

Now the Black drum, like his brother, has very good taste in seafood. He, as a young pup, likes to slurp up marine worms, shrimp, small crab, and small fish. Once Mr. Black drum gets older he chows down on Blue crabs, Shredder crabs, shrimps, oysters, and squid (Rod and, Inc)

How do Black Drum and Red Drum eat?

The Red Drum eat with their mouths like most normal fish. They don't have much for tongues and taste buds but that's ok because there brains are too small to grasp the concept of tastiness. The Red drum feed in two noticeably different patterns. The first method of nourishment is for the Red drum to hide behind structure such as weeds, wrecks, downed trees, reefs, and holes, then when a baitfish swims past the Red drum jump out and ambush the poor critter. Also Red drum gather in schools near surf or reefs. The school of Red drum feed on other fish and all the while having some protection from predators (Red Drum). The second way drum eat is by using their down turned mouths to vacuum food up off the bottom of the sea. If these feeding drum are in shallow water, their tails can sometimes be seen protruding out of the surface of the water (Red Drum).

Now Black drum feed a little bit differently. They rarely use the ambush tactic of prey catching. They more prefer the easier, maybe even lazier way of feeding. The Black drum swim the bottom of the sea with their heads slightly lowered thus dragging their barbells over possible food items (Horst, Jerald). Barbells are whiskers that protrude out of the under side of a drums mouth. Now when these barbells encounter a food item the drum stops swimming and uses the vacuum technique, mentioned earlier, to suck the morsel up. The vacuum suction is created by the Drum's gill covers and mouth. Once the morsel is in the Black drum's mouth the fish uses its pharyngeal teeth to crush the morsel making it edible. Pharyngeal teeth are rough abrasive teeth like chompers located in the Black drum's throat. When in the process of chomping, little bits of shell fall out of the Black drum's gills. Once the Black drum is done grinding he spits out the shells of the morsel and swallows the nourishing part (Horst, Jerald).

When and Where to Black and Red drum spawn?

The Black drum get their name, from the drumming sound the males make during spawning time. The males make drumming sounds to attract females. The Black drum begin spawning when the water gets to 57-68*F (Fisheries Service/Maryland DNR.). In the south the water usually achieves this temp around January. Then as the water temps rise the Black drum spawn over a 14 week period from January to April (Horst). The sites of Black drum spawning action are directly related to the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water but all spots are a type of pass or channel. Once a spot is chosen a female spawns twenty to thirty times. The spawned eggs drift into the coastal inlets by the force of the tides rushing in or out to sea by that same force. The little Black drum eventually hatch and, if not already in a backwater bay, are carried by tidal currents into a bay. Once in the bay the baby Black drum grow up in marshes (Horst). The Black drums in the north do their business at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay or at the mouth of other coastal inlets



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