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Readers Respond: Are Freshwater Drum Good To Eat?

Responses: 31

By

Drum?? You Betcha!

I will take drum over any other fish, anyday! I live in a small town right on the missouri river and we catch them by the sackful, we coat them in flour and deep fry them but do not overcook them or they will be a little tough, Ive heard tell of people parboiling them then wrapping them in foil packets with butter and a dash of cookies seasoning and cooking them on the grill, they call it poor mans lobster, this fish cant be beat!!!
—Guest Drum Runner

eat emup

Ive filleted a few of those and I shave off that layer of red bloodmeat close to the skin...That red meat seems to kinda give it a muddy taste but the white meat is fine..
—andyjacqmain

Best Tasting Fish!

Freshwater drum is perhaps one of the best tasting fish I have ever eaten and the only fish I can get my wife to eat since she doesn't like strong tasting fish like catfish etc. The fish fillets have no strong flavor what so ever.
—Guest brownce63

Same here, they tasted great!

we had caught a mess at lake amistad in texas, and I could not believe they call this a trash fish
—Guest Mark Morin

drum are good

I just had some from the Rock river near Rockford Il. I prepared them in a light flour batter and deep fried them. Quite good; my wife agreed. These are definately not a rough fish. They fileted quite easily. Not sure why some drum taste bad but the same goes for catfish, sometimes they are good and sometimes not.
—Guest keakman

My experience with drum

I have found that not all drum are tough. I've caught several the same size out of the Mississippi River and some were tough and some not. Granted their not crappie or bluegill, but then I like fish.
—Guest Frank W.

Diner table

I live in central Indiana and have been fishing the Wabash river for Drum for about 10 years now. I use ultra light equiptment for them and the fight is fantastic. Have eaten them pan fried for years and find them very good. Just cleaned 2 and Im going to try smoking them and seeing what thats like.
—Guest Razor

You have got to be kidding me

Fresh water drum are identical to saltwater drum they taste just like black drum or red fish they feed mostly on crawl fish minnows and anyone that thinks there trash fish probably eats catfish yuck now thats a trash fish...
—Guest Rex pollock

Not So Good

I ate my first freshwater drum about two weeks ago, and my impression was not favorable. This one was about 12 lbs. and was caught in a large lake in Arkansas. While the flavor was okay, the fillets (breaded and fried in a skillet) turned out tough and chewy. Did we do something wrong? Maybe cook them too long?
—Guest David

Are Drum Good To Eat?

Drum from the cold water streams of Missouri are great to eat. We used crawfish tails for bait or small whole crawfish.Great! Drum from the Mississippi river here in Iowa aren't too godd. They get mushy in summer and full of paristie worms.
—Guest Johnnie Crain

hell yeah

I have caught a 32' 3/4"fresh water drum and it was white and tasty about the best I have ever eaten, here in south texas,edinburg to be exact we catch them with live crawfish or grass shrimp and they bite as quick as you cast for it, so that tells me they have a very good diet and I also know they eat bass eggs just like crawfish so we got very good eaten drum unlike lake earie so I wonder what the hell do they eat over there that makes them bad tasting, I highly doubt that since I lived in michigan and used to catch them there too and they were just as good, so whoever said they werebad tasting must not like fish at all!!!!!!
—Guest raymundo

hell yeah

I have caught a 32' 3/4"fresh water drum and it was white and tasty about the best I have ever eaten, here in south texas,edinburg to be exact we catch them with live crawfish or grass shrimp and they bite as quick as you cast for it, so that tells me they have a very good diet and I also know they eat bass eggs just like crawfish so we got very good eaten drum unlike lake earie so I wonder what the hell do they eat over there that makes them bad tasting, I highly doubt that since I lived in michigan and used to catch them there too and they were just as good, so whoever said they werebad tasting must not like fish at all!!!!!!
—Guest raymundo

Eating Freshwatwer Drum/Sheephead

Great fish, to catch and eat. Now, the disclaimer: if you do not like strong tasting fish, Sheephead are not for you. This fish has a strong taste and also has a coarse texture that some find "chewy". I recommend trying those on the smaller side, 2 lbs or so. There is a point when bigger fish take on a copper hue where the younger ones are silver. If they are more copper then silver I do not recommend them. I've only grilled them (usually with Hickory) and imagine baked or oven drilled would work. They do have a strong odor and will dry out so don't cook them too long. Fairly easy to clean and scale but use a strong knife. One nice thing- the bones are big and easy to avoid. And, I like the tails, when crunchy they taste great. Again, these are not for everyone and are definitely not Walleye. Then again, I like to eat Bass. However, I suggest you try them and make your own determination. Enjoy, Dworkin
—Guest Dworkin From Ann Arbor

Eating Freshwater Drum!

Several times fishing the Bay of Quinte, when Walleye were not turning on, I shifted to the DRUM. Not only do they give a great fight, but if cleaned correctly deliver fillets that are AWESOME! Cheers Rob.
—Rob_Critch

Lake Erie

On Lake Erie we call them Sheephead. Filleted and cut into small bits, then boiled hard for about 3 min. served coated with butter or cocktail sauce they aren't half bad. Kind of a poor mans shrimp. This is the only way that I have been able to eat them from Lake Erie though as they have a rather strong taste any other way.
—Guest Lake Erie Lad

Drum Are Good To Eat!

I caught my first drum yesterday, and after a bit of online research, we had it for dinner--breaded and fried, with eggs and hash browns on the side. Boy, were you wrong! This is a SERIOUSLY underrated fish. I can understand if drum in some waters may not taste good--I heard that Lake Erie imparts a bad flavor to the fish, perhaps because of their diet, but in most places? It's not so! I haven't had drum from the Great Lakes, of course, but I'll accept that they might not be good eating, since so many have said so. But not all waters have that problem. Drum isn't a rough fish at all, no matter what it looks like. It's much tastier than panfish, and I would rate the quality somewhere in between bass and walleye (better than bass!). We caught our drum from Standing Bear Lake, in Omaha, NE. The fillets were large, thick, and boneless. They cooked up to a tender, flaky consistency reminiscent of cod. The flavor, too, reminded me more of cod than anything else--very very mild
—Donna Fernstrom.

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