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Eating Freshwater Drum?

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2 hours ago, dtrs5kprs said:

Good lord. The grocery stores still have ketchup, and hot water is essentially free. Make yourself some ersatz tomato soup instead.

Yes!  this one thing is not like the other,  

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I think you guys have convinced me to try one. I sure catch a boat load of them.

Sounds like they would be pretty good with a little lemon pepper on the pellet grill.

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Tried one today alongside a white bass, small channel cat, and crappie. The drum was the worst of the mess but far from terrible. They were all fried the same way , the drum just had a more mushy texture. That surprised me because the filet was firm and the cleanest white color of the bunch. Overall, if it served by itself rather than with superior species, I'd never think I was eating drum.

Note, all were under a pound when caught and all but the crappie were caught in the Mississippi River on Tuesday. Also, the ranking for me was crappie #1, then white bass, baby channel cat, then drum.

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I've eaten them numerous times, and I'll repeat what a lot of others have said.

The meat tends to be more course, and many do cut out the red part of the filet, although I never found that a problem for the taste (you could do one filet with and one without as an experiment and see what you like).

We always fried them breaded.We first tried them when I was a kid and Dad kept a couple to try. They didn't turn out well. An old timer told him the key was not taking any belly meat. We were careful the next time to do as he says, and that evidently gave good results, because we ate them frequently after that. We always avoided the belly meat.

I'll second that the smaller ones are better eating. (smaller is relative--say up to 24 inches). We once watched a guy catch a monster that was around 20 pounds, and he gave it to us. I don't remember the actual eating, but my Dad has a very strong memory that the filet was "oily" and not good eating. We avoided the really big ones after that.  

I have been told they make good substitutes in blackened redfish recipes. Also, sort of on the lines of "poor man's lobster," it's been claimed that if you boil a piece, it will allow you to make an imitation shrimp cocktail.

Blackened drum and "shrimp" cocktail are on my bucket list. I'll try to remember to post results if the covid virus ever lets me out to catch one. 

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Two problems- red meat, and it's tough. I've eaten a boatload of them, and think they're fantastic.

When you catch one, keep the larger, more plump ones- 2 lb and up is a good metric, or anything that looks like it'll give a good fillet. I like to cut a gill, and throw them in ice so they bleed out and preserve the meat quality (I do this with catfish, white bass, and walleye too). Fillet the fish like you would a white bass, leaving the red meat on the skin, then cut out the mud line and heavy pin bones together. There isn't any meat over the ribs, so don't bother with that.

If you're frying the fish, cut into slices against the grain, bread it and deep fry fast and hot so it doesn't have time to get tough- you wind up with drum nuggets that are a fantastic appetizer. It's usually more popular than blue cat taken from the same water, and disappears first.

It makes excellent blackened fish, as well, and holds up really well on the grill. I tried boiling it once, but wasn't impressed.

It's really good in a fish creole, with onion, garlic, celery, a can of Rotel, Cajun spices, cooked down and served over rice.

I've heard the big ones are really good baked with butter and onions, too, but low and slow. I've yet to try that, and don't know if I'll get a chance to do that since moving to Montana.

I cannot recommend healthy-looking drum enough as a food fish, especially if you're looking to do something other than fry it.

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Caught a 7lb drum out of the Osage on Saturday.  Tossed it in the deadwell and brought it home.

Got maybe a pound of nice meat off the back.  Maybe there was some more to get from other places, but I didn't see how what was left would be worth the effort to remove it.

Fish fry yesterday - I cut the drum fillets into nuggets, egg wash and rolled in Andy's Red.  300° peanut oil til it floated.

Also did some white bass and bluegill the same way.  Wife, daughter, and 77yo Dad all thought the drum was every bit as good as the other fish.

Dad was expecting it to be full of bones.  He said he'd rather eat drum from now on because it's easier to eat than bluegill.  lol

I thought it was perfectly acceptable table fare.  Mild flavor - not as fishy-tasting as the WB or BG.  I'd stack him somewhere in the middle of eating fish.  Not as good as walleye or flathead, better than trout park trout or largemouth bass.  The texture was fine, but I suspect that it would turn to rubber if it was left in too long or if the oil was too hot.

That said, I probably won't kill another one on purpose, unless someone in the family specifically requests more of it.  Butchering fish is something that I don't enjoy at all, and for what this guy yields I really don't feel good about killing him.  And no, I didn't bash his head apart to get the rocks out.

2020-05-23 19.54.41.jpg

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