Black Drum

What is it: You’ll know you’ve hooked a Black Drum when you see one—it has a patch of whiskers on its chin, and it’ll put up a fight. Unlike most fish, the Black Drum varies in taste depending on the size of the fish. Those who know their seafood will tell you that these “puppy drums” (anything ten pounds or less) are the tastiest of the tribe.

When to Get it: With a season that peaks in the winter months, Black Drum can offer a nice change of pace for those willing to fish with their coats on. The cold weather brings in the freshest variety, but this fish can be enjoyed all year long.

Where Does it Come From: While they do live offshore in coastal waters, they’re not afraid of fresh water and tend to dwell in inshore passes like bays, lagoons and river mouths. Popular hiding spots include oyster reefs and muddy floors.

How it’s Prepared: A small, properly-cooked Black Drum can be even tastier than some of the “premium” Gulf Coast selections. They’re a meaty fish that goes well in a number of recipes, like chowders or Creole dishes, but a quick and easy method calls for sautéed filets. Just season them with salt, pepper and paprika, roll them in flour and pan-fry them for five minutes on each side.

Species: Black Drum.