Can You Eat A Black Drum Fish? [Yes! Here’s How To Prepare It!]

Black drum fish can make for a delicious seafood feast. But before you can enjoy this succulent fish, you'll need to know how to prepare one. Let's take a look at how to fillet a black drum fish.

In order to clean and fillet your black drum fish, follow these steps:

  1. Make an incision behind the gill.
  2. Cut down the backbone to the tail.
  3. Next, cut from the stomach to the tail.
  4. Now you can fillet the fish by running your knife along both sides of the fish.
  5. Remove the fillet and repeat on the other side.
  6. Clean the fillets before cooking.
  7. Fry, pan-sear, barbecue, or bake to your liking. 

Knowing how to fillet a black drum fish is essential if you want to enjoy this seafood delicacy. In this article, we will walk you through each of these steps in detail so that you can confidently clean and fillet your own black drum fish. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about black drum fish, so read on!

Portrait of a dying Black Drum fish caught with a hook where the line, lead and some blood can be seen. - Can You Eat A Black Drum Fish? [Yes! Here's How To Prepare It!]

How Do You Fillet A Black Drum Fish For Cooking?

Shi drum fish (Umbrina cirrosa) on old wooden board with carrot, cherry tomatoes, black tomatoes, lemon, garlic, parsley and chili peppers, top view shot.

Black drum fish are a type of fish that are usually found in the Atlantic Ocean. They can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching up to four feet long!

The body of the black drum fish is cylindrical in shape and is covered in dark-colored scales. The fins are black or dark brown, and the tail is forked.

When it comes to cooking black drum fish, there are a few different methods that you can use. One popular way to cook this type of fish is to fry it. Frying black drum fish gives it a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside nice and moist.

Another popular cooking method is to bake fish. Baking black drum fish is a healthy option because it doesn’t require any additional oil or fat.

You can also choose to pan-sear or barbecue your black drum fish. These methods of cooking will give the fish a nice flavor while keeping it moist on the inside.

No matter how you choose to cook your black drum fish, filleting it beforehand is essential. Filleting a fish helps remove any bones that may be present and the fish’s guts.

By the end, you will be left with two fillets ready to be cooked. However, you will need to know how to properly fillet a black drum fish before you can enjoy it. Let’s take a look at how to do this.

First, you will need the following supplies:

  • Filleting knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Gloves (optional)

A fisherman is holding a huge fish black drum (Pogonias cromis) against the sea.

Make An Incision Behind The Gill

Once you have your supplies in place, you can start to fillet your black drum fish. The first step is to make an incision behind the gill.

This incision will allow you to work your knife down the backbone of the fish. It is important to make this incision as close to the gill as possible. If you make the incision too far down, you can ruin the fillet.

Using your knife, make an incision into the middle of the fish behind the gill and fin. Then work your knife down to the stomach of the fish. After that, work your knife back up to the back of the fish until you meet the backbone.

Cut Down The Backbone

Now, you can work your knife down the backbone of the fish to the tail. It is important to be careful when you are doing this so that you do not cut through the fillet.

If you do happen to cut through the fillet, it is not the end of the world. You can still use the fillet, but it will not look as nice. You are trying to separate the filet from the rib cage as you cut.

Work your knife down until you reach the tail. Then, you can move on to the next step.

Cut From The Stomach To The Tail

Next, you will start at the bottom of the fish and cut from the stomach to the tail. Work your knife in a side motion as you make this cut.

Once you meet the tail of the fish, you can now go back to the top of the fish. Using the filleting knife, cut any backbone or ribcage that is connected to the fillet.

Remove Fillet

Once you have cut through any remaining bones, you can now remove the fillet from the fish. You can do this by gently pulling on the fillet until it comes off of the fish.

If the fillet is stuck, you can use your knife to loosen it carefully before removing it. Once the fillet is removed, you can repeat these steps on the other side of the fish to remove the second fillet.

And there you have it! Now you know how to properly fillet a black drum fish. This process may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, you will be able to do it like a pro in no time!

Just be sure your filleting knife is sharp. If not, the fish will be more difficult to fillet, and you run the risk of cutting yourself. A sharp knife is a safe knife!

Clean The Fillets

Once you have removed the fillets from the fish, it is now time to clean them. To do this, simply rinse the fillets under cold water.

You can also use a paper towel to remove any remaining blood or scales that may be present. If there are any stubborn scales or blood, you can use a knife to remove them.

Once the fillets are clean, you can now cook them however you like!

How Does Black Drum Fish Taste?

Comparable to red snapper, black drum fish has a delicate flavor and a slightly sweet taste. The texture of the flesh is firm but not as oily as tuna or salmon.

The skin of the black drum fish is edible and has a mild flavor. When cooking, the skin will turn crispy, making it a delicious addition to the dish.

Black drum fish is also healthy for you! It is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy heart and brain.

However, due to mercury, black drum fish shouldn't be consumed raw. It is important to cook the fish thoroughly to avoid any foodborne illness.

How Long Does Black Drum Fish Last?

A fisherman is holding a fish black drum (Pogonias cromis) against the sea

When raw, you can keep black drum fish in the fridge for up to two days. If you plan on cooking the fish within that time frame, it is best to keep it stored in a covered container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

After cooking, you can keep black drum fish in the fridge for up to four days. If you want to freeze the cooked fish, it will last for up to six months.

Of course, the sooner you cook fresh black drum fish, the better it will taste. But if you need to store it, following these guidelines will help ensure that the fish stays fresh.

When Is Black Drum Fish In Season?

In the Gulf of Mexico, black drum fish are typically in season from October to April. However, December to March is the best time to catch them.

This is because the water temperatures range from 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit when black drum fish are the most active.

If you are looking to buy black drum fish from a seafood market, you may be able to find it year-round. However, it is typically more expensive when it is out of season.

When purchasing black drum fish, look for fillets that are pinkish in color with white flesh. The fillets should also be thick and free of any dark spots.

You should also avoid black drum fish that have a strong fishy smell. If the fish smells too strong, it is likely past its prime and shouldn't be eaten.

It is best to buy from a reputable seafood market or fishmonger to get the freshest fish possible. This way, you can be sure that the black drum fish you are buying is of the highest quality.

Pogonias Cromis Black drum atlantic ocean fish underwater close up portrait

Is It Better To Eat A Smaller Black Drum Fish?

While it can be a blast to catch a big black drum fish, it is not always the best option when it comes to eating them.

This is because the older a black drum fish gets, the more mercury accumulates in its body. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems if consumed in large quantities.

For this reason, it is advised to eat smaller black drum fish that are less than five years old. These fish will have less mercury in their system and be safer to eat.

Plus, the smaller fish will have a sweeter flavor and more tender flesh. So, if you're looking for the best-tasting fish, it is best to go with a smaller black drum fish.

Final Thoughts

By now, you should understand black drum fish well and how to cook it. This delicious fish is perfect for a variety of recipes and is sure to please everyone at the table. Just be careful when filleting the fish, as the bones can be sharp.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

At What Temperature Should You Bake Fish Fillets? For How Long?

Can You Reuse Oil After Frying Fish?

For How Long Should You Cook Fish?

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