Freshwater drum

The Freshwater Drum is a species well-known for the amount of noise it makes during the breeding season, and this helps them collect nicknames like the croaker, grunter, thunder pumper, etc. They are locally known as sheepshead and dwell in turbid waters.

They like waters with slow currents with a bottom that has sand or mud. It contains a sense organ that extends from the sides to the end of the tail. With the help of this, they locate food and enemies by picking up vibrations in the water.


The Freshwater Drum is a significant-looking fish with a deep body and a humped back. It has a gray or silvery appearance in turbid water, and in clear water, it’s browner and bronze-looking.

It has a blunt snout and mouth that looks like a carp or buffalo, so they can quickly get confused with each other. Two dorsal fins composed of 8?9 spines cloak the fish, and they are rounded, unlike a forked tail.

Habitat and Lifestyle

In the North American freshwater, this Sciaenidae freshwater drum dwells along with many other croakers, seatrouts, etc. It spends most of its time at the bottom of the water, where it feeds on insects and other smaller fish.

Its population can be found in the Rockies and Appalachians, as well as the Mexico and Guatemala systems. It is also located in the freshwater Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

The fish is a bottom feeder, so it is easy to catch, but it’s a stubborn fighter, so it’s not highly recommended for sport or food. In the Hudson Bay and Guatemala areas, the population rates of the freshwater drum are high.

Bait casting rods are most commonly used when trying to catch this fish. As it is quite a challenging opponent, lightweight rods can be used to the angler’s advantage.

Peak Season

The Freshwater Drum peaks in April-May in Texas and other North American areas.

Best Bait

The following are some of the best items to use as bait to catch Freshwater Drums:

  • Jigs
  • Spoons
  • Cut Bait
  • Minnows
  • Insects
  • Soft Plastics
  • Plugs