June 6, 2006
to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division
of Fish and Wildlife, a new state record black drum was taken from
Delaware Bay on May 13. William Kinzy of Southampton, Burlington
County caught a 107-pound black drum that weighed 2 pounds more than
the previous record taken from Slaughter’s Beach in 1995.
Kinzy was fishing from the charter boat Sandi Pearl when he caught
the drum on 40-pound test line using surf clams for bait. Length and
girth were unavailable.
The black drum is the largest member of the drum family and can be
found along inshore waters and estuaries throughout the East Coast
from Florida to New England. The coloring is gray or black. Black
drums get their common name from a large and elaborate swim bladder
that, by using special muscles, can resonate to produce croaking or
drumming sounds. These fish have 10-14 sensory chin barbels used to
detect bottom-dwelling food items such as clams, oysters, mussels and
crabs, which they crush with their teeth. These species are
long-lived and can survive for more than 50 years. Black drums spawn
between April and early June when water temperatures reach 57-68o F.
After spawning, the fish will disperse until they migrate southward
in late fall.
The Record Fish Program honors the largest species of fish caught in
the state. It revolves around a specific list of eligible freshwater
and saltwater species, and is based on weight alone (there are no
line classes). Scale certification documentation and a weighmaster’s
signature are necessary. Other rules apply.