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State Record Black Drum Caught

June 6, 2006


According 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.

For more information, visit the Record Fish Program webpage at

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 6, 2006