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Thread: Caught a 21 pound freshwater Drum…recipes???

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Caught a 21 pound freshwater Drum…recipes???

    I was fishing in Lake Michigan last month and kept catching some big sheepshead. Biggest one without weighing had to be be in the 10 to 12 pound range… I thought that one was huge at the time. My friend’s dad asked us to keep one for him. I filleted it and decided to cut ALL the red mud line of it. He pan fried it with nothing but butter along with a walleye fillet. I have to say the Drum tasted better! I have eaten quite a few small ones when I was a kid but remembered the texture was always chewy and fishy. I’m sure I never removed to mud line back in the day. Well, I caught this 31”, 21 pound Drum the other day and filleted it up. Instead of pan frying it I cut some up in finger sized pieces boiled it in seasoned water for approx 3 minutes till boil over(used steak seasoning and seasoning salt). I then let the fish sit in the hot water for 15 minutes to absorb the seasoned water. I then removed the fish and chilled in the refrigerator. Once ice cold I dipped them in shrimp cocktail sauce. WOW! Was it good. It has the same texture as shrimp. I made 2/3’s of it this way but am debating on trying some in shore lunch pan fried. Wondering if it will be to tuff of a texture for batter frying?


    I figured I caught the new WI state record till I googled and found the biggest one recored was 35 pounds. Still a fun catch on light spinning tackle and 8 pound line. Remonded me of a Jack Trivially. I never measured how wide it was but I would say it had been close to seven or 8 inches.







    I lost one about the same size a few minutes later. It came to the surface so I got a good look before it came off.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Them, and carp have gotten a bad reputation, mostly from people who have never eaten them.
    In other parts of the world, they are raised as a food source like we do pigs & chickens.

    Here, you can load up on carp. There are no bag or size limits.
    They're sort of like roaches----- nobody cares what you do to them.

    Our lake is pretty clean, pollution wise, but I don't keep & eat anything over about 10-12 pounds.
    I'm not sure if it's an issue, but the bigger fish get, the more and more chance they have for a dangerous accumulation of pollutants.

    Of the usual 8-10 pound carp, I fillet and trim off everything that isn't white meat.
    Doing that, you only get about a 30% yield from the fish ya started with.
    Then pressure cook them for 90 minutes to cook and dissolve all the little 'Y' bones.
    They end up like the bones in canned sardines.

    After removing and draining the fillets,
    I freeze them and use them later the same way you'd use canned salmon from the grocery store.
    And the taste is very similar to salmon.


    You'd need to do a little web search, but I think it's drum that have a bone in their skull that
    in centuries past the Indians would pull out and use to make jewelry.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yep, I saved the "stones".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    Yep, I saved the "stones".
    Somewhere around here, I have a few of these.

    I have never caught one even remotely close to that size, though I knew they existed. As strong as even a small one is, I can't imagine the fight you had to boat that one.

    In my experience, they eat real good. I also eat carp, but Drum are much better, as good as bass are. No Y bones and nice white meat.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master OldBearHair's Avatar
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    I would like to try that but I would have to catch it first. 'lol

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    Take a half bag of Jalapeno Cheddar flavor Cheetos snacks and put them in a food processor, pulse it until you have crumbs. Butter a couple of fillets and roll them in the cheetos crumbs, broil it in an oven or toaster oven until it reaches 135F pull it out and serve with asparagus or sweet potato or whatever you like...

    This is Cheetos encrusted Grouper, but you get the idea..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throats honed? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Click here to send me a PM You can also find me on Facebook Click Here.

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    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Take a half bag of Jalapeno Cheddar flavor Cheetos snacks and put them in a food processor, pulse it until you have crumbs. Butter a couple of fillets and roll them in the cheetos crumbs, broil it in an oven or toaster oven until it reaches 135F pull it out and serve with asparagus or sweet potato or whatever you like...

    This is Cheetos encrusted Grouper, but you get the idea..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I never would have thought of using Cheetohs like that, sounds like a very good idea.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Wonder how they would be smoked.

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    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    CHEETOS! To bad they aren’t low carb. I gave up eating carbs right before thanksgiving last year. I’ve dropped a good foot off my waist. Try to limit myself to 20 carbs or under per day. I have been using almond flour for fish batter.

    I’ve always heard about guys catching big sheephead but I’ve never seen one over 10 or 11 pounds until the other day when I pulled this one out. I was using an owner mutu number 2 circle hook with some huge freezer burnt shrimp that the neighbor gave me. Never fished with shrimp before in fresh water. I have caught more catfish, dog fish, and sheep head using shrimp in the last month that I could even begin to count.


    I didn’t realize that sheephead have two stones in their head. I always used to pull just one out of the couple 10 pounders that I cleaned. Here are the two stones out of the big one above.




    I would like to find out if you can age the fish with the stones. I read there were rings “like tree rings” in them. I can only see a few in the photo here. I’ll have to look closely at the stones themselves.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 09-19-2021 at 08:37 PM.

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    very interesting....
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I would either smoke it or grind it up with bread crumbs and make fish patties. My sister in law makes fish patties out of white suckers. She grinds them up with bones the fish patties are as good as a fish fry of haddock.

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    Nice catch and thanks for the recipes! Back in my bachelor days in Virginia, we breaded bluefish (pretty fishy flavor) with pork flavored Shake ‘N Bake.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I've eaten a lot of them in the 2lb and under range, but tried to eat a big drum and it was one of the worse things I've ever had cross my lips! It was actually bitter!

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    It's interesting how much that looks like a (saltwater) black drum...I wonder how closely they're related.

    Black (and red) drum are delicious, some of my favorite fish to eat. They spawn here in the Chesapeake Bay and get big (close to 100#).

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I had the second batch of it boiled in seasoned water yesterday afternoon. Once again it tasted great and had the texture of shrimp. I believe I am going to try some(the last bag of it) pan fried.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master trapper9260's Avatar
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    I eat them differnet ways , just need to remember if it is hot out to put them on ice , you will have a better texture on the meat and that is what I hear alot complain about thinking they all are like mushy ,I told them I put the Drum or also know as Sheephead on ice not in water and I do that with other fish , I would coat the fillets in cornmeal and salt and pepper then bake them . I do it with deer stake also I put them on a rack .I found use of cornmeal keeps the moisture in what you cooking, I have not try this yet on sheephead yet but use it on Gar , it is call Poor man lobster. cut the fillets in about 1" or close and then boil some water with salt in it and the after it is boil you drop the fish in it till it is cook then take out and dip in melted butter with some lemon in it and eat . It is almost like lobster. I do not cut the red meat out of my sheephead or any other fish I leave it and cook it. I also done with Sheephead is that I take a frying pan and put my vegetable in it with some oil and butter and cook about half way or more then I put my fish fillets on top , I do put a cover on the frying pan. It dose not take long for the fish to cook. It works for me . I also bake my carp fillets also. I will can some later .I canned red horse suckers and make pickle fish also out of them.
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    Fish nuggets! Last one I caught was about 4 pounds. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces, seasoned it with S&P then beer battered and fried. Friends scarfed them down! I served them as an appetizer on movie night, main course was walleye from a local lake. Friends said the drum was as good as the walleye!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    CHEETOS! Never fished with shrimp before in fresh water. .
    I'm 3-400 miles from the ocean, but that's our 'go to' bait for catfish.
    The biggest catfish I've ever caught were all on shrimp.
    All the grocery stores here keep frozen 'bait shrimp' in the freezer with the other shrimp.
    And they're often sold out of it.

    I never knew the difference between the two until a few years ago I was fishing on the Gulf coast and asked
    a shrimp boat guy at his market store on the end of his pier where he docked the boat.

    He pointed at the fresh shrimp that the boat was unloading to sell at his little market.
    He pointed at them, and said, "Tomorrow, what's left of those becomes bait shrimp".
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    ^^^^I caught my first bullhead in about 40 years on shrimp this year and over a dozen catfish. I just ran out of the bag of shrimp he gave me. I have not found unpeeled or non veined shrimp at my local grocery stores. The hard outer plates hold them on the hook. I've wasted 2 bags of peeled and easy peel that have been de veined. They come right off the hook when something nibbles on them...usually small turtles.

  20. #20
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    We always use live bait for flathead catfish, a 6-12 inch creek chub or sucker minnow.

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