Fun Drum Fish Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Oct 20, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
The drum fish is a very popular catch amongst anglers! Read on for more fun drum fish facts!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

One of the most common fish caught while going fishing is the drum fish. Whether you are fishing in a river, a lake, the sea, or open waters in general, the drum fish is a fairly popular fish around. There are more than 300 species in the drum fish family, and so, many fishes to know facts about! Did you know that this is one of the only fishes whose body parts are used to make jewelry? Such is indeed the case with them. They have a "lucky stone" in their ear, called the otolith. It is so large, that people have used it to make jewelry, like earrings and necklaces.

If you are looking for more such interesting facts, then all you have to do is read on! You can learn about the red drum fish facts, black drum fish facts, spotted drum fish facts, salt water drum fish facts, white drum fish facts, and everything there is to know about these finned flippers. You can know all about what they eat, how they live, where they like to live, and other important facts about this fish that is present almost all across the world. If you enjoy reading about red drum fish interesting facts and more, then do check out skate fish and codfish too! 

Drum Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a drum fish?

The drum fish is a type of fish.

What class of animal does a drum fish belong to?

The freshwater drum fish is a type of fish. Though there are multiple species of this creature, and some kinds of drum fish are also carps.

How many drum fish are there in the world?

Due to a lack of research into this species, there is no number as to how many freshwater drum fish exist.

Where does a drum fish live?

Most species of the drum fish live in oceans, lakes, and rivers, though the freshwater drum fish is usually found in rivers only.

What is a drum fish's habitat?

The freshwater drum fish is usually found in freshwater rivers across North America and Central America. These fishes live at the very bottom of the rivers and prefer sluggish, slow-moving water full of mud and other bedrock.

Who do drum fish live with?

The freshwater drum fish prefers to live on its own, and as such, shows solitary behavior. Their habitat is usually open waters, but they come together when it's time to start spawning.

How long does a drum fish live?

The average age of a freshwater drum fish is 15-17 years, though there have been cases recorded where they have aged up to 72 years! However, this lifespan is more of a rarity than anything else. They are mostly born in summer.

How do they reproduce?

Unlike other fish, reproduction is a very casual matter for the freshwater drum fish. The female starts by spawning eggs into the water, and then the male releases sperm, fertilizing them.  This usually happens in the summer season. The summer season allows waters to be warm, and for the eggs to float to the surface where they can hatch in a few days. Very few eggs actually survive due to predators.

What is their conservation status?

Due to lack of research into the freshwater drum fish, their status remains Not Evaluated.

Drum Fish Fun Facts

What do drum fish look like?

The drum fish has a long body, with a divided, extending dorsal fin that runs along its entire back. Some species have smaller, rounded mouths, though other species like the black drum fish mouth is protruding, bigger, and with canines. But the feature that earns the drum fish its name is a large muscle joined to the swim bladder. When they move this muscle, they create a croaking sound. The drum fish skull is also very hard as a natural defense against predators. They are usually gray in color but are also found in other shades.

Drum fish are a very popularly fished species.

How cute are they?

The drum fish is not cute at all. Not only are they slippery and scaly and solitary animals, but they are also well out of the reach of humans. They also have very dull, drab colors that may give them the perfect opportunity to camouflage, but not look good. As such we would be better off looking at smaller, more brightly colored fish instead.

How do they communicate?

The freshwater drum fish communicates by rapidly contracting and relaxing their abdominal muscles. This results in a drumming kind of noise, earning them the name drum fish. They can also croak and gurgle to communicate, though this drum fish noise is used rarely.

How big is a drum fish?

The freshwater drum fish has an average size of about 10-20 in. However, there have been recorded cases of some species of the drum fish growing up to 6.6 ft. That's taller than your average human being!

How fast can a drum fish swim?

Though they are no studies into the speed of freshwater drum fish, it is believed that they do not swim very fast. This is because they have always preferred deep, sluggish, and slow flows of rivers and lakes. Other drum fish species like the black drum fish and others are usually found in the ocean, but they too, are slow and sluggish.

How much does a drum fish weigh?

The freshwater drum fish weighs in around 1-4 lb. Even so, there have been occasions where it has weighed upwards of 16 kg, though these have been found only in North America. Other species of 'the croaker' can be caught all across in the water in any lake, river, sea, and more.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Due to a lack of research, there is no specific name assigned to the male and female of the species. But while we are at names - did you know that this fish is also called the croaker? They are called the croaker because of the sound they make with their swim bladder when moving in their habitat.

What would you call a baby drum fish?

Since there is no name for the male and female of the species, the baby drum fish also has no specific names. But if you ever decide to take one as a pet, you can name them whatever you want. While they are babies, their swim bladder and muscles are not very well developed, meaning they struggle to make their way in the water. The young ones are better suited to a river or a lake, than the sea.

What do they eat?

The drum fish is a carnivore, but also a bottom feeder, which means they make creatures like immature insects, larvae, smaller fish, bugs, and occasionally, even mollusks and other hard-shelled creatures their food. The reason the drum fish can have these creatures as food is because of their teeth, which are present in their throat, and can make quick work of any small creature found in a lake. The black drum fish teeth are especially well known for this.

Are they dangerous?

Alive? Probably. These bottom feeders are carnivores, and would not be opposed to the taste of human flesh. But after they are dead? Probably not. Their major danger is their sharp teeth since they do not have any venom or other defense mechanisms. Another possible threat could also be the size of their body, which can grow very large (especially in lakes and other open waters). Humans usually do well to be wary of the larger ones when fishing in a river, lake, sea, or any body of water in general. The smaller ones are no trouble and are caught easily.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not a good idea to keep the drum fish as a pet. Since they are carnivorous in nature, they might eat all the other fish in your drum set fish tank, leaving it empty. They also grow to be very large sometimes, and your living space might not suffice. Therefore, it's best to look to other species when choosing fishes to fill your tank.

Did you know...

The drum fish has its scientific name come out of its own physical characteristics. In the name, the words Aplodinotus grunniens mean "single back grunting" fish, where Aplodinotus means single back due to its unified dorsal fin, and grunniens means grunting. In essence, the drum fish sound and the body type shared by the family is the reason for their scientific name. Though this may not make a lot of sense when we see that there are some species of the drum fish that have evolved without the drumming organs at all!

What is unique about them?

Aside from their vocal skills, one remarkable fact about them is their variety. There are more than 300 types of drum fish! Even though the most popular species is the freshwater drum fish, other species such as the blue drum fish, silver drum fish, puppy drum fish, the spotted drum fish, juvenile drum fish, and more. Talk about a big family!

Is drum fish good to eat?

Are they edible? Yes. Are they good to eat? Most people say no. Unlike regular fish, the drum fish has firmer, harder meat, which leads to many people leaving negative reviews of the red drum fish taste. But others say that as long as you have the right drum fish recipe, they can taste great! People have also uploaded options like black drum fish recipes and red drum fish recipes to their online accounts to help the novice chef out when cooking drum fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including spiny dogfish, or fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Drum Fish coloring pages.

drum fish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Mollusks, smaller fish, insects

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

2-8 lb

What habitat Do they Live In?

medium to large rivers, lakes, sea

Where Do They Live?

north and central america

How Long Were They?

10–20 in

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Aplodinotus grunniens

What Do They Look Like?

Brown, black, red, silver- gray, white

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, changing habitats

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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