The Freshwater Drum is a fish endemic to North and Central America. It is the only species in the genus Aplodinotus. The freshwater drum is a member of the family Sciaenidae, and is the only North American member of the group that inhabits freshwater for its entire life. Its generic name, Aplodinotus, comes from Greek meaning "single back", and the specific epithet, grunniens, comes from a Latin word meaning "grunting". It is given to it because of the grunting noise that mature males make. This noise comes from a special set of muscles within the body cavity that vibrate against the swim bladder. The purpose of the grunting is unknown, but due to it being present in only mature males, it is assumed to be linked to spawning.
The Freshwater Drum typically weigh 5–15 lb (2.3–6.8 kg). The world record was caught on Nickajack Lake in Tennessee, and weighed in at 54 lb 8 oz (24.7 kg). The Freshwater Drum is gray or silvery in turbid waters and more bronze or brown colored in clearer waters. The lips are milky white, and the pelvic fins are white, often tinged with orange. It is a deep bodied fish with a divided dorsal fin consisting of 10 spines and 29–32 rays.
So while Freshwater Drum prefer clear water, they’re obviously equipped to thrive in adverse conditions. In rivers, Freshwater Drum prefer a hard bottom with moderate current-the edge of flats and the base of riprap shorelines are ideal locations. In lakes, they prefer shallow flats with little weedgrowth. For Freshwater Drum fishing you should use a 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 foot(1,98-2,3m) medium or medium heavy power spinning or casting rod. Also, a medium capacity spinning or baitcasting reel. The line should be 10 to 20 pound(5-10kg) test mono. Cast bladebaits upstream of your target to allow it to reach bottom. Reel in slack line as you raise your rod tip to a 30 degree angle. Slowly raise your rod to 45 degrees so the lure almost drags across the bottom, then move your rod tip back down as you retrieve slack line. Dig crankbaits down to the bottom, then adjust your retrieve speed to maintain contact. Set rigs are easier for drum to locate in fast or murky water, but drift rigs cover more water in moderate current.
Freshwater Drum are the only North American member of their family to exclusively inhabit freshwater (freshwater family members in genera Pachyurus and Plagioscion are from South America, while Boesemania is Asian). Their great distribution range goes as far north as the Hudson Bay, and reaches as far south as Guatemala. Their longitudinal distribution goes as far east as the eastern Appalachians and stretches as far west into Texas,Kansas, and Oklahoma. Freshwater Drum are considered to be one of the most wide ranging species in North America.