Gaspergou have a swim bladders which is able to produce sounds. The sound is thought to be related to the spawning where they will gather in groups and begin “drumming”. They generally feed on freshwater mussels and insect larvae.
They have a very thick mucus covering and a very distinctive smell which make them a species that doesn’t get a lot of fishing pressure. There aren’t a lot of people (at least that I have found) that actually catch them on purpose.
Gaspergou have large otoliths (ear bones) which are found in the ears of many animals. They help the fish to sense when it’s oriented in the water correctly (vertically) when it is too cloudy to see clearly. When large gaspergou are caught people often keep the otoliths. The otoliths are often polished and made into jewelry (they are also alleged to have been used by indians as currency for trading).
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Freshwater drum are very strong fighters and are often caught by accident by catfish fishermen in the southern US when fishing for catfish with shad (especially in the Spring). There is usually no doubt when you have hooked one with a rod and reel because they are very erratic when hooked and they put up a good fight.
They’re prized by many catfish anglers as the are considered by many to be an excellent bait for blue catfish, and are most often fished as cut bait. They can also very often be caught in cast nets ranging in size from a few inches long to very large fish weighing several pounds or more. Smaller drum are typically cut into sections and used as cut bait while the larger fish are typically filleted, and then cut into sections to be used as bait.
Freshwater drum is one of my “go to” baits when fishing for blue catfish and I consider to be cut Gaspergou to be one of the best baits for blue catfish.