Capt E’s Grilled Black Drum/Red Drum on the 1/2 Shell

The most important and enjoyable part of this recipe is to get out and enjoy some great battles with two of the hardest fighting species in our estuaries. I like to filet my drum and leave the skin and the scales on. There are a number of reasons I choose this but I am a lazy fish cleaner and would rather fillet and get a nice clean piece of meat and I hate to descale fish. That being said the most important reason I leave the skin and scales on my drum is that in my experience and enjoyment of cooking these tasty fish on the grill, the fat layer just inside the skin is a source for incredible flavor. After creating my rub for my seasoning which includes some Redfish Magic and some brown sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. I then coat my filets very generously with the rub and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so and let it harden a bit. I then pull them out and prepare my Wilmington Grill at about 380 degrees to 400 and place them skin side down. One of the most important steps to this and I think exactly why that layer of fat (Omega 3) cooks into the meat perfectly at the same time that 2 or 3, 1/2 teaspoons of butter placed on top of the fillet melts. I basically let the butter tell me when my fish is done. I can take a spatula and the meat will normally separate perfectly from the skin and its time to cook some pasta or rice and chow down. I started with the brown sugar to see if I could increase the interest of my kids in fish and they jumped in head first. Give this recipe a try this spring and get some scales on your Wilmington Grill.


  • 6 to 70z filets of Drum or Sheepshead
  • Redfish Magic
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter/Margarine