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Fish On! Guide Service

"Rocks" in a sheepshead

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Anyone know what those "rock" type granular substances are in a drum's head? They appear to be rocks, feel like rocks, but I'd imagine they're some sort of calcium deposit.
Anyone have a clue to what I'm referring to?

Thanks,
Stephen

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It's called an otolith, a feature of most bony fishes, and oversized in the Drums, especialy in the freshwater drum. This is kind of an 'eardrum' for fish and is used for hearing, as well as a fish using it's lateral line for hearing. Kept as good luck charms and made into jewelry. Most of them have a '7' on their flat side, or an 'L' if you turn it 180 degrees and look at it the other way, hence there good luck! Very large Otoliths from freshwater drum have been excaveted from native archeological sites around the great lakes suggesting these fish once were found over 200 lbs!

Fisky

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My dad always used to cut them out when he was a kid. One has a 'J' and the other 'L'. You keep the one with the L for luck and throw the J back in the lake where you caught the fish as it is a jinx if you keep it.

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Clueless - -

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One other bit of fish trivia guys, the otolith is the best method to age fish.
Otolithwhite.gif

Fisheries Biologist examine the otolith to get accurate age and growth cycle evaluations in sample populations of fish.

I am trying to imagine 200 pound Croaker Drum, man they would be a fight!

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Backwater Guiding
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701-281-2300

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