Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fishing A School Of 600 Black Drum

Mid February, Bang the Drum!

The first 2 weeks of February have been fantastic unless you’re a black drum! My guests have been having a field day on these relatives of the redfish. Although not considered as glamorous as the more popular redfish the black drum gives a great fight on light tackle and is fine table fare.

We’ve been fishing a school of drum that consists of around 600 or so fish and they often group up into one huge bunch only to break up again into several smaller pods. The bite is great at first light and a live shrimp is eagerly taken. During the week of the full moon the bite was best later in the morning and peaked at mid-day.

On days when several boats show up to fish at the same time the drum (quite expectedly) become a bit shy. It became necessary to feed a biting fish 10 or 15 feet of free running line before attempting to sink the 3/0 circle hooks with a steady reeling action. It also helped to downsize the leader to 16 pound Gamma fluorocarbon where I usually use 20 pound.

While the fish moved up and down the shoreline over a quarter mile area they really didn’t leave unless the winds drove them from the flats. The high winds towards the middle of the month are what finally put a damper on our fishing. The school of around 600 fish now appeared to be 100 drum as most of the fish have gone to other areas. My guess is they’re looking for calmer and cleaner water…

Captain Pat and I found these fish on a Monday scouting trip. Pat caught at least 10 from the bow and I landed 3 from the poling platform. All were caught on Exude soft plastic baits either shrimp or darts. Many more were lost to pulled hooks or simply being snagged and the hook coming free.

Tuesday Stacy & David joined me for a frenzy of drum fishing. They caught over thirty (30) black drum between 6 and 12 pounds, keeping only 4 (half their legal limit).

Wednesday Deb and Brent from Vermont and long time clients and friends climbed aboard. A windy forecast sent us in a different direction only to find a bumper crop of catfish and puffers. I think I zigged when I should have zagged!

Thursday the weather was awesome once again and the drum seemed like a sure bet. They were and Deb and Brent also broke the thirty fish mark using live shrimp…

The next 4 days we caught drum, but in greatly reduced numbers. Higher winds and dirty water simply changed the game, but still resulted in happy fishermen!

Captain Mark Wright
cell - 321-302-3474
home - 321-264-3474

Posted on 19 Feb 2009 by Capt. Mark

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