Black Drum Fishing Tips…..Hang On and Have Fun
For years, the Black Drum was not considered to be a tasty part of the table fare. However, over the years that has changed. Today Black Drum has become a popular species when it comes to both fishing and eating. Their great fight coupled with the tasty meat has made them a popular target for many inshore anglers. In many ways, the Black Drum are approached much the same as their sister fish the Redfish. Captain Tony Nesbitt of St. Augustine, Florida’s Great Day Fishing Charters tells us his approach to Black Drum fishing.
Rigging / Bait
Rigging for Black Drum is much like rigging for a Redfish. I use a Carolina rig or a heavy jig head. Depending on the current will depend on the size of the weight, so it’s important to monitor your current. You have to adjust your weight size multiple times to compensate for the change in current strength. The bait for Black Drum is fairly basic. I use either menhaden, shrimp, or quartered blue crabs with the crabs usually proving to be my first choice. Best of all, crabs can easily be found on marsh islands and other areas easy to access.
Fishing for Black Drum is nearly always better around structures like bridges, docks, or bulkheads. My favorite is to fish for them around bridges. The more structure the better. Bridges seem to be best due to the deeper water than bulkheads and docks. It’s important to know that Black Drum commonly feed with their heads down and sometimes you can see their tails breaking the water. You will also find the bigger fish in the more salty water. Water flow is also a factor. While good water makes a difference, it can also serve as a challenge with keeping the bait and rig down. Again, that’s why you need to be prepared to change the size of your weights when the current starts ripping. Also, oyster beds seem to attract Black Drum, but use caution to not get snagged.
The Retrieve / Fight
Retrieve for the Black Drum is again, much like the retrieve for Redfish. Depending on the time of year and the bite will dictate your retrieval speed. Make sure to cast toward the structure and allow the bait to hit the bottom before starting to retrieve. When you begin to feel the fish hitting the line, wait a few seconds before setting the hook. Be ready for the fight by making sure that your drag is set to avoid a line break. You’ll want to use a line size bigger than you use when fishing for Redfish.
Black Drum are good to eat and fun to catch. It’s a great fish to take the kids to catch and get their fishing career started.