You want to catch a monster black drum? We’re not talking about a 10-pounder, here. We’re not talking about a 30-pounder, or even a 50-pound drum. But a true beast of a black, 70 to 80 pounds or even larger. Of course you do! While noting that black drum of this size aren’t very good to eat (they usually have worms in their meat, which is very tough anyway), and that catch-photo-release is usually the best option, battling with one of these monster blacks is a serious adrenaline rush. Ready to make it happen? These three tips will help.
- Use an entire soft crab for bait. Drum love eating shellfish, but crustaceans which have shed their shell are like candy for them – and you’ve already taken off the wrapper. But don’t get stingy with the bait. A fish of this size won’t bother with tidbits, it wants to chow down on the entire crab. Just make sure your hook goes into the soft crab via the knuckle of a swim fin, which is just about the stiffest spot on a freshly shed crab and will help keep the bait intact and on the hook.
- Put your crab bait on a whopping-big circle hook. Again, remember, we’re going for monsters here. A 10/0 hook should be considered the minimum and a 12/0 is not out of line. Will using one of these massive hooks cause you to miss some bites from smaller fish? You bet it will. But it will also give you a better chance of hooking up solidly, if and when Bubba the Black shows up.
- Try night fishing. Big blacks often become quite active at night, and sometimes you’ll even hear them drumming from beneath the surface of the water. Yes, you can still target them in broad daylight, but fishing the night bite will give you a bit of an edge.
BONUS TIP: Be sure you rig up with a “fishfinder” style rig or an egg sinker, either of which will allow the drum to take some line without feeling the weight so long as you release all tension on the initial bite. Black drum have notoriously sensitive mouths, and if they feel any resistance, will often spit the bait prior to hooking up.