Don’t Forget Black Drum This Summer

Obscure Facts And Tips For Trophy Trout
June 18, 2024

This chunky black drum tried to make a meal of the sand flea still on this hook.

Black drum are an overlooked species in the STAR tournament.

Tagged reds grab the headlines and many focus on kids with sheepshead and gafftop but black drum are just as much an important part of the tournament.

The key with drum is to catch fish as close to 30 inches as possible. That’s the maximum length and the best place to catch those really big drum are at our jetty systems and deep holes in the ship channel.

The boat cuts are great spots to target with some dead shrimp or sea lice rigged on a 1/4-ounce jig head. In my opinion, locating drop-offs is probably the most important element. The spot where the channel drops off the Gulf side is a perfect example with the channel side typically being better for slot-sized drum.    

black drumI sometimes use a medium action spinning rod rigged with Berkley Fireline in the six pound diameter, 10 pound test class. I put on a round 3/8 ounce jig head and tip it with shrimp then drop it off the side of the boat. The braided line is extremely sensitive and allows me to feel the tiniest peck on a bait. As soon as I feel anything, I set the hook and get rewarded (or punished) with a drum.

black drum at ate a sand flea

This chunky black drum tried to make a meal of the sand flea still on this hook.

If you do not like fishing with braided line you might want to watch your line instead of waiting to feel a bite. If you see any twitching in the line set the hook because you most likely have a fish on.

Another good spot is where a large canal runs into the ship channel.

If the tide is going from the channel into the Gulf, anchor near the cut and cast away from it. If, it is moving from the Gulf into the channel anchor out about 50 yards and cast toward the cut. 

Even big drum can be a pecking fish and then again sometimes they will not just take your bait and run with it. 

When you see something pecking on your line, pick it up and wait until you feel heavy pressure on the other end. At that point, pull back and brace yourself.

Chester Moore


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