The early part of this weekend should be tolerable for fishing, as winds are forecast to be light with only slight chances of rain.

Today is Texas Independence Day and what better way to celebrate than going after a mess of black drum. The big uglies and smaller puppy drum should be out there although not in the numbers that likely we will see later this month.

If you are new to fishing the black drum run, there are a few pointers you should know.

The first pointer has to do with the bag limits. Black drum are a slot fish like red drum or red fish. The slot for black drum is between 14 and 30 inches, with a bag limit of five per day. Now there is an exception like we see for tarpon and that is one drum over 52 inches can be retained in order to possibly break the current state record. The current state record is 81 pounds set back in 1988.

Next, drum are basically scavengers and bottom feeders. For larger drum, live or fresh dead crab are some of the top baits. The big drum which are often called big uglies offer an offshore type of fight for inshore anglers. Medium to medium/heavy tackle are most commonly used when fishing the annual spring drum run. Rods and reels used for red snapper offshore would be a good choice.

Finally, larger drum tend to be infested with parasites or worms and are not as popular for table fare as the puppy drum.

We will have more on fishing for black drum as we get farther into the season.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

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