Saturday was one of the best days for outdoor activities this year. A number of anglers were on the water; however, at press time no reports were in.
This is typical for weekends, as fishing reports tend to trickle in as the anglers get settled. Hopefully we will have some indication of where we stand with the this year’s black drum run.
Several readers have asked if we could address fishing during the drum run and in particular what equipment is needed, styles of fishing and baits.
Most of the drum caught during the annual run are by anglers using typical trout action rods and reels, the types used for jetty fishing year round. Those patient souls who want to focus on landing a huge fish, and there are plenty of them around, use medium to heavy duty tackle much like the rods and reels used for reef fishing offshore.
Black drum in the 50-pound plus category are common and also fall into the category of fish to be released. Drum have a slot limit between 14 and 30 inches in length.
Bottom rigs or bait fished on the bottom work best for all drum during their annual run.
J-hooks tend to be the most popular, with sizes between 5/0 and 7/0 appearing to be the choice of many anglers. A strong leader with 30 to 50-pound monofilament line and a heavy weight are the top pick of experienced fishermen.
For bait, live and dead shrimp, live and broken dead crab, live and cut mullet and cut whiting all are used. Those anglers targeting the big uglies tend to favor crab and mullet for bait.
When does the action start peaking during the drum run? In most years, it is around St. Patrick’s Day and runs into April.
With the water temperature pushing close to 70 degrees, the action should start picking up.