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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Black Drum part2


              10 Black Drum Tips and Tricks

The black drum, the largest species in the drum family, is both a fine eating fish and excellent sport fish, depending on the size of fish targeted. These large fish are commonly 20-to-50 pounds, and reach over 100 pounds when fully grown.
                                             In general, the smaller fish taste very similar to a redfish, while the larger fish do not taste as well. Black drum are a rather simple fish, but still take some time and patience to learn the tricks of the trade. Here, we present the Top 10 Tips and Tricks for catching these big drums.

10 things to remember when Black drum fishing:

As previously mentioned, the Black drum is a rather simple fish when compared to more complicated species. They are however, a great challenge to catch in certain scenarios, especially using artificial lures and flies. Commonly reaching 50 pounds, these fish make great sport for anglers wanting big fish without traveling several miles offshore. Hopefully these top 10 tips give you what you need to do so.

1.Fish where the fish are.

This sounds simple enough, but if you head on the water without knowing where the fish will be during each season, you might not find the fish. Black drum can be found in the shallow flats through the spring and fall, and in the early summer mornings, but found in much deeper channel waters during the midday summer and winter seasons.

2.Natural bait is best.

3.Crack open your bait.

4.Fish the spring “drum run.”

5.Fish the flats early on summer mornings.

6.Use the natural currents.

7.Don’t spook tailing fish.

8.Use medium or heavy tackle.

9.Use conventional tackle near structures and deep water.

10.Use a soft-tipped rod.



Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong-Gone Fishin'

Sebastian Inlet Report


01-28-15 WEDNESDAY: COLD AND SLOW 

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS RENOVATING THE SOUTH CATWALK; IT IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THE A-1-A BRIDGE WILL BE CLOSED INTERMITTENLY IN 30 MINUTES INCREMENTS FEBRUARY 3 - 6, 2015 FROM 8:30 - 5:00. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND WHEN TRAVELING OVER THE BRIDGE FROM THE NORTH OR SOUTH.

We have another cool, crisp morning at the inlet. Winds are blowing out of the North-Northwest at 12 mph, gusting to 17 and the water is choppy. We don't have many people out in the cold conditions this morning. The cold weather paired with a slow bite is keeping many anglers at home so there's not much to report. 

Our angler of the day is Jose Pina of Poinciana with a large Black Drum he landed using fresh clams, Jose reported that 3 - 4 others landed Black Drum as well. 

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

Inshore there has been a few reports of some reds to the north around Harbor Branch with a few trout mixed in D.O.A Cals have produced the best.The snook fishing has been good in the inlet and around the bridges on live bait.The south jetty has had a few flounder and a few pompano around on the incoming tide. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Black Drum part1

Black Drum

Black drum (Pogonias cromis) belong to the family Sciaenidae, which encompasses two other popular sport fish: Redfish and Spotted seatrout. Like its relatives, this fish spends much of its life in the estuaries and shallow coastal waters. It is deeper bodied than either the Spotted seatrout or Redfish, and has a silver, grey or black overall coloration, with darker vertical stripes in younger fish. It can also be distinguished from the Redfish by having chin barbels, where the Redfish lacks barbels. It is a bottom feeder, preying mostly on benthic crustaceans and mollusks. Although the larger fish are not considered very edible, due to common cestode infestations and general poor taste, this is a common sport fish due to its size; individuals can grow up to 67 inches and 113 pounds, and live up to 58 years!


Catching Black Drum 101


The Black drum is a chunky, high-backed fish with many barbels or whiskers under its lower jaw for tasting things to eat. Younger fish have four or five dark vertical bars, but these disappear with age. The bellies of older fish are white but coloration of backs and sides can vary. Fish from Gulf waters frequently lack color and are light grey or silvery. These fish are the largest species in the drum family, growing over 100 pounds when fully grown.

When to Find Black drum
In the springtime – around March and April -- schools of very large fish, often in excess of 30 pounds, can be found tailing, feeding and schooling in patterns very similar to redfish, and also within the deep channels inside the inlets. Look for clouds of mud in otherwise clear water, and there are likely big black drum in the neighborhood. They repeat these patterns in the fall, so look for them on our shallow grass flats again in September and October. But they are not seasonal. As the water warms into the summer months, these large fish have moved into the deepest water they can find where structure provides them the crustaceans that comprise the largest percentage of their diets. You will find them alongside all the big pilings on every big bridge on both coasts. In the wintertime, you will find the smaller fish – the best ones to eat, by the way – in the residential canals in Florida and in all inland waters. They can be caught underneath the docks right along with redfish, but are more likely to be in the deeper channels, and nearer to the openings and open water where you'll find residential canals and docks.


Where to Catch Black Drum

All the drum species are in our waters all times of the year. Black drum are around all year, although they are found in different places at different times of the year, and their sizes can vary considerably. You will catch them on grass flats, in residential canals, and in deeper channels around the big bridges.


Tackle for Black drum

In the backwaters where you have to fish alongside of docks and other residential structure, the smaller version of what can be a very big fish can be caught on relatively light tackle. A seven-foot spinning rod with medium power is fine in most cases. If you're fishing docks and underneath other structure, a shorter rod – and perhaps even a conventional rod so you can gain leverage on bigger fish – might be better suited. Tackle for these fish is like tackle for any sports species – there are people who even want to catch them on a five-weight fly-rod.

Spinning Tackle for Black Drum

In shallow waters, a solid spinning outfit is perfect for catching smaller and medium-sized black drum up to 20-30 pounds. A medium reel capable of holding 15-to-20-pound test line is recommended for the shallows, where you can let the fish run to tire itself out, and no structures are in the way. In deeper waters such as the shipping channels and bridges, spinning tackle can also be used, but much heavier gear is required, spooled with at least 30-pound test line.



Conventional Tackle for Black Drum

For deep water and fishing near structures, nothing is better than a solid conventional rod-and-reel combo. Conventional tackle has much greater leverage than spinning tackle, which allows you to pull heavy fish away from the structures that may cut your line. It also helps pull up big bruisers in deep shipping channels which may be as deep as 60 feet, so you can use all the help you can get. Heavy-duty or larger baitcasting reels are also good. Heavy baitcasting reels can generally cast farther than spinning reels, so they also come in handy when sight-fishing tailing schools on the flats, where you can cast far to not spook the fish with the boat if you do not have a Power-Pole anchor.


Flyrods for Black Drum

A solid 10-to-12 weight flyrod is recommended for catching Black drum on fly. A nice solid backbone in the heavy-weight rod will allow you to reel in these big bruisers, and will also allow you to cast a heavy-sinking line and fly. The sinking line and fly is definitely a must to get the fly to the bottom where the fish are feeding. In addition, the heavier the line and flies, the farther you can cast. You really need a far cast for fly-fishing drums, because the less spooked they are, the more likely they are to bite.

Baits for Black Drum

Natural baits are by far the best method for catching Black drum. Good baits include blue crabs, shrimp, clams, mussels, and anything else that puts off a good odor and taste. One trick if you’re not getting bites is to break open or pinch the baits, allowing more scent to be released into the water.


Lures for Black drum

Artificial lures can be a successful method of catching Black drum with a little skill and a lot of patience. Since these fish rely heavily on smell and taste, the best artificial lures are the soft plastics that are scented with natural flavors. These baits can be used similarly to how you would use live baits, by casting among schooling fish, or drifting along the bottom of deep channels and backwaters.

Sebastian Inlet Report


01-27-15 TUESDAY: CHILLY CONDITIONS AT THE INLET! 

THE DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION WILL BE CLOSING THE A-1-A BRIDGE OVER THE INLET IN 30 MINUTE INCREMENTS FEBRUARY 2 - 6 FROM 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. THE SOUTH CATWALK IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

We have a chilly, crisp morning at the inlet. Winds are blowing out of the Northwest at 12 mph, gusting to 20 and the water is choppy. We don' have a lot of folks out on the jetties this morning braving the elements. With the wind chill it feels like it's in the 40's! Bundle up if you head to the inlet today, 

We are expecting cooler temperatures the next few days with higher winds but blue skies! Toward the end of the week we should see the temperature start to rise. Hopefully this front will invigorate the bite which has been spotty the past week. 

Our angler of the day is 11 year old Evan McLeod of Indialantic. Evan and his dad Scott were fishing the south jetty when Evan landed this good sized Lookdown using live shrimp on a jig. 

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

The inshore fishing has been good with some nice reds around midway road on soft baits with a few trout mixed in.The flounder bite has been ok in the inlet with live shrimp and soft baits. The snook fishing has been good in the inlet and the bridges with jigs and live bait snook season opens soon and should be a good season,So come on in and get ready for snook season.