Black Drum Fishing Basics

Saltwater Fishing | Saltwater Fish

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Black drum are found inshore and nearshore from Maine down to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico.  You can usually find these fish in similar spots as you find redfish, trout and flounder.  They are a popular inshore and nearshore fish.

How to Catch

Black drum are found inshore and nearshore.  Smaller fish feed on worms and small fish while the adult black drum are mostly bottom feeders and they usually feed on mollusks and crabs.  Most anglers catch them while fishing for other fish inshore with shrimp and a variety of cut bait.

Recommended Tackle

Black drum are the biggest type of drum.  Most fish can range anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds, but fish over 50 pounds are not uncommon and they can grow as large as 90 pounds.  You are going to want to go with medium to medium heavy spinning gear when fishing shallower because the average sized drum will be smaller.  12 to 20 pound line will be fine for most situations.  When fishing deeper, you may want to go anywhere from 20 to 40 pound test line.  Whenever you go lighter than 20 pound test line, we highly recommend at least a 20 pound fluorocarbon leader so you don’t get bit off as much.  There are plenty of toothy critters swimming in the saltwater.

Eating Black Drum

Many people consider the larger black drum a trash fish or at least not a very good eating fish, while the smaller black drum have a good reputation for being a good-eating fish.  Some people believe they taste better coming from colder water also.  Try eating some of the smaller fish first to see if you like them.  If you start with a bigger fish, you may be totally turned off by this fish, if you don’t like the taste.


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