The secrets to drum fishing

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Rick Probst of Kill Devil Hills caught this monster red drum last Thursday while bottom fishing with a spot head off the end of the Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.


By Mike Sweeney

Friday, September 15, 2017

When it comes to drum fishing there are a certain type of angler that wants to go and wants it bad.

There are plenty of avid drum fisherman but then there are some anglers that seem to catch drum year after year and they have a few techniques that can help you catch the big drum.

The first tip is to fish a lot and when I say a lot you have to devote your spare time to fishing for reds and only reds.

I know guys who save their vacation days for this time of year so they can spend days at a time on the planks when the bite gets going. I also know anglers who leave Friday night after work and spend all weekend on the piers or beach fishing only to get home Sunday afternoon in time for dinner.

You have to want to catch a drum and want it bad.

Next you need the right tackle which is a big bait caster with tons of line and a great reel to send the bait a long way.

It takes practice to get out over the 100-yard line with you casts but the good ones do it on a consistent basis.

I like to use 15-pound mono with a shock leader of fluorocarbon of at least 30 pounds.

The leader must be long enough to run down the length of the rod and a couple of rotations around the reel in order to stand the speed of the casts.

The weights used are usually around 4 ounces but some guys use heavier if they feel it helps.

As far as baits go most use only spot or croaker heads on a large circle hook.

The heads are heavier and will travel a longer distance on your casts.

Some guys use a swivel at the end of the line with another small piece for the hook while others just tie the hook on the end of the leader with the slider above that.

It takes practice and time to perfect the art of drum fishing but if you want it bad enough you can catch some monsters out there and I have pictures to prove it.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore fishing this week has been almost nonexistent with most boats staying in the creeks but we had a couple go out one day and they did well with yellowfin and sails.

Closer to shore the near shore boats are doing pretty good with blues and drum.

The water is muddy near the beach but with the winds switching to the south it should clear up by the weekend.

We have a lot of drum fishing happening on every pier but Jennette’s pier is scoring more than most this week.

They had one eight good size drum on Sunday alone and more decent ones this week.

Locally we had most anglers stay home during the big north winds but later in the week the fishing continued to be good for largemouth.

Top water baits early in the morning are lasting longer during the day now and that always make me happy.

Pop-Rs and buzz baits are on the top of my list as well as Rapala stick baits for the ponds.

Keep the casts as close to the banks as possible and fish them all the way back to the boat.

Change the speed of you retrieve a lot and the fish will bite.

The white perch are still on fire also and have been all year.

White Beetle Spins and Uncle Jessie lures tipped with shrimp have worked for most every angler who throws them.

Look for the first drop off near a big flat or even up in the stump fields and try to bump the stumps with the baits.

Any log or stump in the drop off or in deeper water should hold the fish and where there is one there is hundreds this year so if you catch on stay there till you make them stop biting.

If anyone gets out this week send me a report and some pictures to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.