Black Puppy Drum Fishing

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Instructor: William Toney

Winter inshore fishing offers delicious table fare for black drum, a bottom feeder that eats shrimp, fiddler crabs, and other crustaceans. Capt. William Toney will teach you where to fish, how to target puppy drum, and how to locate deeper holes and channels. These tips are invaluable for winter days when exploring further out.

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Video Summary
  • Black Drum Species Overview
  • Physical Characteristics:
  • Diet and Edibility
  • Fishing Techniques
The juvenile stage of the black drum, commonly referred to as "puppy drum," is a smaller version of the adult black drum, a marine species capable of reaching sizes up to 100 pounds and 50 inches in length. Characterized by a dark body with irregular markings and distinct rows of large spots near its eyes, the black drum primarily feeds on bottom-dwelling crustaceans like shrimp and crabs. Although edible, the flesh of the adult black drum might have a strong, fishy taste and a darker coloration. However, the younger "puppy drum" is highly favored for its milder, sweeter taste. This fish is a relative of the red drum, also known as redfish, but is classified under a different genus. Predominantly inhabiting offshore muddy zones and shallow waters near coastlines, the black drum is widely distributed across the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Atlantic coast of the United States. Nutritionally, it is a valuable source of protein and has a significant oil content. The black drum's versatility in the kitchen allows for various cooking methods, including baking, broiling, and grilling, to enhance its flavor.

Black Puppy Drum Videos

Our In The Spread instructional video aims to simplify the learning process for anglers. We focus on targeting mid-winter "puppy" drum, found in deeper areas of the Homosassa River. This technique is applicable across various locations, from Texas, around Florida, and up the East Coast.

Capt. William Toney, a seasoned Florida light tackle fishing expert with extensive experience in inshore and backcountry waters, will guide you through effective fishing strategies. He shares valuable tips and tactics for catching eating-sized drum, enhancing your fishing skills and success rate.

Feeding Habits and Baits

Black drum, like their relatives the redfish and seatrout, are bottom feeders. They primarily consume shrimp, fiddler crabs, and small blue crabs. Our video showcases the specific baits we use for black drum and demonstrates proper bait hooking techniques. During heavy feeding periods, these fish can also be enticed with artificial lures.

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Insights

The Homosassa region boasts unique fishing conditions, thanks to the spring-fed headwaters maintaining a constant temperature of 72 degrees. As tides ebb, this warm water flows out of the river, creating ideal conditions in holes and deeper channels near the river's edge. These areas, with warmer swirling water, attract quality bait and are prime locations for black drum. Our video delves into targeting strategies, including the choice of tackle, rigging methods, boat positioning, casting techniques, and bait presentation. We provide a comprehensive guide to effectively fish these productive waters, maximizing your chances of landing quality black drum.

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Captain William Toney

Captain William Toney, a Florida native, is a fourth-generation fishing guide known for his expertise in Redfish, Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Snook and other fish species. He is a licensed and insured guide, a Homosassa Guide's Association member, and hosts 'In The Spread', an online fishing instruction platform. Toney's expertise in redfish, tides, and bait presentation is unparalleled, and he shares his knowledge on seasonal fish migration patterns and tidal flows. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to younger generations is invaluable.

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