The black drum, a popular fish on the Big Bend, can be found in large schools west of St. Martins Keys, off Mangrove Point, and in Rocky Cove. They are found in deeper holes in rivers, using live shrimp and cracked blue crabs as bait. Catching big drum is difficult, so live shrimp and cracked blue crabs are recommended. A cold front is expected this weekend, so river fishing may be the only choice.
Black Drum Fishing Florida with Captain William Toney
One over looked fish on the Big Bend is the black drum. Black drum can be as large as a garbage can but the better size for the table is the smaller ones between 14 and 24 inches. The slot size is the same and only one fish over the 24" size can be kept per angler, but the larger drum are fun on the line but not so hot on the cleaning table.
Generally big black drum have plenty of parasites and are best left to repopulate the waters. Black drum are in the same family as redfish and sea trout, because they use they throats to "drum" and communicate. Large schools of big drum can be found west of the St. Martins Keys, off of Mangrove Point and in Rocky Cove north of the Spoil Banks.
Big drum are not easy to catch on artificial baits so live shrimp and cracked blue crabs work best.
Now for the eating size drum fish the deeper holes in the rivers. Start about the half way mark toward the Gulf and use a 1/8 oz. jighead with a fresh shrimp. Deep drop offs and rocky shorelines on keys near the river are good spots too. A real cold front will be with us this weekend so river fishing might be the only choice. Incoming tide will be in the morning this weekend.
Captain William ToneyCaptain William Toney In The Spread, Instructor