bigfish4me

South jersey black drum

Rate this topic

15 posts in this topic

Fished the spring run in the Delaware bay for years.... big fish and lots of fun.  Dunno probably 10 years or so ago we decided we would give the back waters in sea isle a shot and try a drum up a few drum since flounder wasn’t open.First try we caught 2 puppy drum around 24”...figure we dedicate 3 or 4 trips each spring targeting them in the back and we do ok.  

 

Over those years we have have tried many different depths and areas , haven’t caught any large drum... all cookie cutter 22-24” fish. We have 2 spots that are pretty dam consistent and it truly baffles me why they are not only there.... but there every year. 

 

If if we hadn’t stumbled on the first spot by pure luck.... I would have sworn that there are no black drum in the back waters ive been fishing for 30 years in May .

 

There’s no hard structure, bend, steep sod drop off , dead center of a mile long path of water 12’ deep.  After striking out at places with all the good stuff we were looking for we started searching for spots that mimicked the first.... and we caught fish.... long, straight seemingly featureless paths of water between 10-15 foot of water has been a consistent pattern.

 

Any one else target them besides in the Delaware bay?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once in a while we hear about a 50 - 60 pounder in the back but not very often. Keep trying your spots and maybe get lucky. If you reach my area I have a decent location you can try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll keep that in mind gunner.... much appreciated.

 

My theory is.... some bigger fish probably filter trough.... but later....by then it’s too late in the year and pretty impossible to fish a clam on the bottom.  Let’s face it ..... there’s not a whole lotta guys anchored up with a clam log down fishing surf clams in the back waters down our way, 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 15-16 years ago I was on the beach in Ocean County at the end of the summer doing some bait soaking.  A guy came up and set up about 100 yards south of me.  He was actually just reeling in to check his bait and he caught the biggest black drum I've ever seen.  From what I remember it took two people to lift the thing into the back of his truck and when they got it to the bait shop, it broke the scale and pulled the scale's hook straight.  Had to have been north of 75 pounds.

 

That was a long time ago.  I haven't seen any big drum caught from the beach since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

18 hours ago, bigfish4me said:

If if we hadn’t stumbled on the first spot by pure luck.... I would have sworn that there are no black drum in the back waters ive been fishing for 30 years in May .

I don't talk to many people who go out for drum. My future BIL does the DE bay thing every year, but like you said i've never heard of anyone catching them in the back bays. I've read that they will go inland to find grass shrimp and fiddler crabs so there's always a chance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have caught a bunch of drum out of the surf, ranging from the puppies (sub 24") to the bigger one (40+lbs). From my experience, June seem to be the time where soaking a clam can produce drum in NJ. 

 

 

IMG-9290.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in Atlantic County and over the past ten years had seen annual reports of guys consistently catching drum from April to the beginning of May in a particular back bay spot. The area doesn’t have a lot of drop offs or beds of any sort but it is a major harvesting ground for blue claws. My theory is that the early spring crab hatch is the reason the fish are prevalent in the area.  By the time the drum hit the beaches and seemingly the DE Bay, that spot seems to dry out.  I’m thinking finding spots loaded with crabs might be the ticket for finding drum in SJ. I’ll be hunting for them this spring from the yak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think in your case, you are catching them there not because they "hang out" there, but they are probably in transition from one spot to another, and you are there as they go by.  Just a thought, and I'm sticking to it!!!! LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FunkyBunker said:

 

I don't talk to many people who go out for drum. My future BIL does the DE bay thing every year, but like you said i've never heard of anyone catching them in the back bays. I've read that they will go inland to find grass shrimp and fiddler crabs so there's always a chance. 

Pretty sure there might be a hand full of people doing it down there at best.  Like I said earlier we probably do 3-4 trips targeting them and usually end up with 4 -6 fish.... skunked one day and 2 or 3 the next. 

 

Ive tried crab, shrimp, mussels.... only get bit on clam.  After the end of May Anchoring up and tossing a clam is feeding the crabs.... besides that flounder is open by then and it’s flatfish time.

 

we do a Delaware bay trip each year, bounce back and forth between 2 boats and it’s a great time..... it’s our booze cruise trip lol

 

. We use to pull the boat from the slip and trailer down to cape May and striper fish in the fall ... that fishery has been dead for almost 10 years....pull boat at first light.... fish most of the day or until we had a limit then trailer it back up to sea isle and drop it back in.  Not doing it for drum....while the bkackfin can run through anything you can take.... it’s not the boat ya wanna be anchored up on in the dirty ditch.... she’s a rocker. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, surfseeker86 said:

I live in Atlantic County and over the past ten years had seen annual reports of guys consistently catching drum from April to the beginning of May in a particular back bay spot. The area doesn’t have a lot of drop offs or beds of any sort but it is a major harvesting ground for blue claws. My theory is that the early spring crab hatch is the reason the fish are prevalent in the area.  By the time the drum hit the beaches and seemingly the DE Bay, that spot seems to dry out.  I’m thinking finding spots loaded with crabs might be the ticket for finding drum in SJ. I’ll be hunting for them this spring from the yak.

Your post supports my pattern.... not much structure, mud bottom and minimal current. My other theory is razor clams.... they love em and I bet we’re fishing on a razor clam bed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bigfish4me said:

Your post supports my pattern.... not much structure, mud bottom and minimal current. My other theory is razor clams.... they love em and I bet we’re fishing on a razor clam bed. 

You’re probably right. Something else I learned this past year after spending time watching videos online is that guys in Florida up through Virginia use crab for bait. It might stay on the hook better in some cases and could be worth a shot. Also, saw some local yak and boat guys have success targeting them with large gulp shrimp.  Just some thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bigfish4me said:

Pretty sure there might be a hand full of people doing it down there at best.  Like I said earlier we probably do 3-4 trips targeting them and usually end up with 4 -6 fish.... skunked one day and 2 or 3 the next. 

 

Ive tried crab, shrimp, mussels.... only get bit on clam.  After the end of May Anchoring up and tossing a clam is feeding the crabs.... besides that flounder is open by then and it’s flatfish time.

 

we do a Delaware bay trip each year, bounce back and forth between 2 boats and it’s a great time..... it’s our booze cruise trip lol

 

. We use to pull the boat from the slip and trailer down to cape May and striper fish in the fall ... that fishery has been dead for almost 10 years....pull boat at first light.... fish most of the day or until we had a limit then trailer it back up to sea isle and drop it back in.  Not doing it for drum....while the bkackfin can run through anything you can take.... it’s not the boat ya wanna be anchored up on in the dirty ditch.... she’s a rocker. 

My in-laws have a house in Sea Isle. I’ve been fishing the sods in back on foot for at least 15 years. I don’t even bother anymore, that’s how bad the fishing has been lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't do much drum fishing.  Can you catch them off of flat beaches, or do they have to have lots of structure?  I have an beach near me that is pretty flat all the way out with the occasional divot.  Should I try fishing some clam here?  And if I do, should it be around this time of year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I yak for them every year but in the bay and not the back. I occasionally catch them in the back while togging early spring.  Seems like surf clams are becoming increasingly harder to get every year. I may have to try crab and gulp shrimp if i cant get clams easily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.