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Thread: best bait for puppy drum

  1. #1
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    best bait for puppy drum

    im looking to do some puppy drum fishing next weekend for shore and im trying to figuer out what bait i should use. thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    There is no "best bait" imo, there's just favorites and preferences. They'll eat a lot of stuff.

    Live small finger mullet and tiny menhaden, if you can cast net them, on a little carolina rig work wonders for me. If live bait isn't an option then I'd go for cut spot or finger mullet, but really any cut bait will catch them. Shrimp works well too, the fresher the better. Caught them on squid and bloodworm as well. They seem to like that squid soaked in peeler crab oil. And they'll also go for gulp on a jighead as well.

  3. #3
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    Finger mullet, fresh shrimp, small chunk of mullet or menhaden. Those are my top choice of bait for puppy drum. Just remember to your bait fresh. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Bring a cast net and catch yourself some mullet or menhaden. Cut it up and there you have it. Often puppy drum are in close so no reason to cast too far at first.
    As ORF Pete said Gulp will also work whether used as a lure or bait. If a tail gets bitten off a Gulp mullet, use the body as "bait".
    Puppy drum will also hit lures from spinnerbaits to Mirrolures.

  5. #5
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    ok thanks. also what size hook do you suggest? i will more then likely be fishing a bottom rig. what is a carolina rig and dose any one have pics?

  6. #6
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    "Dolphin Belly" - the secret Drum bait, it can be had at most Marina Cleaning booth's around 4:30 in the afternoon if the boats went out - River

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by River View Post
    "Dolphin Belly" - the secret Drum bait, it can be had at most Marina Cleaning booth's around 4:30 in the afternoon if the boats went out - River
    Tuna works even better,jmo... When on the feed pinfish will work great.. Can remember a couple of Januarys ago when all ya had to do was throw something,almost anything from the surf and they were on it....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumdum View Post
    Tuna works even better,jmo... When on the feed pinfish will work great.. Can remember a couple of Januarys ago when all ya had to do was throw something,almost anything from the surf and they were on it....
    I was wondering - would the "throwaway" belly of pretty much any fish cleaned at the marina's charter fleet cleaning station work just as well? I'm coming to the OBX Oct. 21-28 and while the dolphin probably won't be around, I'm thinking about trying this out. What about belly meat from King Mack's, Wahoo, Triggerfish, Amberjack, etc.?

  9. #9
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    The real question is are you targeting puppy drum (slot sized fish) or bigger drum?
    According to a SCDNR study by Dr Charles Wenner, there may not be a a "best bait", but the drum diet does change significantly depending on the size of the fish.

    puppy drum - shrimp, quarter crab or small chunks of cut mullet on a 2/0 circle hook top my list
    bigger drum - live pinfish, spot, 5-6 inch menhaden and I bump up to a 3/0 circle hook

  10. #10
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    Depends on the season IMO

    Spring give me fresh shrimp any day of the week......Summer I like sandfleas and fresh shrimp.....Late summer into Fall I want a finger mullet head

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumintheSuds View Post
    Depends on the season IMO

    Spring give me fresh shrimp any day of the week......Summer I like sandfleas and fresh shrimp.....Late summer into Fall I want a finger mullet head
    Would you say that they were even in the surf with any consistancy in the summer to use fleas? Especially this time of year?

  12. #12
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    i think the all around best bait for most species is...DY-NO-MITE

  13. #13
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    i've had good luck with sand fleas and finger mullet,but have caught a few using cut spot.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinfisch01 View Post
    Would you say that they were even in the surf with any consistancy in the summer to use fleas? Especially this time of year?
    My understanding is that at least on the OBX there are always at least a few puppy drum (as opposed to the bigger drum that show up spring and fall) in the surf year-round. I know I've caught a couple in July/August before. And as far as sand fleas go, since they are also great bait for pomps, sea mullet and black drum, I wouldn't hesitate to use those in the summer. Just my two cents; I'd be intersted to know what DitS and others think.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinfisch01 View Post
    Would you say that they were even in the surf with any consistancy in the summer to use fleas? Especially this time of year?
    YES!.......In fact at times I have found them (puppy drum) to be a pain in the ass when I ma targeting sea mullet and black drum.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrady14 View Post
    ok thanks. also what size hook do you suggest? i will more then likely be fishing a bottom rig. what is a carolina rig and dose any one have pics?
    It's just a basic slip shot rig. Google "carolina rig" for pics. Used a lot in freshwater with worms and offset hooks for bass afaik. I don't use an offset hook when using it for puppy drum, just a regular 1/0 to 2/0 J hook. Let it sit out there or use a very slow retrieve to drag the live bait across the bottom. I use this rig specifically with live bait for flounder and pups. If I'm using cut bait I just use a hi/low bottom rig.
    Last edited by ORF Pete; 08-13-2012 at 04:58 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Busy View Post
    bigger drum - live pinfish, spot, 5-6 inch menhaden and I bump up to a 3/0 circle hook
    How's your hook-up ratio?

  18. #18
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    Went 25 for 27 on Saturday and 15 for 17 on Sunday on fish in the 23-30 inch range.

  19. #19
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    The thing about circle hooks is you've got to let them do their job. Put the rod down and leave it alone until it;s bowed and the drag is singing. A reds crushers will turn a pinfish or spot into mush, then there's plenty of gap in a 3/0 to catch them in the corner of the mouth.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Busy View Post
    A reds crushers will turn a pinfish or spot into mush, then there's plenty of gap in a 3/0 to catch them in the corner of the mouth.
    I'll second that, and add that even a whole crab doesn't stand a chance... Big hooks not necessary...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by solid7 View Post
    I'll second that, and add that even a whole crab doesn't stand a chance... Big hooks not necessary...
    Is this 14/0 j hook to big?

  22. #22
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    Ok, I thought you said big ones.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ORF Pete View Post
    It's just a basic slip shot rig. Google "carolina rig" for pics. Used a lot in freshwater with worms and offset hooks for bass afaik. I don't use an offset hook when using it for puppy drum, just a regular 1/0 to 2/0 J hook. Let it sit out there or use a very slow retrieve to drag the live bait across the bottom. I use this rig specifically with live bait for flounder and pups. If I'm using cut bait I just use a hi/low bottom rig.
    so this is basically a fish finder rig with a smaller hook

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Busy View Post
    Went 25 for 27 on Saturday and 15 for 17 on Sunday on fish in the 23-30 inch range.
    Yeap,I could see a 3/0 working just fine on those size fish...

  25. #25
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    My biggest inshore reds are a pair of 42 inchers, both caught on 2/0 circles. You only need a circle hook with a big enough gap to fit their lip.

    That's also why I asked about slotties (15-23" slot size in SC) or over slot. Anymore the only time I bust out the BIG circles is when I'm offshore dropping baits for grouper or inshore fishing live eels for striper. Then I pull out the 8/0 and have fun.

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