Let's talk OBX drum fishing... [Archive] - PierandSurf.com | Pier and Surf Fishing Forum

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dlpetrey
02-25-2015, 11:43 AM
Well it's cold outside. Up here in the mountains we just got 5" of new snow Tuesday morning and are expecting 4-8" more tonight and tomorrow. So I'm a little bored and I imagine many of you are as well. I'd like to talk drum fishing a little-specifically Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island drum fishing. Being that I'm still in pursuit of my first citation fish I want to steer the odds in my favor as much as possible this coming spring.

I'm not a pier fisherman. I respect the guys that are and stand in awe of the fish they catch but it's just not my thing. I love nothing more than fishing from the sand. I also am not crazy about the conga line at the point. Once again, I have nothing but respect for the guys that fish there but I just don't enjoy the crowded atmosphere while I'm fishing. So those two items out of the way, here's what I'm wondering about...

It seems to me that to find drum (citation size) it is best to fish the sloughs and cuts that are nearest to deeper water, right? In my mind that tells me that there's a better chance of finding drum in the ramps 43-44 areas, not particularly 55, etc. Is this why it seems more large drum are caught off North Beach? Or do I have this completely backward-perhaps closer to the inlet is better? Or Ocracoke beach? Or should I just blast a cast out past the bar where the deeper water is? Or is it a combination of all this and I need to just fish the best places I can find and put in the time?

I'd love to hear any and ALL feedback. I'm going to be down there some this April and look forward to continuing the pursuit.

cooper138
02-25-2015, 01:02 PM
im not a huge conga line guy but you dont need to be in the line to land fish, fish to the south/west of the point, less crowded if thats your thing. keep the wind in your face or try hatteras inlet. in the fall look for holes and edges along the beaches from north to south. there are guys on here that have forgotten more about drum then i know but ive dumb lucked in some paper fish just doing that stuff. deep water near some sort of bar structure, cuts are your friend. i like to fish the north end of holes and cuts in the fall. and time will be your best friend. oh and fish after dark. looking forward to what others add in.

River
02-25-2015, 03:43 PM
Don't forget 55, there have been plenty of citation Drum caught by going to the end of Pole Rd, walking to the rt and launching a bait over the deep water to the bar ...... Things have changed down there but I'm pretty sure you can still throw to that bar and there's no conga line, you can even spike your heaver ...... Drumdum has fished there and knows what I'm talking about, they wear that school of Drum out sometimes ...... River

dlpetrey
02-25-2015, 04:09 PM
Thanks guys. What I'm hearing so far is to find good structure next to deeper water. Am I thinking right on this?

JamesRiverVa
02-25-2015, 05:33 PM
DrumintheSuds gave this advice back in the fall, on a thread re. Ocracoke drum fishing:

"look for choppy water next to deep water that looks like a washing machine. Big drum feed on the 'edges' of bars and on the shoals"

I've had decent luck on some fall trips to Ocracoke for drum, but have struck out both of the times I tried it in the spring (once in April, once in May). I'm curious whether the spring fishing is much different than the fall in terms of what you look for and where you find the fish, or if I just had bad timing on my two spring trips.

bronzbck1
02-25-2015, 07:04 PM
Your thinking right, Ramps 44, 49, & 55 in the spring and 44, 43, 38, etc. north in the Fall are your best chances.

Drumdum
02-25-2015, 08:23 PM
DrumintheSuds gave this advice back in the fall, on a thread re. Ocracoke drum fishing:

"look for choppy water next to deep water that looks like a washing machine. Big drum feed on the 'edges' of bars and on the shoals"

I've had decent luck on some fall trips to Ocracoke for drum, but have struck out both of the times I tried it in the spring (once in April, once in May). I'm curious whether the spring fishing is much different than the fall in terms of what you look for and where you find the fish, or if I just had bad timing on my two spring trips.

You look for the same stuff.. Spring fishing can be every bit as good as fall.. A pod of menhaden is always a bonus..

surfchunker
02-26-2015, 01:34 PM
last time we fished the end of the pole road there was a conga line there as now word has gotten out

bronzbck1
02-26-2015, 05:00 PM
last time we fished the end of the pole road there was a conga line there as now word has gotten out
Unless it changes in the next few months (it hasn't since summer) I wouldn't cast there for drum. Hopefully a ditch will open there like a few years ago but it's nothing right now. Covered in snags the past year!

justaguppy
02-26-2015, 05:26 PM
I'm not a big fan of the conga line either and after an unproductive day of tangles at the point last October, I landed a 47" drum (my first citation) early that evening at the end of the pole road. Only two other fishermen in sight. The only reason I even went there was because of something that I learned on this site...the wind plays as big a part in your success as any other factor and it had been blowing pretty good from the south for three straight days. My guess is in the spring we are looking for any kind of east wind to blow everything closer to shore as the drum head down the coast from VA and south/south east to blow on to Ocracoke.

Drumdum
02-26-2015, 08:26 PM
I'm not a big fan of the conga line either and after an unproductive day of tangles at the point last October, I landed a 47" drum (my first citation) early that evening at the end of the pole road. Only two other fishermen in sight. The only reason I even went there was because of something that I learned on this site...the wind plays as big a part in your success as any other factor and it had been blowing pretty good from the south for three straight days. My guess is in the spring we are looking for any kind of east wind to blow everything closer to shore as the drum head down the coast from VA and south/south east to blow on to Ocracoke.

East ain't too sporty in the spring or even in the fall if looking for a drum... Se can work,but sw would be the wind I would prefer.. East wind is as good as it gets for pinrigging..

Papa-T
02-26-2015, 08:27 PM
Dlpetrey, sounds like your from my area. We got 6 more inches last night. I live in Alleghany. Where are you from?

drumrun
02-26-2015, 09:19 PM
[QUOTE=justaguppy;856209]I'm not a big fan of the conga line either and after an unproductive day of tangles at the point last October, I landed a 47" drum (my first citation) early that evening at the end of the pole road. Only two other fishermen in sight. The only reason I even went there was because of something that I learned on this site...the wind plays as big a part in your success as any other factor and it had been blowing pretty good from the south for three straight days. My guess is in the spring we are looking for any kind of east wind to blow everything closer to shore as the drum head down the coast from VA and south/south east to blow on to Ocracoke.[/QUOTE

Just as an FYI the spring drum arent migrating north to south. They are moving east to west. The fish are moving back in from wintering offshore and making the move back into the sound. The fall we are gettin the Va fish following the water temps and bait down and the fish moving out of the sound till water temps push them offshore for the winter.

Dixiedawg80
02-26-2015, 09:25 PM
Papa-T, DL is my brother. Were over in Ashe County and yep, the snow got us too. Thanks to all for commenting on this thread, great stuff here.

justaguppy
02-26-2015, 09:48 PM
Oops. Sorry for confusing the issue. Should've laid off the hard stuff before posting.

ez2cdave
02-26-2015, 11:16 PM
Papa-T, DL is my brother.

Ah, so you're the identical twin . . . I heard a lot about you when your brother came to my house to pick up that Breakaway 13',2" 1508 Lite 2Pc-1Pc from me . . . Met your Dad at the same time, too !

dlpetrey
02-27-2015, 11:35 AM
Some great discussion on here. So what I'm hearing is find structure, shoaly water near deeper water. A SW wind is ideal and try to keep the wind in your face if at all possible. I think I'm hearing it is indeed possible to catch a citation drum at places other than piers and the point. Right?

Another wrinkle...

It seems like each time I fish Hatteras it's crowded. That's to be expected. The NPS has us beach-drivers crammed into relatively small areas. So it usually turns into a fish where you can park the truck type of scenario. Especially in the spring. So it seems to me, I might have better odds at finding this structure next to deeper water if I'm willing to walk and have a fishing cart. Right?

Thanks guys. I've just finished getting the reels cleaned. Getting ready.

bronzbck1
02-27-2015, 07:16 PM
Just remember Drum spend 90% of there life in 4 foot or less water

Garboman
02-28-2015, 01:20 PM
Just remember Drum spend 90% of there life in 4 foot or less water

Most of the Drum I get around are in water much deeper, say like 15-30', of course I am not around them in the summer much, but the ones we ran into the Pamlico sound spent a lot of time in deeper channels near the bars, hence the name "Channel Bass" which is what the Oyster fella prefers they are called.

I will agree that most of the Drum the fleas run into on the beach are in shallow water, cause once the water starts going over the tops of the waders, it makes it difficult to get a decent cast off.

Even so I would say that 90% of the Drum I hooked up to on the beach are likely in 8-10 feet of water.

Anyway that is my 2C's, like DD says if you can get into them in the Spring it is usually much less crowded. March 11 is the earliest I ever caught one off the South Tip of Ocracoke...............another great place we no longer have...

9 rock
03-01-2015, 12:52 PM
i thought drum are moving north in the spring

1

Drumdum
03-01-2015, 02:42 PM
i thought drum are moving north in the spring

1

Some are,but they cross by the piers and sand on the outside... On occasion they will catch one or two off the piers,but not many,and none off n beaches that I am aware of.. Va Beach has had them sighted near v bouy and 4a bouys in spring.. I'm sure those are the same ones.. Just my opinion,because there is no data or tagging info to prove it,but as drumchaser said,the fish that are being caught off beaches in the spring are east west fish.. Believe it or not there is another body of fish that winter in the sound that are probably east west fish as well.. Some don't seem to leave in the spring and stay all summer.. As you see there is no REAL answer to east west or north south,until they dig up enough data to prove what's what..... jmho...

ez2cdave
03-01-2015, 04:04 PM
last time we fished the end of the pole road there was a conga line there as now word has gotten out

Where is the Pole Road located and how is it accessed ?

9 rock
03-01-2015, 06:05 PM
So the fish that apear to come down the coast line seemingly going from location to location heading south are not really doing that


1

Drumdum
03-01-2015, 09:43 PM
So the fish that apear to come down the coast line seemingly going from location to location heading south are not really doing that


1 In the fall or at least the first of the fall,most of the fish caught off piers are e w fish.. They came out of the sound.. I can prove this with my own tags.. Later in the fall they are n s fish.. This I can't prove,but it is a theory of mine as well as several others.. Those in the springtime are mostly headed from w to e coming out of the sound.. The others I was referring to in the earlier post about spring fish were going n and generally are on the outside...

Drumdum
03-01-2015, 09:46 PM
So the fish that apear to come down the coast line seemingly going from location to location heading south are not really doing that


1 Also many of those fish in early fall will head both n and s almost like a big circle up and down the beach after bait,and weather conditions control that as well. One tag this year I tagged the fish on Avalon Pier,the tag was returned one week later on Nags Head Pier.. If that fish was headed south,he was on a slllllooooww boat... ;)

13JK
03-08-2015, 07:43 PM
This is going to be my first year surf fishing. I fish offshore most of the time but I want to try a new type of fishing so I chose surf fishing. I read a lot of good info on this site and im looking forward to trying a new hobby.

gshivar
03-09-2015, 08:52 AM
13JK - Welcome to the sand! best - glenn

cooper138
03-09-2015, 11:21 AM
This is going to be my first year surf fishing. I fish offshore most of the time but I want to try a new type of fishing so I chose surf fishing. I read a lot of good info on this site and im looking forward to trying a new hobby.

Boat fish dont count. Welcome to the site and the sand

Andrew Martin
03-09-2015, 02:40 PM
I'm going to be doing some surf fishing in early April in the Salter Path/Indian Beach area for my fourth year now. However, this is my first year using my own pole, an Ugly Stik that just under 5-feet.

Here's what I'm wondering, is this too short?

I've typically used a pole that's a bit longer (6 feet or so), but full disclosure: I typically don't cast terribly far as I'm going for fish holes that are pretty close to shore and catching spot, pompano, and mullet (for the most part).

Drumdum
03-09-2015, 08:18 PM
I'm going to be doing some surf fishing in early April in the Salter Path/Indian Beach area for my fourth year now. However, this is my first year using my own pole, an Ugly Stik that just under 5-feet.

Here's what I'm wondering, is this too short?

I've typically used a pole that's a bit longer (6 feet or so), but full disclosure: I typically don't cast terribly far as I'm going for fish holes that are pretty close to shore and catching spot, pompano, and mullet (for the most part).

Long as you are comfortable with the rod,cast far enough to suit you,and it fights a fish like you would want,shouldn't be a problem.. There are no set rules on tackle that can be used.. You could catch spot,pompano,and seamullet with a zebco if you really wanted...

Andrew Martin
03-09-2015, 08:31 PM
Long as you are comfortable with the rod,cast far enough to suit you,and it fights a fish like you would want,shouldn't be a problem.. There are no set rules on tackle that can be used.. You could catch spot,pompano,and seamullet with a zebco if you really wanted...

Thanks!

ez2cdave
03-09-2015, 09:11 PM
You could catch spot,pompano,and seamullet with a zebco if you really wanted...

14730

1BadF350
03-09-2015, 09:17 PM
14730

14731

Andrew Martin
03-09-2015, 09:46 PM
Christ, sorry I asked.

yerbyray
03-09-2015, 09:57 PM
Christ, sorry I asked.

Hey Andrew,

A longer pole does have advantages in greater length and leverage. Fish can be everywhere and an average length surf rod....say 9' would allow you to reach beyond the first bar as well as catch the ones sucking on your toes.

Fish tend to congregate where the food is or moves through. A "rip" between the bar allows small critters and morsels to move into deeper water and that is where the fish are. A five foot pole might get you there if the bar is close but keep in mind that the bar moves around. it might be twenty yards from the bikinis and then it can be 120 yards out.

That 5 footer would be good on the pier so don't get rid of it. I think you can find a good length and not break the bank.

Please forgive the jokesters....it has been a long cold winter and they have about lost their minds waiting on the first mullet to arrive

Andrew Martin
03-09-2015, 10:01 PM
Thank you, Yerby, I appreciate it!

Andrew Martin
03-09-2015, 10:27 PM
I probably could have better explained a few things.

For one, I fish with the intent of eating whatever I catch (within reason of course haha), so I don't mind catching the smaller spot, pompano and mullet because they're good eatin' and I don't mind filleting them.

Also, I fish pretty much all day because it's not something I do more then a handful of times a year. So yeah, while going farther and getting bigger fish would be great, I just wanna make sure I can snag the ones I mentioned above without any issues.

yerbyray
03-09-2015, 10:44 PM
Well sounds like you are ready for action when the fish arrive.

I have as a loaner, and this is the rig I recommend for any beginner, is a 8 to 9' Okuma spinning rod (rated to three ounces) with a Mitchell 302 reel. It is spooled with 12# mono and I use a fluorocarbon leader for lures and a 30# mono shockleader for bait. Total cost for this would be in the neighborhood of 30 bucks but is basically bomb-proof.

this web forum is loaded with a lot of tricks and techniques that can really improve your catch.

Andrew Martin
03-10-2015, 08:54 AM
Well sounds like you are ready for action when the fish arrive.

I have as a loaner, and this is the rig I recommend for any beginner, is a 8 to 9' Okuma spinning rod (rated to three ounces) with a Mitchell 302 reel. It is spooled with 12# mono and I use a fluorocarbon leader for lures and a 30# mono shockleader for bait. Total cost for this would be in the neighborhood of 30 bucks but is basically bomb-proof.

this web forum is loaded with a lot of tricks and techniques that can really improve your catch.

Yes indeed!

And I realize, again, that the rod I'm using is on the very short side, but I'm hoping it's ideal for the more aggressive/frequent casting I do where I'll be castingójust hope the surf hasn't changed too much since last summer when I was out there.

Also, my father (who's never done surf fishing but is joining me in early April) will likely have an 8 or 9-foot setup, so we can definitely cover the bases.

reeldude56
03-27-2015, 01:16 PM
1487614877
Haven't surf fished in years due to health reasons and sure miss it. Buddy took me drum fishing for first time in Nov of 86 on Hatteras. Stayed in avon and fished ramp 34 without 4 wheel drive, however there just happen to be a deep slough right next to the beach. One day we both had a big fish on but both broke off, mostly due to inexperience. Met a local who we became friends with and he told me to use one of his heavers with conventional reel for the next day. Having never casted one of these before, was paranoid on backlashing reel so just tossed it out 80' or so in the slough while everyone else were casting for max. distance. Around 2 pm got a run on the heaver and landed my first drum, 56" fork length. Had no clue this was a trophy fish being completely new at this type of fishing.

We didn't have a cooler near big enough for it so put in washtub with bag of ice. Buddy that let me borrow heaver said I need to get it weighed for a citation, so went to red drum tackle next morning for a weight. Weighed in at 60# that morning, would have liked to have known weight when first caught out of surf. Much to my surprise not only was it a citation but the largest weighed in that year which earned me the big fish plaque for that year. From then on, always had a bait close in.

gshivar
03-27-2015, 01:29 PM
reeldude56. Thanks, enjoyed reading your adventure. glenn

Got Fish?
03-27-2015, 01:40 PM
1487614877
Haven't surf fished in years due to health reasons and sure miss it. Buddy took me drum fishing for first time in Nov of 86 on Hatteras. Stayed in avon and fished ramp 34 without 4 wheel drive, however there just happen to be a deep slough right next to the beach. One day we both had a big fish on but both broke off, mostly due to inexperience. Met a local who we became friends with and he told me to use one of his heavers with conventional reel for the next day. Having never casted one of these before, was paranoid on backlashing reel so just tossed it out 80' or so in the slough while everyone else were casting for max. distance. Around 2 pm got a run on the heaver and landed my first drum, 56" fork length. Had no clue this was a trophy fish being completely new at this type of fishing.

We didn't have a cooler near big enough for it so put in washtub with bag of ice. Buddy that let me borrow heaver said I need to get it weighed for a citation, so went to red drum tackle next morning for a weight. Weighed in at 60# that morning, would have liked to have known weight when first caught out of surf. Much to my surprise not only was it a citation but the largest weighed in that year which earned me the big fish plaque for that year. From then on, always had a bait close in.


Great story, fun read! Thanks for sharing!!

dlpetrey
03-27-2015, 01:58 PM
Man what a fish. Awesome story.

One time my dad was fishing Portsmouth (North Core) and handed his rod to a buddy so he could go do something. Went up to the camper, came back down to his buddy and his buddy was fighting a fish on dad's rod. Ended up being a 40+ inch drum.

Just goes to show you it can happen anytime.

reeldude56
03-27-2015, 02:28 PM
Thanks guys, that fish got me totally addicted to saltwater fishing, which keep my bank account depleted.

Drumdum
03-27-2015, 08:17 PM
I probably could have better explained a few things.

For one, I fish with the intent of eating whatever I catch (within reason of course haha), so I don't mind catching the smaller spot, pompano and mullet because they're good eatin' and I don't mind filleting them.

Also, I fish pretty much all day because it's not something I do more then a handful of times a year. So yeah, while going farther and getting bigger fish would be great, I just wanna make sure I can snag the ones I mentioned above without any issues.

Andrew in your first post you sounded as though a 5' rod was what you had caught fish on before.. A 5' rod WILL WORK (PIER OR SURF),and as I said,for the fish you were suggesting,a zebco set up WILL work... Now,no doubt you get something big on there you are in for trouble,but that isn't where I was going,just saying what you COULD catch the fish suggested on... All that being said,I use a 7' rod with a 2000 sized spinner to catch the fish you are after.. You can go way overboard on tackle,DEPENDING on what you are fishing for.. OR be in the middle with an 8' rod and 4000 series reel.. Many here have given good suggestions.. BUT you can go in the surf with that 5' rod and catch PLENTY of eater fish I promise!! ;)_

yerbyray
03-27-2015, 08:31 PM
a zebco set up WILL work... I just striped off the line from my daughters 3' Barbie fishing rod & reel and put 12# Berkley Big Game. She is going to accompany me for a few hours on the pier and surf next week and I hope that something large gets a hold of it just to see her go bananas.

rabbitdog2
03-28-2015, 08:25 AM
I just striped off the line from my daughters 3' Barbie fishing rod & reel and put 12# Berkley Big Game. She is going to accompany me for a few hours on the pier and surf next week and I hope that something large gets a hold of it just to see her go bananas.
If something large gets it, say a 3# pompano you will be heading back to Wally World to get another Zebco

Got Fish?
03-28-2015, 09:14 AM
Sorry about the off topic question, but it seems like I should post it here instead of make a new thread. Are puppy drum leader shy?

Drumdum
03-28-2015, 10:52 AM
If something large gets it, say a 3# pompano you will be heading back to Wally World to get another Zebco

used to bass fish with the 33 zebco for a few years when I was a kid.. Had bass over 5lb on it,as well as a couple of 5lb carp.. It worked,not the greatest,but would work fine with 12lb line..

Drumdum
03-28-2015, 10:56 AM
I just striped off the line from my daughters 3' Barbie fishing rod & reel and put 12# Berkley Big Game. She is going to accompany me for a few hours on the pier and surf next week and I hope that something large gets a hold of it just to see her go bananas. Loved mine when I was a kid.. It is about the simplest setup a kid could use.. They work fine.. No,they're not going to catch a 20plus fish that screams off a bunch of line,but they'll work fine for a youngen...


Sorry about the off topic question, but it seems like I should post it here instead of make a new thread. Are puppy drum leader shy?
Maybe if fishing in ultra clear shallow water,but in general I have never seen them leader shy..

Got Fish?
03-28-2015, 11:25 AM
Ok thanks drumdum.

rabbitdog2
03-28-2015, 12:40 PM
used to bass fish with the 33 zebco for a few years when I was a kid.. Had bass over 5lb on it,as well as a couple of 5lb carp.. It worked,not the greatest,but would work fine with 12lb line..
The zebco reels today with the plastic gears are not the reels the old 33 was

yerbyray
03-28-2015, 01:51 PM
Loved mine when I was a kid.. It is about the simplest setup a kid could use.. They work fine.. No,they're not going to catch a 20plus fish that screams off a bunch of line,but they'll work fine for a youngen...

She is 7 and it's all about getting her outside and fishing. I already have her an Abu 6500 Mag Elite set aside for the day she can chuck it.

Dixiedawg80
03-30-2015, 10:00 AM
She is 7 and it's all about getting her outside and fishing. I already have her an Abu 6500 Mag Elite set aside for the day she can chuck it.

Smart man!!

gshivar
03-30-2015, 10:56 AM
Yerbyray - you'll have that Abu 6500 well broken in by the time she gets old enough to use it!! Best - glenn