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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. What I'm hearing so far is to find good structure next to deeper water. Am I thinking right on this?
 

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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.
 

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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..
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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..
 

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Dlpetrey, sounds like your from my area. We got 6 more inches last night. I live in Alleghany. Where are you from?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
 

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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...
 
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