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Do you want to catch more black drums? Are you interested in learning more black drum fishing tips to enhance your fishing skills? Black drums can be found along the coastal waters of the United States. They grow very large and feed mostly on crustaceans.

They are of the croaker family which includes a red drum, spotted seatrout, and the Atlantic croaker. If you want to learn how to catch more black drums, then these black drum fishing tips can help you catch more black drums.

Black Drum Fishing Tips
Black Drum Fishing Tips

How To Catch Black Drum

1. Trolling
If you are on a boat, you can fish for the black drum by trolling. Trolling is a fishing method that is popular among anglers. When trolling for black drum, you move the boat slowly and let the bait move at the back of the boat.  When you get a strike, take control of the line and quickly reel in the fish. Let others on board be prepared to lend a hand if needed. You can use spoons or jigs to troll for black drums.

2. Casting
Casting is another popular fishing method to catch black drums. Anglers usually cast and wait for a strike. Look for underwater structures as those are the areas the black drum will be holding out.  You can use slow-moving jigs and reel in quickly when it bites to set in the hook.

3. Surf Fishing

If you are fishing from the shore, you can surf fish for black drums.  Look for oyster beds, oyster reefs, and barnacle-covered material. These are where you will find black drums holding out when they are close to the shore. 

Anglers usually use a 6 to the 7-foot medium fishing rod when fishing for black drum, but when surf fishing, use a longer fishing rod and a little more weight than you usually use.

Black Drum Fishing Tackle

A 6 to 7-foot medium to medium-heavy action fishing rod paired with a medium-light spinning reel of the 3000 to 3500 series. Use a 12 to 15-pound braided line with a fluorocarbon leader and circle hooks will work for catching black drums. Use enough weight to keep the bait close to the bottom as they are bottom feeders and will often be at the bottom.

Black Drum Fishing Tips

1. In spring and fall, black drums can be found in shallow waters. This makes them a target for surf fishing.

2. Black drums are bottom feeders and can be found around underwater structures in the summer.

3. Hook sizes in the range of 8/0 to 10/0 circle hooks will work for black drums.

4. Always use enough weight to keep the bait at the bottom as black drums are bottom feeders and are usually found near the bottom structures.

5. It is important to use a circle hook to prevent deep hooking and injury to the fish as large black drums are usually released back into the waters as they are considered not good to eat.

Ideas For Black Drum Fishing
Ideas For Black Drum Fishing

6. Since black drums are schooling fish, during the spawning “run”, if you locate a school in the springtime, you can catch many of them if you can avoid spooking them.

7. Black drum use their sense of smell and feel, with the help of their chin barbels, to find food at the bottom.

8. You can find black drums around jetties, piers, bridge pilings, seawalls, and oyster reefs in bays, rivers, creeks, inlets, passes, or beaches.

9. Black drums can be found not only in deeper waters but also in shallow waters. You can also find them in clear and murky waters, as well as salt and brackish waters.

10. During the winter months, you can find black drums in the surf zones which is ideal for fishermen who engage in surf fishing.

Tips For Black Drum Fishing
Tips For Black Drum Fishing

11. The best time to fish for black drums is spring during the spawning period.

12. The best time of the day to fish for the black drums is in the afternoon and at night. Early morning is also a good time to catch black drums.

13. When fishing on the beach for black drums, you want to pin your bait at the bottom with a 2-6 oz. pyramid sinker.

14. The best lures for black drums are 4-inch gulp shrimp with a 1/8-ounce jig head or a 3 to 5-inch paddle tail with a 1/8 to 1/2-ounce jig head.

15. When fishing for black drums in both shallow and deep water, keep the bait still and on the bottom. They will be attracted to the bait by its scent as they roam looking for food.

Black Drum Fishing
Black Drum Fishing

16. A good time to fish for black drums is when there is a good current flow. The current flow will disperse the scent of the bait through the water.

17. The best technique for hooking the black drum is to wait out the “taps” until a steady pull or weight is felt. Then reel fast and come tight since black drums are difficult to hook. They will “mouth” the bait with a subtle take.

18. Docks and bridges provide structure, shade, and forage, and are usually found in areas with high current flow. This setup is ideal for fishing black drums.

19. When fishing for black drums near docks and bridges, fish the up-tide side of the structure. You can also implement this strategy when fishing from a boat. This allows the bait to drift back naturally to the structure. You can fish for black drums at night which can be very productive.

20. Black drum uses their sense of smell more than sight. This makes feeding at night not an issue. Lighted bridges, docks, inlets, and off the beach are great for night fishing. Surf fishing at night is also very productive.

Fishing Tricks For Black Drum
Fishing Tricks For Black Drum

21. The mouths of rivers are good fishing spots for black drums. The current flow and structure combine to make these areas very good fishing areas for black drums.

22. Blue crabs, shrimp, and sand fleas are often used by anglers as bait to catch black drums.

How to Catch from the Shore

When fishing for black drums from the shore, look around for any structures. Look for oyster reefs, oyster beds, bridge pilings, piers, or any structure close to the shore. Set your bait, preferably live shrimp, and wait for a response.

Fishing Tips For Black Drum
Fishing Tips For Black Drum

Black Drum Fishing Gear

1. Rods

A 7-foot medium or medium-heavy action rod will work for fishing black drums.

2. Reels

A spinning reel will work.

3. Line

A 20 lb. braided line will work well for fishing black drums.

4. Hooks

Hook sizes from 7/0 to 10/0 will do the job for black drums.

5. Rigs

i. Carolina Rig

ii. Drop-Shot Rig

iii. Freeline with Split-shot

Black Drum Fishing Ideas
Black Drum Fishing Ideas

Best Black Drum Baits

1. Crabs

Crabs are some of the best baits used by anglers for black drum.

2. Clams

Clams are also good bait for black drum.

3. Mussels

Mussels, crabs, and clams are some of the best baits to catch black drum.

4. Shrimp

Shrimp is a popular bait used by anglers to catch many fish including black drum.

5. Cut fish

Anglers often use chunks of cut fish as bait for fish including black drum.

6. Blood worms

Blood worms are also used as bait for black drum.

7. Mollusks

Mollusks are also used by anglers as bait for black drum.

8. Oysters

Oysters, like shrimps, crabs, and clams, are used to attract black drum and other fish.

9. Sand Fleas

Sand fleas are also a good bait for black drum fishing.

Fishing For Black Drum
Fishing For Black Drum
What is the best time to catch black drum?
Spring is the best time to catch the black drum.
What tide is best for black drum?
When there is high tide and the water current brings food toward them, black drum feed on the food.
What bait do you use for drum fish?
Black drum feed on crustaceans like crabs, clams, mussels, mollusks, sand fleas, oysters, shrimps, worms, etc.
What bait is best for black drum?
Shrimps and crabs are some of the best baits for black drum fishing.
Do black drum like current?
Water currents don’t deter black drums. Instead, they use the strong water currents to bring food to them.
What hooks for black drum?
Hook sizes ranging from 7/0 to 10/0 will work for black drum fishing.
Does black drum fight hard?
Black drums fight hard once they are on the hook.

The Bottom Line

Found in the coastal waters of the United States, black drums grow very large and feed mostly on crustaceans. They are a member of the croaker fish family. In this article, we share black drum fishing tips to help you, whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, catch more black drums on your fishing trips.

Bullhead fishing tips will help you catch more bullheads. If you also fish for crappies, then this article about crappie fishing tips will help be a more successful crappie angler. You can also read how to catch Atlantic spadefish and how to catch sheepshead.