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 BLACK DRUM TRIP

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SJ Fish Whisperer
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PostSubject: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:03 pm

We are putting together a Drum outing for this spring.
The goal is to get as many kayaks as we can and have one of us
set a world record.

We'll need to listen for the fish position movements
and go when the fish are closest to shore. Mid May-June ish.

The Delaware can change nasty in a hurry. We will also need a few people
in boats for booboo's and emergencies.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:36 pm

Article written in New Jersey Angler Magazine date and author unknown.
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The black drum is the largest member of the croaker family, achieving weights of 100 pounds or more. Drum are found in inshore waters throughout the East Coast of the United States, but nowhere are they more prolific than in the Delaware Bay, and there’s no more lucrative time to pursue them than over the full moon in May, when the greatest number of big drum are present and the majority of spawning activity occurs.

Timing of the Drum Run

Drum enter the Delaware Bay in early April. The first fish are usually small “pups”, but it doesn’t take long before the larger specimens put in a showing, as well. By early May, the Delaware Bay drum fishery is usually in full swing, and the best fishing generally last until early or mid June.

Although drum can be found anywhere in the bay, and at any time, the peak activity seems to occur during peak tidal flows associated with the lunar cycles. Full and new moon periods offer the best fishing opportunities, especially for larger fish. Moons in late May and early June are generally considered to be optimum times to do battle with giant drum.

Although some specimens do remain in the Delaware Bay all summer, most drumfish exit the bay and move north and east sometime in late June. It is at this time that they are often seen moving on the surface in tightly-packed schools, as they round Cape May Point. Almost without exception, a few lucky fluke fishermen will connect with big drum while drifting the Cape May rips for fluke in early summer.

Historically, the Delaware Bay drum fishery has been a nighttime affair. In recent years, anglers have discovered that daytime fishing can be great, as well. In our experience, Slaughter Beach gives up more and bigger drum on the night bite, especially during those glass-calm evenings when the only sounds are the gentle lapping of water on the hull, the low-frequency drumming noise these big fish make as they pass a dozen or more feet under the boat, and distant whoops and hollers from anglers in other boats as yet another big drum comes aboard. The Delaware Bay doesn’t give up such nights all that often, which is why Bill and Darren went to great pains to make sure they didn’t miss this one!

Rigging

Rigging for drum is simple. Black drum are not really fish eaters, preferring instead to munch on bivalves and crustaceans. Thus, surf clams are the most commonly used baits. Typically a bushel of clams is needed to fish an entire tide. A whole surf clam is threaded onto a 10/0 Gamakatsu octopus hook, which terminates a simple fish-finder rig. A properly sized sinker is attached and the rig is lowered to the bottom.

Tackle for drum fishing doesn’t have to be fancy. Just be sure your rod and reel selection has enough guts to turn an 80-plus pound fish in strong current. Contrary to popular belief, black drum are strong, persistent fighters, and can put some real pressure on tackle. We opt for 7-foot Penn Pro Guide rods matched with Penn International 975LD conventional reels, spooled with 50-pound Power Pro braid. As we’ve mentioned many times, the braided lines gives us hook setting power that monofilament simply cannot provide.

Chum

Scent is another important factor in drum fishing, and it’s important to put some additional scent in the water to up one’s chances of encountering fish. We achieve this in two ways. First, we’ll load a chum pot with fresh clam bellies and drop this to the bottom off the bow of the boat. This chum pot is replenished every hour or so. Second, we’ll crack a few clams and drop those down as well. The combination of strong scent and loose baits seems to be the winning combination, so give it a try!

All About the Hookset!

The biology and feeding behaviors of drum can make for some challenging hooksets. These fish have a set of pharyngeal teeth in the back of their throats that can easily crush a clam or crab shell. Once the shell is compromised and the soft tissues swallowed, the drum has the ability to expel the hard, indigestible pieces. Thus, when a drum takes the clam bait, it will essentially suck the clam off the hook and spit the hook right back out. They’re nature’s perfect bait stealers!

Therefore, it is very important to be able to detect strikes immediately and to set the hook before the fish has a chance to expel it. Leaving rods in holders with reels in free spool and clickers engaged might work fine for striped bass, but will result in missed drum strikes. Hold the rod, keep the reel engaged, and be prepared to set the hook right away.

A Word of Caution

On certain combinations of wind and tide, the mouth of the Delaware Bay can get pretty ugly, making conditions difficult for small boats. Therefore, anglers departing from the New Jersey side of the bay with small craft should exercise extreme caution when making the run, especially at night. At a minimum, a sharp eye should be kept on the weather and radar capability is highly advised.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:59 pm

Moon phases for Newark, U.S.A. - New Jersey
year 2010


New Moon ..........First Quarter ..........Full Moon ..........Third Quarter ..........Duration

Apr 14 8:29 AM .....Apr 21 2:20 PM .....Apr 28 8:19 AM .....May 6 12:15 AM .....29d 12h 36m
May 13 9:05 PM .....May 20 7:43 PM .....May 27 7:08 PM .....Jun 4 6:13 PM .....29d 10h 10m
Jun 12 7:15 AM .....Jun 19 12:30 AM .....Jun 26 7:31 AM .....Jul 4 10:36 AM .....29d 8h 26m


YIKES, right before Memmorial Day Weekend :affraid:
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:10 pm

A vid to get the juices flowing. CHECKOUT the fishfinder at the end of the vid!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:33 am

Great Post! Great information! I think i may be in for this outing! Will probably have a strobe light attached to my yak if we go at night!

I was on a charter 2 years ago and my buddy hooked up on a 50lb plus drum... it was like a volkswagon was on the other end.

Our captain was fantastic, chummed the water exactly how they recomend. He was a King Crab fisherman :pirat: for 11 years in Alaska... i felt plenty safe with him on the Delaware Bay
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:01 am

bigblue , you need to get yourself a good pole light ,, yak attack vis pole is the norm,, no stobe ,, that is distress,, check sterling harbor bait and tacle or goggle yak attack
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:34 am

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Located in Central Virginia • Tel: 804.370.3724 • [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 03, 2010 9:11 am

Is anyone hearing any solid reports from the tight lipped fellas? I'm hearing
one here, one there, kinda stuff. Maybe we could set a tentative date of May 21 or 22?
If there is some interest, we'll need to get a couple of safety boats out there with us.

I'll be at Jamaica Bay from Wed the 12th to Sun the 16th which looks good moon-wise.
Who know though?

Roll Call?
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 03, 2010 8:55 pm

I am in! but still selling it to the boss.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Tue May 04, 2010 6:21 pm

Well the good news we won't need to spend a ton of $$$ for this one.
The bad news is it's tough to time the trip for kayak distance and safety.
We have at least two boats that will go out with us and that'll be great.

I don't want to mothership as the point is to set a record un-assisted.
(the hard way) Not to knock mother shipping. It is a safe way to get
on the fish and have a similar experience.

Some fish are being caught, but not with any real consistency just yet.
Keep your ears open.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Wed May 05, 2010 8:53 am

Gents, I'm gonna lay-low on this one. After 4 days / 3 nights up at JBay I'm gonna need to build up my cache of Brownie Points... yes, it's true... A little ass kissing can co a long way!!! But the, y'all knew that even if you weren't going to admit to it!!
lol!

Go give 'em hell!!
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 17, 2010 9:16 am

Hey Fellas! Sounds like JBay was blast! Sorry I missed it.
Is there an official date for this Drum trip yet? Keep me posted. I'd love to join in on the fun!
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 17, 2010 12:25 pm

JBay was AWESOME! Always is! Writing my report for KFM today. I'll post here too.

As far as the drum, the bite is heating up. Almost all of the fish are being caught on
the Delaware side in warmer water. 60ish degree range.

A good friend of mine put me onto a spot nearby (withing 1 mile) of a local launch. It
has been producing smaller drum and BIG bass. I think the drum bite will bust wide open
in the next week or so. We all just need to be ready with a week notice to launch. I won't
be posting the spot in the open forum. We will email chain it.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 17, 2010 8:30 pm

DUDE I CAN't WAIT FOR JBAY REPORT!!!

Need to go out with the local crew!!! lets rock a trip soon!!

Do you need my email?
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Tue May 18, 2010 5:11 pm

So ironic I saw this thread, I just posted over KFS asking questions about drumming in yaks. I'd definitely be interested just not sure if I'll have all my gear for that sorta trip.
On a side note i might be headin out this Sunday for drum; I'll post a report if i do go

FF
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Wed May 19, 2010 1:16 am

Free-floatin, welcome to the board and any report would be great!!!

I was over at the launch area making sure that it was a good launch point
and it's been roped off for the damn birds until June 04, 2010! I understand and
respect the food chain and the necessity to be stewards of the land, but C'MON!

Can we keep just one spot for human use? The following is an email I sent to
the State to request clarification of the shore bird beach closure map of 2010.
I'm hoping some of these signs are wrong, giving us access for launching.

I need your help to understand the following map of closed beaches. Firstly, I support
your efforts and follow the rules as required to protect our wildlife. Either this 2010 map
is not up to date, or the people on the ground installing closure signs do not have a copy
of it. I have been driving around following this map to find a suitable area to launch my
kayak and abide by the rules, however far more beaches are closed then shown here.
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We need ideas for a launch spot guys. As the temps come up fish are being
caught pretty much everywhere. Most of what I've heard or read is still over
on the other side, but some are being caught in safe yak distance.


Last edited by SJ Fish Whisperer on Sun May 23, 2010 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added content)
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Sun May 23, 2010 12:29 pm

Anyone interested in this trip should plan on the outing being within the next
week or two. Reports are that the fish are starting to spread out and into our
area. Memorial Day Weekend would be suicide out there. A week day would be
best. I don't know if it's a day or night bite yet.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Mon May 24, 2010 10:39 pm

Im ready for a weekday! Actually prefer it! Easier to take off vs get approval from wife...LOL. Just give me a date Chris and lets rock this thing. Let me know!!! send me you cell we can talk about it!!

Thanks

Rob
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Tue May 25, 2010 1:44 pm

On Monday morning I received an email from NJ Fish and Game with a phone # to call one of the
biologists at NJ Fish and Game for assistance. They helped me to find a suitable launch in record time.
I have to say, I am impressed at how well the agency handled this.

NJ Fish and Game, and three other agencies have many of the beaches closed until June 4th for
migratory birds making launches along the Delaware difficult. The confusion is stemming from the
mapping of these closed areas. We only have the NJ Fish and Game map to go by that only illustrates
NJ Fish and Game closings. The problem is that all 4 agencies have beaches closed and it's hard to find
access to these areas without a map. (I learned this after hours of driving street to street)

I had suggested that the agencies pool their information and create a color coded overlay map of which
agency has which area closed and for how long of a duration. This morning I received an email that
Fish and Game agree and they hope to have this map available in the near future. This should help all
involved to clear up confusion among agencies and those trying to gain access to the beaches.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Thu May 27, 2010 8:58 pm

No Drum for me as I ended my first Black Drum kayak trip with a skunk. I launched from the NJ side at 3am Wed as I needed to use the tides to cover the areas that I was told might be producing. The bite has been slow on the NJ side as the fish are finishing their spawn season when they prefer the warmer water off of Delaware. My GPS has my distance traveled at 16-18 miles by my noon quit time. I was on the anchor until the Smooth Doggies would show up, then I would move on to a new area and repeat. Special note, Smooth Doggies get REAL BIG in the Delaware Bay. When you try to wrestle your rig back from their stupid toothless faces at yak-side, they use their tails to kick the snot out of you. It's cute when the lil guys do it, but I've never messed with a 4-5 footer next to my yak before. Yes, to those that are shaking your heads and saying "cut em loose", I agree. The thing was, I had 2 rigs left and I really wanted my Delaware Bay Black Drum.

There wasn't a breath of air and the bay was like glass until approx 8am. I was hoping to hear the tell tale drumming to help me dial these fish in. Unfortunately, none were heard. As a side note, I learned that being on the bay at night, alone, when it is dead calm can be spooky. I already have the deepest respect for the Delaware making me cautious from the start. Now add turtles, birds, fish and whatever else made up the myriad of noises out there in the dark. I'm talking Pucker Factor 10+.

Bunker were everywhere. I snagged a couple and live lined through a few of the pods that I saw, but I don't think anything was on them. At least not on mine.

On the way in I saw a guy in an approx 25 footer setting his anchor in an area that I wanted to try. He was there first and I was getting tired so I headed for shore. I was playing in one of the Bunker pods on my way in when I saw that he had a fish on. I was half watching with a smirk thinking "have fun with that doggie" when he gaffed and pulled in a small Black Drum. I was pretty far off, but I could tell that it was an ok fish as it was the size of the guys torso. The fisherman side of me whooped for him. The tired, beat up and skunked side of me felt like I was kicked in the ass!

Reports came in all day today that the afternoon bite was red hot on the Jersey side. I read these reports, took a real deep breath and released it staring at the wall.

I plan to go again on Tues, Wed & Thurs after the holiday nuts go home. It's a good news/bad news scenario now. The bad news is; we won't have the fish here like this for much longer. The good news is; I know exactly where to start the next trip. Anyone up for a trip?

Ferry
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Sunrise
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Doggie I named TYSON
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Sunrise
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Fri May 28, 2010 10:51 am

Wait, wait, wait...
You "named" a fish that you caught?
AND, you named it "Tyson"?!??

It's dinner not a pet!

You did keep it didn't ya?
They are the original fish in "fish-n-chips"...
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Fri May 28, 2010 12:13 pm

I named him Tyson because he beat the hell out of me. I wanted my hook back. :bounce:
I have eaten doggies a while back but not so much these days.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:03 pm

Going out on Thursday as long as there isn't a west, sw or nw wind. The bite has been pretty
good for motor guys in the afternoon incoming tide. Prolly go this weekend also. Open invite.

I have Drum fever this year. Gotta catch a big ole' slob from the kayak.
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PostSubject: Re: BLACK DRUM TRIP   Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:37 pm

The winds look all wrong to be 7 miles out in the Delaware for the next couple of days. Maybe
things will improve by the weekend. Time is running out.
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