Bordertown black drum

Black drum will readily bite soft plastic lures, especially when they are presented tight to cover. (Picture by Brian Cope)

Little River is a black drum haven

Little River is a great fall fishing destination, and anglers can expect to catch a mixed bag in the small creeks and the grass-lined banks of the main waterway. The jetties are also a great option when the weather isn’t too rough.

Speckled trout, redfish, flounder and black drum make up the list of usual suspects anglers can catch in the waterways around this fishing village which sits on the border of North and South Carolina.

Black drum are a bit of a wild card. Anglers catch them mostly as bycatch when targeting the other species. But this is a great time of year to catch them. And anglers can improve their odds of catching them by fishing tighter to cover than they normally do for the other inshore species.

Soft plastic lures like the Z-Man Trout Trick will catch all of these fish. And no matter which species you find, if you’ll make your next few casts as close as possible to whatever structure is nearby, you stand a good chance of hooking into a black drum. If that nearby structure happens to be wood such as sunken logs or the footings of a dock, then black drum are even more likely to be there.

Keep it tight to structure

D.O.A. shrimp and soft plastic swimbaits are also good options. High tide, or at least a rising tide, is usually best for tageting black drum because that’s when the majority of structure gets flooded. These fish will flock to those areas quickly as soon as the water is high enough.

A great way to spend a day here is by starting to fish just as the tide is coming in. Cast topwater lures for speckled trout until the tide is full. Then pitch those soft plastics around oyster mounds, grass-lined banks and around docks.

Specks will continue to bite and lucky anglers will also hook into a redfish or two. And those who want to target the black drum can do so by casting in the manner mentioned earlier — very tight to structure.

Medium to medium-light rods are good for this method, and 15-pound test braided line used in conjunction with fluorocarbon leaders in similar sizes is sufficient. It’s best to keep a somewhat loose drag since some bull redfish are still around. Hooking one of these is always a possibility when fishing here this time of year.

About Brian Cope 2494 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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