Guide shares black drum tips for OBX
One of the most consistent bites this month in the Outer Banks area is from black drum, according to Capt. Tanner Lynk of Noah’s Ark Charters. And this year, they got an early start.
“They really never quit biting over the winter. We had a very strong pattern going throughout December, January and February. And it should pick up even more as we move into March,” said Lynk (252-723-7414).
It’s tough to beat cut bait for these fish, and Lynk said casting around any type of debris or structure is a good bet for black drum.
“It’s not really a deep, open water bite. If you focus on shallower water around docks, rock piles or any type of sunken debris, you’ve got a good chance at landing some of these fish. A lot of times, they’ll be mixed in with redfish, sheepshead, speckled trout…they all spend some time in the same type areas. But as long as you’re putting some cut bait close to those structures, you’ll find some black drum,” he said.
Cut bait on jigheads
But if you find yourself in deeper water, Lynk said focusing on holes that are noticeably deeper than the surrounding water can pay dividends.
Fishing around oyster shell mounds is also a good tactic that often leads to hookups with black drum.
Lynk said he prefers to use cut bait on a 1/8-ounce jighead instead of a traditional Carolina rig. And that’s for a couple of reasons.
“If I get into some specks or redfish, it’s just much easier to put a soft plastic swimbait onto the jighead. So instead of needing to cut off the Carolina rig and tie on the jighead, I already have it on. Plus, the jighead works fine with cut bait. It’s honestly a little easier than a Carolina rig, especially when you’re trying to make accurate casts close to structure,” he said.
Anglers can expect to catch these fish on either tide. Lynk said the bite is always better when the water is moving in one direction or the other.
“It’s a little tougher on the slack tide. But incoming or outgoing, it doesn’t matter too much. It might be slightly better on one tide one day, then on the other tide the next day. As long as it’s moving, the bite is usually good and predictable,” he said.
The Cape Lookout jetty is one popular spot for black drum this month, said Lynk. When fishing here, he suggests 3000-series spinning reels loaded with 15- to 20-pound test braid, finished off with a section of 30-pound test fluorocarbon leader.
The Carolina rig is a good option that many anglers use here, but Lynk said he still prefers using a jighead. He’ll go a little heavier, up to 1/4 ounce here when the current and tide requires it.
“It’s just easier to cast that jighead. Casting around the jetty always results in some lost lines and tackle. But I find that I lose less tackle and have fewer hangups when using a jighead.