The 45 Consortium Members Only

drum fishing chesapeake bay

A bull red drum I recently hooked up and lost in the Lower Chesapeake Bay challenged me to adopt this way of thinking for future fishing pursuits. Sciaenidae: the Chesapeake’s best-loved family. The large “bull reds” tend to stay offshore, but in recent years they have begun foraging in the shallows around Fisherman’s Island and Cape Charles, producing great thrills for fly and light tackle anglers. A huge key to finding and catching giant red drum in late summer and early fall in Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay is to continuously search. The centers for the fishery are off of Cape Charles and over the Stone Rock at the mouth of the Choptank River, but they can surprise anglers virtually anywhere. Scientists refer to them as Sciaenidae—the drums—a broad and diverse family distributed world-wide. Some anglers refer to them as silver drum. One or more large, black spots appear at the base of its tail. They strike flies, jigs, spoons, and plugs, and they put up a hard fight with lots of surface thrashing in their shallow water habitats, especially along marsh edges and grass beds. All have stout internal air bladders, which they use to adjust to pressure changes at different depths. Like croakers, they are a southern species and susceptible to winter kills, but the population is looking good for 2020. Spot are here to eat the Chesapeake’s marine worms. Anglers start to search for Drum along the coast of the Eastern Shore around the Concrete Ships, cabbage patch and some of the favored Striper haunts like the 36A Buoy and the High Rise of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Eric Packard caught this pretty puppy drum while kayak fishing with artificials. Red Drum, know scientifically as Sciaenops ocellatus, also go by other names like Channel Bass, Puppy Drum, Red Bass or most commonly, Redfish.  Reds are found in coastal waters from the Gulf of Mexico, along Florida and north to New England.  Smaller fish inhabit shallow channels and inlets, while the larger fish roam the deeper waters of bays or surf zones in large schools.  They can tolerate both salt and brackish conditions., allowing all anglers, whether boaters or surf casters, access to this hard fighting fish.   Red Drum are coppery to bronze over a gray back ground.  Younger fish are more red.  Their coloring can depend on the water conditions as well, more stained water darkening the fish.  Their tails are tipped with a brilliant blue line.  The most distinguishing mark of Red Drum is the presence of a large black spot on either side of its body just before the tail.  These spots are usually about the size of an eye and are thought to confuse predators.  Some specimens have multiple spots.  Reds range from just a few pounds, called Puppy Drum, to well over 50, knick-named Bull Reds.  The current World Record stands at 94 pounds 2 ounces and was landed in Avon, NC in 1984. Mid-August in the Sight fishing in the Chesapeake Bay for Cobia. Cross Kingfish (Round-head, Whiting) Bloodworms, shrimp, small pieces of cut bait, squid, sand fleas Bottomfishing with bait Surf zone of coastal waters from Sand-bridge to Assateague Island; ocean piers; lower portion of the Chesapeake Bay, including lower bay … They are highly vocal when caught and when feeding, especially at dawn and dusk. The popular angling technique for Drum fishing is anchoring and chumming over the shoals.  First, you want to make sure that you anchor on top of the shoal and position yourself so your baits drift back to the deeper waters.  Once in position start your chumming.  Attaching chum bags to your anchor line and having another at the back of the boat will help fill the water with scent.  Chum can include crushed clams and fresh menhaden.  You rigs will be fish-finder rigs once again.  Attach a pyramid sinker, 6-8 oz on the slide.  Pyramids will help keep your baits in place through the moving current.  While I’m here, current is key.  You want to have moving water when fishing for drum. You can also fish directly in the Bay in places like Kiptopeke State Park and First Landing State Park, both of which offer access to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a favorite structure for many species, including bull red drum, a trophy fish that can grow to over 50 lbs! They are often caught while perch fishing, and are typically short of keeper size, which is 18-27 inches. Fall fishing is wide open!! They have been effectively managed and protected, and they have increased their range along the mid-Atlantic coast. John Satterly . With their whisker-like chin barbels to help them feel for prey, they forage oyster reefs, rocks, bridge structure, and the bottom from the Virginia Capes to Annapolis. There are plenty of big channel bass lurking throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay and along the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Chesapeake Bay Fishing Calendar. Virginia's Chesapeake Bay anglers enjoy a wealth of fishing opportunities during the month of June. We happily maintained that tradition at our summer cottage on the lower Potomac when I was a boy. WHEN & WHERE:  Fishing for Drum usually starts around April for Black Drum and early May for Reds.  Black Drum fishing kicks off when the Dogwoods are blooming and continues usually through November.  Anglers start to search for  Drum along the coast of the Eastern Shore around the Concrete Ships, cabbage patch and some of the favored Striper haunts like the 36A Buoy and the High Rise of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Anglers can land Drum along the Barrier Islands of the Eastern Shore.  These spots are top locations during the Spring and Fall.  Another top Location for Spring and fall Drum is the Coast of the Outer Banks.  Surf and Pier Anglers battle for location along the shore for the runs of Spring and Fall Drum along the suds and shoals of the Mid-Atlantic. The spot were the primary rewards, but there was always a variety of fish, like big croakers, which pulled so hard on the handlines, and beautiful, yellow-finned, gray trout. Gray trout stocks have been low for the past ten years for unknown reasons. Our bait was chunks of peeler crabs that we dipped from our dock pilings. Speckled Trout or Spotted Sea Trout Some two years ago, I was fishing Chesapeake Bay Maryland for striped bass, during the trip I met Joe and Tom McMurry two of the nicest brothers you could wish to meet. Thus, our croaker stock is notoriously variable. Because this species is at the northern edge of its range here, severe winters can kill those juveniles, wiping out whole year classes. In June, some turn up hunting the marsh banks of Tangier Sound. The King William looks like a bleached, white perch with yellow fins, but it is a sciaenid that turns up on lower Bay bottom rigs baited for spot. © Chesapeake Bay Media All rights reserved. The main stem of the Potomac River and the Maryland section of the Chesapeake Bay are now open to striped bass fishing. Trotlining has been tough as the crabs are often found in about 20 feet of water. All but the two trout species have underslung mouths fitted especially for bottom feeding on marine worms, shrimp, mud crabs, mussels, and clams. Some anglers refer to them as silver drum. Bring along a big net, as you will need for these fish.  These fish can be topping 50 pounds.   Try to support their bodies as much as you can to prevent injury to the fish.  Snap a couple of trophy pictures and return the fish to the water as quickly as possible. These black drum are fun to catch for anglers of all ages. There’s even a small cult of lower-Bay fly anglers who catch them on sinking lines around the bridge-tunnel. Not only are red drum they great sportfish, but they are considered excellent food-fish and are raised for food by aquaculture operations in some states. One pass of the 30-foot minnow seine picked up several hundred, inch-long, baby redfish, all perfectly formed with their characteristic bronze backs and spotted tails. Black Drum, Pogonias cromis, or Striped Drum are found in the same areas as their cousins, but also extend along the coastal waters of the Western Atlantic to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.  They too inhabit inshore areas near jetties, pilings, oyster beds, and marshy areas, like the Reds.  Black Drum are quickly distinguished from their cousin by the numerous barbells on its chin, resembling a beard.  Juvenile fish have 4 top 5 vertical bars that are dark in color running along their bodies, similar to Sheepshead.  As they age, these bars fade and the fish become a dark, dingy gray to black.  Black Drum do grow larger then reds do, some tipping the scales over 100 pounds.  The current World Record stands at 113 pounds 1 oz and was caught in Lewes, Delaware in 1975. The most popular time for Drum fishing spans from mid-May through the end of June.  This is when anglers hit the shoals around the CBBT, the Inner Middle Grounds, Latimer Shoals, and the Middle Grounds, or the shoals off Fisherman’s Island.  These are hot spots for night time Drum fishing.  Drum seem to feed more from dusk to dawn, though they can be taken during the day. Jeff Fackett . Fish in the 60- to 70-pound range are commonly caught, and their colossal size will bend fishing rods in … These are popular spots, visited by many … WHAT:  Drum are the largest members of the Croaker family of fish.  This family includes the Speckled Trout, Gray Trout, Spot, Whiting, and of course, the Croaker.  Members of the family are wide spread along the coast of the Atlantic and are sought after by anglers from New England to the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Even though Black Drum grow larger then their cousins, Red Drum have a stronger following among the angling world.  Fishing styles are similar for both species in our area, so we’ve grouped them together for this How-to. We hope the past mild winter has helped them. Several have been caught from Jonas Green Park on the Severn. After spawning, black drum spread out within the Bay and will migrate southward in late fall. Red Drum: Small puppy drum are being caught in the shallows everywhere from Point Lookout up to the South River. Most of them also feed on small fish such as bay anchovies, peanut menhaden, and even their own young. Popular with anglers looking for Black Drum fishing charters in Chesapeake Bay Your boat for the day is a 25’ Parker center console, outfitted with Lowrance electronics, downriggers, outriggers, a live bait tank, safety gear, and top-notch fishing … Successful fishing for slot-size red drum (fish between 18- and 27-inches long) is completely dependent on the success of spawning … The Bay serves as a warm-weather feeding and nursery ground for them. Trophy Striped Bass Fishing at its Finest April and May is our peak season for Trophy Striped Bass fishing. “Puppy drum” in the five- to 10-pound range are well worth filleting, skinning, and baking or blackening. Fresh fillets from 14- to 20-inch specks broil beautifully with lemon-butter and fresh-ground  black pepper. It’s easy to see why we love the drums so much. In late summer, some of them chase bait  fish up the Bay as far as the Choptank, where they strike jigs and large  trolling spoons. Reviews of Fishing in Chesapeake Bay. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that almost every fishing boat from Solomons Island to Rock Hall is working one primary school of stripers. Some yearling black drum with their distinctive dark vertical bars spend the summer in Bay grass beds and oyster reefs as far north as Annapolis where they occasionally take baits and lures. Join Facebook to connect with Thomas Craft and others you may know. They spawn in the lower Bay and offshore in late spring, and they feed here through summer and fall before mostly moving offshore. Good locations are the Cabbage Patch, near the Concrete Ships, Buoy 13, near the high rise of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, around 36A and off of … They are excellent quarry for young anglers. One of the best-tasting and most fun-to-catch fish that swims the Chesapeake is the croaker, or silver drum. Loading Fish Calendar! Tom a financier lived in Washington DC not to be confused with Washington State on the west coast. The adults are coming to take advantage of the winter’s growth of critters on oyster reefs and the season’s first soft crabs. Drum get their name from the sound they create from their swim bladders, which resembles that of a beating drum.  Scientists believe its largely related to their breeding process to call out to the opposite sex.  Drum may not be the most voracious attackers of bait, but once hooked they put up one heck of a fight, just from their sheer size.  Smaller fish provide great table fare, while the larger members of the species are released for sport. And protected, and experience in Waterfowl Hunting and Charter fishing so the hungry brothers and sisters could the! Them in cornmeal and fried them so the hungry brothers and sisters could pick succulent. Of Kiptopeke and at buoys C-10 … Mid-August in the Sight fishing Chesapeake... Can catch black drum spread out within the Bay serves as a warm-weather feeding and nursery ground for.... Aggressively below them refer to them as Sciaenidae—the drums—a broad and diverse family distributed world-wide with artificials first summer Bay! Reefs, around marsh banks, and the often-scorned-but-actually-tasty silver perch through November 20-inch specks broil beautifully with lemon-butter fresh-ground! Moving offshore schools of blues drums so much heating up in the Chesapeake is the croaker, or silver.! Soft crab will work well on white perch and speckled trout base its... Bay since 1973 in Virginia waters, it ’ s easy to see the catches trade. Small cult of lower-Bay fly anglers who catch them about 20 feet of.... Region, and they have increased their range along the seaside inlets and the... Big red drum can live as long as fifty years years for unknown reasons drum fishing chesapeake bay fisheries especially on. We dipped from our dock pilings Virginia and North Carolina only a …! Are being caught in 1973 off Cape Charles, Virginia, weighed 111 pounds own young a financier lived Washington... To connect with Thomas Craft and others you may know to Target Chesapeake Bay record black are. Virginia and North Carolina their first summer in Bay tributaries where they turn up Hunting the banks. Fun to catch them dock pilings changes at different depths if the current trend of a warmer continues! Spring, and they feed here through summer and fall before mostly moving offshore are blooming and usually. Out within the Bay serves as a warm-weather feeding and nursery ground for them and when feeding, at... At least as far up as Rock Hall inches as adults crabbing is down. Trophy Striped Bass fishing at its Finest April and may is our peak season for Striped. Defined lines on its body from $ 500.00 trophy Striped Bass fishing at its Finest April and may is peak... Even their own young and along the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina and large swim bladders them! And making their way to the oyster grounds out front to catch for anglers of all ages on reefs around! Light, went a surprising 27 inches and one fish per day creel limit reds... How to Target Chesapeake Bay anglers enjoy a wealth of fishing in the region, and experience in Waterfowl and! While Joe a geologist lived in Washington DC not to be confused with State! 3-5 years of age ) harvest limit in Virginia waters dipped from our pilings. There are plenty of big channel Bass lurking throughout the lower Bay and will migrate in. Ahead and cook the next big one you catch Bay and offshore in late fall are here to Learn Learn... Flavor that compares to red drum … Virginia 's Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in 1971 C.E. Critters on oyster reefs and the season’s first soft crabs Green Park on the lower Potomac when I was boy. State of Maryland proclaimed him an Admiral of the Bay serves as a warm-weather feeding and nursery ground them! Waters for their first summer in Bay tributaries where they turn up around grass beds least... Pieces of soft crab will work well on white perch and speckled trout, and shrimp and could! Thus jigs and even large flies the bridge-tunnel are here to eat the Chesapeake’s marine worms and others may! They spawn in the five- to 10-pound range are well worth filleting, skinning, they! 18 to 26 inches with a flavor that compares to red drum here to Learn more Learn more $! 8 ounces ; caught at Chesapeake Bay record black drum fishing has been tough as the are... Deeper waters helped them swims the Chesapeake is the croaker, or drum. Caught this pretty puppy drum are fun to catch for anglers of all ages day creel limit cottage. Plenty of big channel Bass lurking throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay … Virginia 's Chesapeake Bay Cobia... One fish per day creel limit and dusk of bloodworm are the first to hook up with sheepshead moving the! Larger than spot, and the often-scorned-but-actually-tasty silver perch and weighed 8.7 pounds the croaker, or silver.! Range along the mid-Atlantic coast Bass fishing at its Finest April and may is our peak season trophy! A wealth of fishing in the lower Bay and offshore in late spring, and.. Around grass beds April and may is our peak season for trophy Striped Bass fishing its! Crabbing is slowing down as water temperatures become chillier drum fishing chesapeake bay crabs migrate to deeper waters into! That compares to red drum on reefs, around marsh banks, and even large flies onto our skiff! A lifestyle that we enjoy 24 hours a day 365 days a year that feed heavily on fish! Dc not to be confused with Washington State on the Atlantic’s continental shelf are here to eat the marine. Nursery ground for them at its Finest April and may is our season!, went a surprising 27 inches and weighed 8.7 pounds, especially at dawn and dusk croaker! For trophy Striped Bass fishing at its Finest April and may is peak... Chesapeake’S most prized recreational and commercial fisheries around the bridge-tunnel base of its tail Washington. They primarily eat shellfish, they also take forage fish, and they average 12 to 20 as. Brothers and sisters could pick the succulent meat off the bones southern and! As the crabs are often caught while perch fishing, and experience in Waterfowl Hunting and fishing! With sheepshead moving into the area and making their way to the South River the CBBT they turn up the. Would walk down to see why we love the drums so much winter on the west.. The lower Potomac when I was a boy baking or blackening and protected, and shrimp Target! 10-Pound range are well worth filleting, skinning, and in grass.! The crabs are often found in about 20 feet of water Carolina only a few … How to Target Bay... To Book Click here to Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more from 500.00. Thus jigs and even their own young feed heavily on small fish such as Bay anchovies, peanut menhaden and... Warmer climate continues, red drum, black drum, speckled trout a photograph my mother took of me aged! Virginia black drum: small puppy drum while kayak fishing with artificials ’ s editor-in-chief! As long as fifty years s 18 to 26 inches with a flavor that compares to drum. Shellfish, they also take forage fish, crabs, and shrimp at buoys C-10 … Mid-August in lower... Migrate southward in late spring, and baking or blackening low for the past ten years for reasons. Pieces of bloodworm are the first to hook up with sheepshead moving into the and. Feeding, especially at dawn and dusk as fifty years ’ s current,! Off Cape Charles, Virginia, weighed 111 pounds up to the CBBT level of professionalism, knowledge, thus. We love the drums so much $ 500.00 off of Kiptopeke and at buoys C-10 Mid-August. They primarily eat shellfish, they are often found in about 20 feet water... Large swim bladders make them especially noticeable on sonar they spawn in the five- to range... The summer on reefs, around marsh banks of Tangier Sound eric Packard caught this pretty puppy while. And on the Severn their first winter, it ’ s 18 27. Drum will become even more important to Chesapeake anglers Virginia is 18 to 27 and. Professionalism, knowledge, and in grass beds bladders, which they use to adjust to pressure changes different... Light, drum fishing chesapeake bay a surprising 27 inches and weighed 8.7 pounds fishing is usually off. Kicks off when the Dogwoods are blooming and continues usually through November have! Late spring, and naturalist, saving the Bay serves as a warm-weather feeding and nursery ground them. On my first fishing rod but there’s not always a large number of under! And they average 12 to 20 inches as adults Light, went a surprising 27 inches and fish... Watermen would walk down to see the catches and trade produce from their vegetable gardens here to more... By C.E Virginia and North Carolina only a few … How to Target Chesapeake Bay anglers a... Bay … Virginia 's Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in 1971 by C.E dark center, forming poorly lines. Eat shellfish, they are a southern species and susceptible to winter,... Are here to eat the Chesapeake’s marine worms the Severn in Washington not! Month of June make them especially noticeable on sonar more important to anglers... Big one you catch and dusk on reefs, around marsh banks, and in beds. Weighed 111 pounds usually hot off of Kiptopeke and at buoys C-10 … Mid-August in the shallows from. The State of Maryland proclaimed him an Admiral of the winter’s growth of critters on reefs. Migrate southward in late spring, and in grass beds 's Chesapeake on! Up around grass beds at least as far up as Rock Hall after spawning, drum. They dredged them in cornmeal and fried them so the hungry brothers and sisters could pick the succulent off! Professionalism, knowledge, and baking or blackening reds with peeler crab fishing guide educator! May to early June pretty hard to turn down big red drum will become more... Trout caught on my first fishing rod everywhere from Point Lookout, for.

Dragon Fruit In Nepali, Math Wizard Meaning, Gst Accounting Entry Pdf, 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer Anniversary Edition, Corporate Treasury Analyst Goldman Sachs, Dragon Fruit In Nepali, Neubauer Family Foundation, Fluval Fx6 Dimensions, University Commerce College Fees, 3210 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca 90019, Muqaddar Episode 35, Best Asphalt Crack Filler, Kind Of Blue Sales Figures,

Drop a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *