Man VS Black Drum-Tampa Bay
Unfortunately, due to this years record cold water temperatures,the mackerel bite is undoubtably running a week or two behind. The large pods of sardines, or "Kingfish Candy," as I call them have yet to make their way up the bay. However, when they do arrive, the "mack attack" will be on!
As for those of us who fish year round, a few week delay in the kingfish season only presents other angling opportunities. Here in Tampa Bay you can always find action on the end of your line if you know where to look.
Last Tuesday, Sean Rice and I put kingfish out of our heads and decided to target black drum. We welcomed Paul Brannigan and Damien Kenney of County Down, Ireland on board the "Salty Shamrock." We then pointed the bow South West and didn't throttle down till we reached our fishing destination.
Once on the flats in 3-5ft of water, it was not hard to spot the main knot of drum. If the muddy water didn't give it away, the twenty other boats less then ten feet apart was a good indicator.
Our next move was to position the boat on the outside of the school. Once in position we proceeded to flip 4" gulf shrimp on a 3/8 jig head towards the main knot of drum. After losing three in a row Paul set the hook on a nice one and it was drum on!
Paul was now doing battle with a beast of a fish on ultra light tackle. His EUPRO trout rod took the shape of a horseshoe. The 15lb braidedline peeled off his 3000 series reel faster than Shergar busting out of the starting gate. Paul fought for control but he was clearly overpowered. It was looking as if he had too much fish for his light tackle to handle.
Everytime the irishman for Co. Down would gain a little line the big black drum from Tampa Bay would make another run. The drag on Paul's reel would then buzz like a weedeater stuck on wide open. His back and biceps were aching but his irish eyes and face never stopped smiling. Paul was having the time of his life!
The battle continued for some time before Paul was finally able to bring the beast boatside. Once we heaved the ol' boy over the gunnel, the back slapping and hand shaking began. Can you believe Paul had never been fishing before, and the 50lb beast he caught on light tackle was his very first fish ever? Good job Paul, but if you plan to upgrade next time your state side, let's make sure it's tarpon season!
So, get out there and Get-R-Done or give me a call and I'll show you how. Till next time, have a safe and quality day on the water.
"Fishing like a pro with EUPRO!"
Capt Sean Hagen
About The Author: Captain Sean Hagen
Company: Shamrock Inshore Fishing charters
Area Reporting: tampa bay north and south shores
Bio: With over 30 years of fishing and guiding experience on Tampa Bay and South Florida waterways, landing trophy winning fish comes naturally to Captain Sean Hagen.