Finding Black Drum

Black drum are widely dispersed through out the waters of the Coastal Bend.  During the warmer months, black drum will school up and work the shallows in all of the bay systems.  Similar to the redfish, black drum will get so shallow that their backs are breaking the top of the water.  They will congregate near grassy flats and cruise shorelines looking for food.  They will also regularly hang out around oyster reefs and points.  Any change in depth, whether it is a pot hole in a grassy flat or a shallow cut would be a good spot to cast a bait into.

Because they like to root around and dig up food, muddy bottoms or shell reefs that offer a good population of crustacean and mollusks will typically hold more black drum for longer periods than sandy hard bottoms.  They will tend to follow cuts and channels and venture up into the shallows to feed.

If the water is clear, look for a cloudy area, particularly ones that seem to be moving.  Chances are good that this is a school of black drum working along the bottom through the area.  If the water clarity is limited, rely on changes in bottom structure to guide you.  If it is very shallow, keep an eye out for their backs breaking the surface or “vees” moving through the water like a slow torpedo.

When the temperature drops, the black drum will slide off the shallow areas into deep cuts, holes or channels or even out to the Gulf beaches.  They may not be far from where they were during warm weather, just in warmer and safer confines of the deeper waters.  They are more likely to make a long distance movement to find food then because of weather conditions.