Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Drum Friday

Normally the Friday after Thanksgiving is called “Black Friday” so I decided to call some of my fishing buddies to go out fishing on what I called “Black Drum Friday”. Besides calling it “Black Drum Friday” I thought that we could also target the black drum species. On this journey will be Lewis and Jon with me. We will be launching from Filben Creek Launch located in Ralph M. Hendricks Park. We met at 8 AM with an outgoing tide and paddled our way down Filben Creek out to the Copper River. The creek and river comes together right under the Mark Clark Expressway Bridge that crosses the Cooper & Wando Rivers.

This is the bridge that we will attempt to target the black drum at low tide. First we will paddle across the Cooper to a large island and paddle towards Yellow House & Clouter Creeks to a nice flat that holds a nice school of redfish during an outgoing tide. When we arrived to the flat we were all coming up empty. With the wind and waves we could not spot any schools of redfish on the flat so we attempted to do some fan casting in the hopes of a strike.
This was Jon’s first time using artificial lures instead of using either live bait or cut bait. He must have been getting a little discouraged and drifted out of the flat towards the bridge. He drifted along the island shoreline casting as he went along. Lewis decided to follow Jon and fan casting or trolling towards the bridge going with the tide.
I decided to stay on the flat for a couple of reasons. One I did not really wanted to drift past the bridge because of the wind blowing from the north and then having to paddle the Jackson Big Tuna against that wind. The second reason was to see if our experience from February would result in a school of redfish.
I was anchored within casting distance of the grass line. So I had one rod set up for cut bait using a Carolina rig with a 6/0 Owner Circle Hook and a 3 oz Bank Sinker. Hooked a frozen finger mullet on the circle hook and casted the bait away from the grass line. While I would wait for a possible bite on the Carolina rig I would be fan casting towards the grass line using a 1/16 oz jig with a DOA Rootbeer/Chartreuse Curly Tail Grub.
About 10:30 AM the Carolina rig started going crazy. I reeled in the rod with the jig head and put my attention to the baited rod. Sure enough it was fish on. The battle was just like I remembered from February this was going to be a nice redfish. After a good fight I managed to get a large redfish into the Ego net and into the Big Tuna. I noticed that there were three spots on one side. Uff da!! I was kicking myself because I did not bring my week 4 “2013 By the Numbers” token for the Charleston Angler’s spot tail tournament. Then I flipped the fish over to examine the other side. UFF DA!!! There were six spots on that side. This could have been a great fish with potential to win week 4. This red measured 28” and put on a great fight. Hooked another finger mullet through the head and casted into the same general area where I got the redfish from.
About 20 minutes later the Carolina rig started going off again. So I reeled in the grub and picked on the rod with the fish on. This felt like another great fish. About 5 minutes or so I netted a great looking redfish that measured 28” as well. Re-baited with another whole finger mullet and casted again back into the area where I was getting the hook ups. Since I had no action casting the grub towards that grass line; I decided to fan cast in the general area where I was getting the reds. I a little while I had a strike and it was fish on with the jig head. The battle was not like the redfish and in no time I landed a small speckled trout into the kayak. While I was getting the camera out to photo the trout on the measuring board; the speck decided to jump from the hawg trough back into the Cooper River. Uff da!! I did not even look to see how long the trout was.
Shortly after the trout jumped out of the Big Tuna the baited rig started to scream line going off of the reel. I took the rod from the rod holder to engage in battle with this third fish. This fish was fighting a little different then the first two redfish. There was no surface action going on. The fish was fighting so hard that I had problems bringing in the fish. Uff da!! There were times that the rod acted like the line was stuck in some rocks or oysters. So I decided to disconnect the Big Tuna from the stick-it pin to fight the fish this way and get a sleigh ride. The only sleigh ride that I have getting was from me reeling in the line. When I got to a point close to where the fish was I could see the redfish and the line wedged in some sticks. Once the line was free I had a short lived battle and the redfish was netted and in the kayak. Although I had to release the Big Tuna from my anchored position to fight this massive redfish; the spot tail measured a quarter of an inch shorter than the first two redfish.
During the battle I could hear my phone ringing. After releasing the spot tail; I reattached the Big Tuna back to the stick-it pin and checked to the phone to see who was calling in. I had missed a call from Jon. I gave him a call back. Jon reported that he and Lewis were going to explore the Noisette Creek. I had to inform him of my great fortune.

Back at my anchored position; I baited up another finger mullet and tossed the bait back in that honey hole. I started fan casting again with that DOA grub all around the anchored position. At this time the tide starting coming back in. With the wind it was hard to tell about the incoming tide but I did notice that along the shoreline the water started to creep into the grass. After about 20 minutes I had not had anything take the mullet. So I concentrated the fan casting back to the grass line. I started thinking that maybe that school had moved to the position of along the grass. One of the casts was directed at a small cove of grass. Reeling really slowly I got a hit and set the 1/16 oz jig with the DOA grub into a strong fish. After a while into the battle, I grabbed the landing net to bring this redfish into the kayak. This redfish measured out to be my smallest redfish for the day at 27”. It was getting close to 1 PM so I decided to leave this school of redfish to go on that search for a black drum or two.
The targeted area will be along the 526 bridge pilings for a nice black drum. After all I titled this story “Black Drum Friday”. Uff da!! It sure is hard to leave hungry fish but I had to at least try for a black drum. For this species my rod setup of choice will be a Carolina rig but instead of a finger mullet I will use a half of a blue crab. In about an hour Lewis and Jon returned from Noisette Creek. It was getting late at least for me as I had promised that I would be off the water at 2 PM.
So we headed back to the landing and talking about the adventure. Although “Black Drum Friday” was a bust for black drum we managed to find a sale on the speckled trout and for me some nice fighting redfish. For Jon started catching some trout using a jig head and plastics.  How that winter is here the trout are biting and the redfish are starting to school up searching for the warm water flats. So for these two reasons you need to continue the kayak fishing through the winter for the best fishing in the Low Country in my opinion.

No comments:

Post a Comment