The Secret To Getting Picky Black Drum On The Flats To Eat


After a tip about where to find huge black drum on the flats, Insider member, Tony Prescott, and I finally stumbled upon a big school of them.

But there was just one problem…

They wouldn’t hit any of our lures!

We kept spooking them off, until we finally found the secret to getting them to strike.

See what that secret was in the video below!

Catching Black Drum On The Flats [VIDEO]

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Here’s the gear I was using:

The first part of this secret to getting black drum to strike is to use the right lure.

Black drum rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food, so we went with a Gulp shrimp to get them to eat.

Now here’s the big secret: we didn’t actually retrieve these lures — we tossed them in front of the school and just deadsticked them.

This school is heavily targeted here in Tampa Bay, so they’re extra spooky.

When we first came up on them, we were spooking them off by retrieving our lures in and around the school.

But when we saw where they were going, casted our lures out there ahead of them, and waited for them to find and eat them, that’s when we started catching them.


picky black drum

If something isn’t working, switch it up!

On this day, we found a school of spooky black drum, so we placed our lure ahead of where they were going and just let it sit there and let the Gulp scent do its job.

We caught a few of these bruisers using this strategy and had a blast!

You can get a pack of Gulp shrimp from our shop here.

Have any questions about catching spooky black drum?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who’s frustrated at being snubbed by spooky fish, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Chad Craig
6 months ago

6 months ago

Luke, that was so cool to see you hook up on the drum; I will have to try to let my bait just sit to see if that works when they are so finicky, tight lines!

6 months ago

Are those fish good to eat?

Jonathan Getz
6 months ago

Yes sir. Especially the lower-mid slot black drum. The larger ones Tony and James caught, not so much. Max legal length is 30″ in Texas.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jonathan Getz
Jonathan Getz
6 months ago

Great video gents! I wish the camera had polarized lens so we could see them just a little bit better.

J Long
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Getz

Uh, wow! That Black Drum schooling behavior, the boils, tailing, even seeing them sometimes under the water was so cool. The way Mr. Luke described each observation was amazing and helped me see what he was describing. I bought a pair of those Smith Optics Guide’s Choice before I was an Insider member and wished I’d bought them here! I love the Insider Club, the new features, and what the Simonds and team are doing with Salt Strong. God Bless y’all.

I agree with Mr. Jonathan and here is an idea:
No clue if it will work. Test the hypothesis. Can you put the lens of a Smith Optics Guide’s Choice (or any vendor’s advertised “fishing” glasses) in front of the camera and see what a human sees, like Luke was in this adventure?

Tony Acevedo
6 months ago

Nice work guys! My favorite way to fish for them this time of year!

Steven Free
6 months ago

Yea the only problem being with that here in northeast fl where the water is pretty much murky most of the year sight fishing for black drum is not the norm the way they fish for them here in the spring and fall is to use a big chunk of cut blue crab right on the bottom outside of the deep shipping channel here in the st John’s river never really heard of anybody catching any here while sight fishing and if they do it’s pretty secretive in fact even for redfish the conditions almost have to be perfect to sightfish for them i know some guys get a few in the spring and fall when the major flood tides flood our seagrass yea like I have been saying while a red is a red and a trout is a trout and so on the conditions here curtail different strategies and techniques then you use there in your clear water lush seagrass numerous mangrove having areas a whole lot different here but yes you can still locate structure on online maps even in our murky water that we have here

6 months ago

You guys are absolutely correct. The way to get those big black drum is simply to let your bait sit. I had the good fortune of catching three in Apalachicola one afternoon, a 16lb., a 29lb. and a 50lb.. All I did was find the biggest stinkiest dead shrimp I had, casted out and let it sit. Just like you said they will come along and take it! What a blast!

Joe Fishmaga
6 months ago

I had one go by my boat looked like it was half dead. Huge and it had that look. Next thing fish on and he fought a great fight. I never pulled him from water but he was the size of a beer keg. What I found wierd was his appearance. He looked beat up and had stuff growing on him.

6 months ago

Surfclam are the best bait for black drum

Ryan Jacobs
6 months ago

The redfish used to be thick like that around Tarpon Key.


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