How To Catch Black Drum Using Sand Fleas [VIDEO]
By: Joe Simonds on February 28, 2017
It’s black drum time!
In this blog + video, we will be teaching you how to catch inshore black drum using sand fleas.
Most anglers associate sand fleas with pier fishermen and surf fishermen (because sand fleas are a popular bait of choice for those anglers), but not many people realize how effective they can be when used inshore as well.
One of our favorite fish to target with sand fleas in Florida’s inshore waters are black drum.
Not only do black drum put up a very comparable fight to a redfish (if not better), the smaller ones are great table fare (some of the big black drum have been known to be “wormy”).
Finding Inshore Black Drum
In the winter and spring (and sometimes all year long), these fish run up and down the shallow shorelines in huge schools looking for their next meal.
Cold fronts in the winter and spring really get these fish fired up.
Many times they will school up and coast right up the coast and up into the intercoastal, etc. This can be an awesome sight fishing experience.
Note that these black drum can be caught on artificial lures when they are aggressive, but it can be a rather humbling experience to have a school of 100+ fish completely ignore your lure (trust me, I know).
And this is where it comes in handy to bring along some live bait.
More specifically, Sand Fleas.
Sand fleas are one of the most convenient baits to bring along with (regardless if you are in a kayak, boat, or paddle board).
Because you don’t need a big bait bucket or water to keep them alive all day, and they hardly take up any room at all.
All it takes is a small container or a zip lock bag to keep them in (just make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight to keep them from cooking, literally.)
A little bit of water to keep the inside of your container is also recommended to help keep them from drying out.
Note: If you happen to come across some redfish or sheepshead, they will also take down one of these sand fleas with no problem.
Related Post: Inshore Fishing 101: The Ultimate Inshore Fishing Resource (see it here now)
Quick notes from the video:
- I bought these sand fleas at a tackle shop due to time constraints. But you can also easily get your own sand fleas on many of the beaches in Florida (I’ll do a video on this coming up)
- I use the DOA 1/8 ounce red jig head
Black Drum Gear
As for your gear setup and rigging, any spinning reel from a 2500 – 4000 size will do just fine.
Since sand fleas are very light, and it’s not recommended to use a heavy weight when sight casting to fish, the smaller and lighter your setup is, the better.
This allows for longer casts and a fun fight.
In the video below, I am using a super light spinning combo with 8lb braided fishing line.
Note: For a leader, I use about 2 feet of 15lb fluorocarbon attached to my mainline using an FG knot.
The business end of the leader has a ⅛ ounce red jig head attached to the leader using a loop knot. The loop knot allows for the bait to bounce around a bit and also helps with hooksets.
Note: The loop knot allows for the bait to bounce around a bit and also helps with hooksets.
Black drum put up a pretty hefty fight so be sure to set your drag accordingly and let them run when they want to (especially when using light tackle to avoid any break-offs).
When these fish are schooled up, they will fight to get back to their school and you will notice the rest of the pack staying close by.
You can typically get a few fish out of a school as they don’t venture too far off from where the school. They may push out deeper when they get spooked, but they will return within a short period of time. I’ve had a school of drum spook off and start tailing about 25 yards from me within a couple minutes.
They may push out deeper when they get spooked, but they will return within a short period of time. I’ve had a school of drum spook off and start tailing about 25 yards from me within a couple minutes.
In the following video, you will see exactly how I use sand fleas when sight casting to schools of black drum.
Inshore Fishing for Black Drum Using Sand Fleas [VIDEO]
Inshore black drum fishing with sand fleas is a ton of fun!
And the best news is that you don’t need a boat or fancy equipment to catch black drum.
As you can see in my video above, I did all of this out of my kayak with nothing but sand fleas and a jig head.
Any other questions about catching black drum?
Let me know in the comments.
INSIDERS: CLICK HERE to see the exact spot all of these black drum were caught as well as how to get there.
Related Post: “3 Shortcuts To Catching Redfish Like A Pro” (see it here now).
Related Post: “Inshore Fishing 101: The Ultimate Inshore Fishing Resource” (see it here now)
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