It is October, and that means Red Drum for coastal anglers. Post your fishing reports, questions about techniques and tackle, and photos here.
My first report of the month:
It was a pleasure to join Fish for a day in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay (purposefully dodgy about the exact area because it can be heavily trafficked.) Fish was kind enough to focus on spot, but he managed a nice trout and several healthy puppy drum (one of which gave my shad rod a workout.) I was planning on targeted drum at Jennette's Pier on Friday and Saturday, so I focused heavily on spot, and we scaped together one heck of a mix of spot, with trash fish (more pinfish than I can ever remember seeing that far north, lizardfish, and other assorted scalawags.) With a cooler full of bait, I departed Fish's excellent company and expertise to go attempt to get on the scoreboard for #DrumTour2020.
An ideal wind and tide pattern didn't produce any drum, although the critters were thick on the end of incoming and begining of outgoing. I went through a lot of tackle on big rays and sharks. I fished from opening to about 7PM, and no drum or bottom fish targets were caught. Shortly after I left, one drum was caught.
Saturday 10/4 More east in the NE made the water even better, but once again the drum were not cooperating. From 11AM-noon, three drum were caught. I had three runs, all rays that I had to bust off. Late in the afternoon as the water continued to clean, some bluefish, spot, and smaller sea mullet were caught, but I focused exclusively on drum fishing. I left at halftime of VT Duke so I could listen on the ride home.
One other note- this was my first time using the Penn Fathom II 15 (not the casting special.) It feels wonderful casting- much easier to throw than the Squall, although it is a bigger profile than the old 525 Mag I own. The magnets were great and I only blew up once (I got a little big for my britches.)
That said, if you have a Mag or a Squall, the differences mess you up. The Fathom requires way more clicks to tighten down the drag (you barely move the Mag 525 and it goes from clicker freespool to lock down.) I needed way more thumb on the spool than I like to get a circle hook to pull tight. Also, the clicker is miserable. It was so hard to toggle that I had to switch to my strong hand.