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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When the drum are showing signs of being there by hitting shrimp on top etc and one artificial isn't catching what is the order of operation? Same plug, change retrieve? Change baits? Move?
I don't change my retrieve much and maybe I need to. I'll slow down a couple of retrieves but then find myself going right back to t the cadence that seemed to produce during previous recent outings. The drum are where I am but are very picky and yesterday I had two blow ups only and no hook ups.
I did however see a drum 1/3 out of the water while "walking" through the mud. It traveled at least 100' along the bank of the Marsh at the border of some reeds. I was actually able to video the fish but when I tried to post it to photo bucket it got deleted off my phone. Never happened before. It was fun to watch this drum just cruise the mud sucking whatever it was finding.

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I have no answer for this, I just wanted to say that this is a question that I have too, though I'll add that I'm often fishing areas where drum have been, but I do not necessarily see signs of at the moment. I am a patient person but tend to get real ADD when it comes to fishing. I find it easy to go by the "15 min rule" for trout fishing, not as sure about drum.

And that would have been cool to see a drum cruising the mud flat.
 

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Sir, color, size of bait , and weight of lure (rate of fall) , and retrive speed- all of these can play a big part. I have thrown the smallest grubs and caught large fish , but usually its " matching the hatch" or casting the same size bait that is present at the time- also the tide has all to do with fishing. Hope this helps--- fishnman
 

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It's all about the tide. I've sat on top (literally) of 50-100 redfish watching them belly crawl in 6 inches of water. Shrimp and finger mullet swimming around them unharassed and the fish wouldn't touch a thing I threw at them. As soon as the tide switched the fish starting blowing up on bait and I instantly started catching. Sounds exactly like what you are experiencing.
 

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I agree with fishnman and will add that reds aren't always the slob eaters they often demonstrate themselves to be. Many times they will key in on specific baits. I have found that reds feeding in ultra-skinny water are after stuff they can just suck up off the bottom such as small crabs, mantis shrimp, and worms. Go small with bait size. Perfect situation to present a fly.
 

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Sometimes a bear runs you down, sometimes you gotta poke it with a stick to get its attention... I kinda see a popping cork as a stick. Noisy and different, but using an imitation of what they are feeding on. But sometimes that's too much and it spooks them too. Fish are as hard to understand as women are. Yet once in awhile we land one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good points here. Seems like these fish are all feeding on crabs, class etc as per their stomach contents. I would have thought shrimp but only one had shrimp in it. It's really surprising that drum are caught on top as often as they are. I've been reading some studies and observations from biologist that cannot qualify as scientific studies. They all state the juvenile drum feed almost exclusively on crabs, mollusks etc. Only a certain group at a fairly specific time of year have stomach contents containing bait fish and they were comprised mainly of mud minnows.
Another question, I always see heron, egret and gulls eating large worms on the oyster bars and grass islands. These birds are always having a time getting these worms down because they are squirming all over. I almost thought they were small snakes the way they looked as the fought to get away from the bird beak and the way these birds seemed so careful to not drop them. What are these worms? There was a heron that had one the other day. I am addled up to it and it took off so I got on the island and tried to look for some of these. I figured they were buried but looked anyway. They are about 10-12" long and very active? Has got to be killer bait.

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This is another thread where I have to drag out the old quote from my great uncle Grier. I doubt it is originally his, but he is the one that drilled it into my head - "There are no fish in the tackle box". The point is to maximize time actually presenting lures/bait to fish. I organize my tackle into small boxes and try to only take things I am likely to use or at least try and have a plan of what to begin with and what to try next. I usually do have at least one thing that is sort of out of left field in case what I think should work doesn't at all. I give my primary tactic a lot more time than any of the secondaries. IOW, I might try a cork-n-shrimp for a half hour before switching to topwater (if I had decided for whatever reason that shrimp was likely to be a better producer) but only put up with 10 minutes of no strikes on topwater before switching back or trying the next thing.
 

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Good points here. Seems like these fish are all feeding on crabs, class etc as per their stomach contents. I would have thought shrimp but only one had shrimp in it. It's really surprising that drum are caught on top as often as they are. I've been reading some studies and observations from biologist that cannot qualify as scientific studies. They all state the juvenile drum feed almost exclusively on crabs, mollusks etc. Only a certain group at a fairly specific time of year have stomach contents containing bait fish and they were comprised mainly of mud minnows.
Another question, I always see heron, egret and gulls eating large worms on the oyster bars and grass islands. These birds are always having a time getting these worms down because they are squirming all over. I almost thought they were small snakes the way they looked as the fought to get away from the bird beak and the way these birds seemed so careful to not drop them. What are these worms? There was a heron that had one the other day. I am addled up to it and it took off so I got on the island and tried to look for some of these. I figured they were buried but looked anyway. They are about 10-12" long and very active? Has got to be killer bait.

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If it's a sand worm, Fish bites has a sand worm flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well today was an all time low. Until next time of course. I'm not posting for sympathy mind you. I'm just illustrating that sometimes the fish definitely will just not cooperate. I fished eight hours and came back with zero. Didn't even hook a short. The drum were so thick and they were blasting shrimp the whole day we'll within casting distance. This is what I remember trying. I probably left some out:
Bait:
Fresh blue claw crab halfs and quarters.
Frozen but caught last night finger mullet (which is how I got the crab bait)
7" whole somewhat alive pinfish
Cut sections of above
Artificials:
10 different top water plugs
6 different suspending twitch baits Inc Mr 17, X Rap, badonkadonks
1/8 Oz gold spoon
1/8 Oz silver spoons
Both above with spinners and tails separately
1/2 Oz gold & silver spoons
Zman soft baits
Pumpkin worm
White/chartreuse paddle tail
Green paddle tail
Silver paddle tail
Pink storm shrimp
Gold twisty tail on a 1/16 Oz head
Silver as above
Super flukes
Badankadonk whodat
Tsunami floating shrimp
Yozuri shrimp
Lastly, my socks rolled up in my high school diploma (never did me any good anyway) 😀
As I said there are a couple of other baits and variations. The total attention was 4 half hearted blow ups and about three sniffs. With the amount of shrimp these fish have to eat I doubt even shrimp would have helped. It's bad when red drum don't chomp blue claw crabs. I could have eaten them myself.
The reason I stayed out was the challenge of trying to get them to bite. It was futile obviously. It was a gorgeous day and the wind didn't start until I was about to leave so I'm not going to beef about no fish but I must say that for everything I offered up I'd have bet $100.00 that I would have caught at least a few.
These were all good size slot drum too. They were blasting shrimp so close I could see them as they rolled through the schools.
Oh well. Maybe next time.


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Red X Angler
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Did you try fishing "outside" the areas where you saw them feeding? Sometimes its better to focus on the outcasts on the fringe than the action. Less for them to be distracted by.
 
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Well today was an all time low. Until next time of course. I'm not posting for sympathy mind you. I'm just illustrating that sometimes the fish definitely will just not cooperate. I fished eight hours and came back with zero. Didn't even hook a short. The drum were so thick and they were blasting shrimp the whole day we'll within casting distance. This is what I remember trying. I probably left some out:
Bait:
Fresh blue claw crab halfs and quarters.
Frozen but caught last night finger mullet (which is how I got the crab bait)
7" whole somewhat alive pinfish
Cut sections of above
Artificials:
10 different top water plugs
6 different suspending twitch baits Inc Mr 17, X Rap, badonkadonks
1/8 Oz gold spoon
1/8 Oz silver spoons
Both above with spinners and tails separately
1/2 Oz gold & silver spoons
Zman soft baits
Pumpkin worm
White/chartreuse paddle tail
Green paddle tail
Silver paddle tail
Pink storm shrimp
Gold twisty tail on a 1/16 Oz head
Silver as above
Super flukes
Badankadonk whodat
Tsunami floating shrimp
Yozuri shrimp
Lastly, my socks rolled up in my high school diploma (never did me any good anyway) 
As I said there are a couple of other baits and variations. The total attention was 4 half hearted blow ups and about three sniffs. With the amount of shrimp these fish have to eat I doubt even shrimp would have helped. It's bad when red drum don't chomp blue claw crabs. I could have eaten them myself.
The reason I stayed out was the challenge of trying to get them to bite. It was futile obviously. It was a gorgeous day and the wind didn't start until I was about to leave so I'm not going to beef about no fish but I must say that for everything I offered up I'd have bet $100.00 that I would have caught at least a few.
These were all good size slot drum too. They were blasting shrimp so close I could see them as they rolled through the schools.
Oh well. Maybe next time.


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Was there a popping cork in there when you threw those arti shrimp? I know u said you might have left something out but just wanted to see. Hard to believe they didn't hit that crab.. Next time maybe add an extra prayer to Poseidon.... "60% of the time, it works every time...."
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes is was using a popping cork on my second rod that I had the baits on. The water was only 1'-21/2' deep and I adjusted the leader as tide changed. I had a few soft baits on it at different times each time with procure. The same setup had the few natural baits on it. Every once in a while I'd leave a top water bobbing around and work the popping g cork. Has to be my least favorite type of fishing.
I also threw spinner baits, cranks baits that make a lot of splashing with the rotating spinners and Billy bay minnows.
I also casted around the perimeter but there really wasn't a perimeter to speak of other than right up against the shore line. This is a large bay I fish in and I noticed bait being smashed all over it. I sat in the area with the highest concentration of activity. I spent 90% of the time anchored there and the other casting different spots mainly on my way in/out.
The shrimp the drum were hitting were large. Much larger than the ones I've been getting in my cast net when I happen to throw on shrimp. Not huge but I'd say 5-6" size shrimp. I guess they like the bottom that is there.? I'm wondering if the temperature of the water has anything to do with the drum not hitting what I threw. It's hard to figure for me but maybe the drum are just laying on the bottom and smash the shrimp if/when a school of bait travels over them? That's just a stab. The drum were running through the shrimp but I didn't see them just cruising around looking for bait. I have no idea but I have try and determine a plan for my next trip tomorrow or Monday. It's very hard to not go to a spot where there are some many fish. I'll likely check it out and move on by if nothing hits my top water. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to stay with top water despite lack if productivity. My productivity doesn't seem worse using every other type of bait.

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Yeah the thrill of watching/Catching fish on top water is just awesome... Have you tried John Skinners' setup? He's on youtube and he uses around a 2ft leader with a bucktail on the bottom with a dropper loop hook about half way up... I've caught almost everything on this rig and it works well with most plastics.... Anyways good luck next time out...
 
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