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Congrats on your catch. My largest so far was from my yak at 26 1/2 inches. Had another on that was over slot that was hooked on a top water lure, but by the time I got done messing a round, the line finally broke. had it right beside my boat at one time. Net tore up and I could not get the drum to open it's mouth for my fish grips. Relaxed the line a little, drum takes off on another run, and ......
 

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Heading to hatteras in a few weeks to target bull drums on sound side. Been focusing on large stripers and drum for a couple years now and feel comfortable to target landing the drum in 30/40 inches. When they get 15lbs or more it definately adds another variable to the equation on a kayak. They are such beautiful fish and want to make sure they are released safely and successfully when over slot. I have broke two nets on drum over 25 inches. I now take the extra time to wear them down a bit more, use boga grips, and use both hands to cradle into kayak then properly move water over their gills for a successful release. This 29 inch took a solid 3 minutes before she kicked off and swam strongly on her own.
 

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So an old drum is obviously an over slot fish but at what point is a drum considered an, "old" drum? Is it over a certain length or weight?
These are in a few specific rivers during the summer according to reading I've done but are they also along the entire coast whenever they migrate off shore during late summer/fall? I'm curious if they are caught in the surf up and down NC?

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My definition of what old is changes every year...

I think science would agree with the seat of your pants. After they reach adulthood, most of the growth is going to be on the back and sides - the swimming muscles. The head gets a bit bigger and the tail slightly, but growth is definitely skewed toward more muscle.
 

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So an old drum is obviously an over slot fish but at what point is a drum considered an, "old" drum? Is it over a certain length or weight?
These are in a few specific rivers during the summer according to reading I've done but are they also along the entire coast whenever they migrate off shore during late summer/fall? I'm curious if they are caught in the surf up and down NC?

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A 40 pound drum is 35-40 years old.
My fishing is primarily from the surf and about 50% of it is in pursuit of old drum from the surf.

I don't even target drum under 35 inches. In other words, anything under 35 inches doesn't entice me.
It's when you start pulling those 40-60 pounders up on the beach. That brother, is fishing.
Puppy drum? Yall can have all them you want.
Slots? Nice to eat a drum once in a while...still not what I seek out of surf fishing. Traffic picks up starting in September through the fall and well into the winter at times. Just depends on the weather.

You can pick up old drum in the surf sporadically in the summer months.
Most of my drum fishing is at night depending on location.

I would rather surf fish than any type of fishing I've ever done, and I've done most it.
Some folks spend all their money on 40,000 dollar bay boats. I spend mine on surf fishing tackle and equipment.
 

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A 40 pound drum is 35-40 years old.
My fishing is primarily from the surf and about 50% of it is in pursuit of old drum from the surf.

I don't even target drum under 35 inches. In other words, anything under 35 inches doesn't entice me.
It's when you start pulling those 40-60 pounders up on the beach. That brother, is fishing.
Puppy drum? Yall can have all them you want.
Slots? Nice to eat a drum once in a while...still not what I seek out of surf fishing. Traffic picks up starting in September through the fall and well into the winter at times. Just depends on the weather.

You can pick up old drum in the surf sporadically in the summer months.
Most of my drum fishing is at night depending on location.

I would rather surf fish than any type of fishing I've ever done, and I've done most it.
Some folks spend all their money on 40,000 dollar bay boats. I spend mine on surf fishing tackle and equipment.
OK so how much does a 35" drum weigh or maybe a better question is how long is a 40-60 pounder?? How do you target a specific size within these large fish? I'm almost embarrassed to say it but I tried to find out the meaning of "puppy drum". As you can imagine there is no definitive size but the most popular description is a drum between 12 and 15 pounds. Does this sound agreeable? This would mean that "puppy drum" are also "slot drum" and I am personally comfortable with this meaning. Smaller would be called juvenile according to a few of the published papers I've read. Semantics I know so I'm just throwing this info out there.

Can "Old Drum" be caught along the whole coast or just in the surf near the tributaries they migrate into and out of in the Spring and Fall?

I appreciate your passion for surf fishing. It's not for everyone that's for sure. I know you must stake out some prime shoreline without a tourist within miles.


I personally think a 32-38" drum has a little more overall fight that the big old uns. Not to say the old girls can't take you for one heck of a ride.
I'll take it that all "Old Drum" are females judging by these replies. How large do the males get? Do they travel with the female "Old Drum"?

I'm way out of my league here because the largest I've landed had been 27" but the fight from a thick 27" fish (I don't know if these were male or female. Neither of the two I've caught made drumming sounds) is so much more intense and fun than even a 20" fish. I don't think the graph for strength to length would be a linear curve by any means but this is just my very limited experience. The bummer is that it's easy to get spoiled. I got a 19" fish yesterday and I knew right away it was a smaller slot fish and the fight was not going to last. I was also bummed that I'd get one two person meal instead of two:D. Don't hate me because I eat them.
 

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OK so how much does a 35" drum weigh or maybe a better question is how long is a 40-60 pounder?? How do you target a specific size within these large fish? I'm almost embarrassed to say it but I tried to find out the meaning of "puppy drum". As you can imagine there is no definitive size but the most popular description is a drum between 12 and 15 pounds. Does this sound agreeable? This would mean that "puppy drum" are also "slot drum" and I am personally comfortable with this meaning. Smaller would be called juvenile according to a few of the published papers I've read. Semantics I know so I'm just throwing this info out there.

Can "Old Drum" be caught along the whole coast or just in the surf near the tributaries they migrate into and out of in the Spring and Fall?

I appreciate your passion for surf fishing. It's not for everyone that's for sure. I know you must stake out some prime shoreline without a tourist within miles.




I'll take it that all "Old Drum" are females judging by these replies. How large do the males get? Do they travel with the female "Old Drum"?

I'm way out of my league here because the largest I've landed had been 27" but the fight from a thick 27" fish (I don't know if these were male or female. Neither of the two I've caught made drumming sounds) is so much more intense and fun than even a 20" fish. I don't think the graph for strength to length would be a linear curve by any means but this is just my very limited experience. The bummer is that it's easy to get spoiled. I got a 19" fish yesterday and I knew right away it was a smaller slot fish and the fight was not going to last. I was also bummed that I'd get one two person meal instead of two:D. Don't hate me because I eat them.
Only conservatives eat fish. And we know ALL ABOUT those conservative types....
 

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OK so how much does a 35" drum weigh or maybe a better question is how long is a 40-60 pounder?? How do you target a specific size within these large fish? I'm almost embarrassed to say it but I tried to find out the meaning of "puppy drum". .
Weight can be all over the place. I've seen a 60 pound drum that was 47 inches long. On the other side of the coin a 35" drum could be anywhere between 10-20 pounds. Girth is a large factor. Some are a lot fatter than others.
I target large drum with choice of bait. Whole or halved crabs. Large cuts of mullet sides. A redfish has a heck of a smeller on him. They can smell a crab sure enough. Crab is one of the best baits for the big drum. Harder to cast and harder to obtain at the spur of the moment.

Puppy drum widely is known as a drum 7 pounds and under.
A lot people likewise consider old drum 30 pounds and up.
But I know people that call ALL drum regardless of size puppy drum.

I think it depends largely on what crowd you run with and how you were taught.
All of the people I know that call all drum puppy drum are the older crowd. 60+ years old.

Then there is the regional thing. Probably called something different in Florida or Louisiana. Even a regional thing within NC.

I'd be satisfied to know I caught an 80 drum in my lifetime but a 100 pound drum is entirely possible.

I very seldom weigh, measure, or photo drum. I unhook and release the majority of them in the surf quick mainly because I'm alone and only have 2 hands. Weight wise, I'm pretty dog gone dead on. My dad retired from servicing and selling Toledo scales. I picked up enough test weights in my life time to get a pretty significant sense of weight.
Most of my drum only surf ventures are alone. I'll leave work about 10 pm, stop at the shop and load up and be on the beach by 1AM. Fish until dawn and be back for work in the afternoon. All of my fishing partners are first shifters.
 

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One of my fishing buds is 73 and from Salisbury. He lives in a condo right on the beach. He'll fish early in the morning but he aint a night fisher. Now he a fishing fool. He'll show up with a sand flea. From big drum to convicts from the surf with a sand flea.
He comes in off the surf clean. I come in off the surf smelling like bait.
 
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