PORT ARTHUR — The spring “drum run” is in March and April but the fact is in the Sabine system, the huge black drum start staging at the jetties as early as December and can also be caught in the channels and north end of Sabine Lake.
The general rule is to fish the channel side of the jetties when the tide is moving out and the Gulf side when it is moving in.
Once you know the tidal movement, start searching for structure.
“What you will want to do is look for the deep holes at the jetties. At both Galveston and Sabine, there are deep holes at the southern tips on both sides and these are usually loaded with monster drum,” said Joe Persohn of Beaumont, the man who taught me about catching the big ones years ago.
Known as the “jetty man” by his friends, Persohn said if for some reason the deepest holes are inaccessible, you should back off and look for dips in the rocks.
“These dips are indicative of small spots slightly deeper than the surrounding water and that’s where the drum will be,” he said.
` Another great spot is any deep hole in the channel, shell reef or drop off. I have caught bull drum at the Dupont Outfall Canal and in the Entergy Canal over the last year. Find deep sots and you will find big drum.
I prefer to fish for drum with heavy tackle, in the 30 to 50- pound class. Bait-wise, if croaker is not available I use blue crab. Broken in half, and hooked through the carapace, the stuff has a long hook life and is irresistible to drum. Shrimp also ranks as high on the list of bull drum, but it is best fresh and preferably peeled.
I generally put out several lines with a slip egg weight and swivel, finished off with a wide gapped hook. This simple set up is ideal for catching them, but knowing when to set the hook is another issue entirely.