black drum stories

the dream of catching that big fish. and the memories and storis which follow that fish, stay with people their whole lives. I 

​​​Once upon a fish, I decided not to let him go.  (Te-he, this is going to be fun.)  A melancholy kind of day, fishing, following along and blending in lay ahead of me.  I had recently heard about Drum Fish, the booming beat they make in mating calls is famous in Southwestern Florida.  The boom is said to reverberate thru the water in channels and up into foundations causing nightly havoc for homeowners.  It literally sounds like a tiakado drum, beat once...then another, and pretty soon you think the dripping water in the sink is a booming waterfall one drop at a time.  Little did I know a special guy had his drum on for me.  It was like he knew I was coming, waiting in the depths for an interesting ride to the brightness I had above.

Fishing the bridges is what locals call it.  We were going for King Mackerel, Snook, Tarpon, the popular seasonal fish. The first up was a Ladyfish caught by the only lady on the boat, a foretelling of the sea's talent.   She got off quickly, freeing up the line for friends waiting below.  Another pass revealed a deep hook, and something big.  "Snag," they said.  "NO; my line is swimming," I said.  The big guy pulled the line out hard, we heard the drag releasing. A lot of line was running out fast, but it was just a tease because he knew he was hooked.  Heading out to the channel we followed along, not letting up the tension. It was a strong relationship.  Back to the home grounds and not ready to see the light yet, deep he went.  Another run, feeling like space was needed I am sure. It gave me a bit of a rest to gather the strength needed for the remaining challenge.  He was ready, briefly cresting.  I actually swore.  He was by far the largest catch I had ever seen. In the murky water, his wildness was awesome. We understood each other by now, he was not ready. Large and purposeful, I was excited to greet him.  Still, I was persistent but gentle coaxing him up.  He was a bit shy so it took awhile.  His last energy spent he surfaced in all his splendor.  Surprisingly earthy, his size foretelling his experience and wisdom. No sudden movements, no  jumping just a gentle giant. Maybe not the biggest, but just right for me.  I got the feeling he had been here before, and I was meant to catch him this time.  He was gentile in nature once landed, and drummed for me quite a bit.  I thought, I am stunned and in love with a fish!  It was an awesome experience to have met him. His release was really only a passing of friends. We will surely share more experiences together in this salty life.  

60# 40" Black Drum 4/10/15 on 10# test with a simple shrimp on a hook (hung the wrong way,) sliding weight.  Peace River, FL under I-75 Bridge. 17' Carolina Skiff "Fat Point", guide Daryl assisted by Bob.