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Thread: Drum bait?

  1. #1
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    Drum bait?

    Been after a big drum for the last couple years but havent had much luck. I was curious to what type cut bait is the best or what types everyone has had the best luck with. Ive always just bought bunker and typically use the heads. Also how do you guys and gals rig the bait? I just run a circle hook up through the mouth and out the top of the head. Right, wrong, dosent matter?

  2. #2
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    In terms of rig...this thread discusses it, with good feedback from board members:
    http://forum.reddrumtackle.com/showthread.php?t=14957

    Rigging the actual bait, this seems to be a pretty decent diagram (sharp knife is key!):
    http://www.hatterasoutfitters.com/faq_baitprep.htm

  3. #3
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    Fatback

    Never forget the time a friend of mine was given some bait by a person leaving the beach who had never fished the OBX much.

    Amidst the mullet was a huge slab of fatback -- pork that is. Someone had told him that that fatback was a great bait. No one mentioned that it was also a slang term for menhaden. Hilarious.
    Member: OBPA, NCBBA #5909, CCA-NC

  4. #4
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    Now thats funny!!! I dont care who you are!! Hey they might of been onto something!! LOL!! You just never know!

  5. #5
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    I've caught more big drum on the head of a freshly caught seamullet than anything else. A seamullet about 10", cut diagonaly to leave guts in, hooked through the mouth and out the top of the skull. Dink blues wont get it off the hook and rays won't bother it as much as a bunker chunk.

    Been my experience.
    I don't fish because I want to, I fish because I HAVE to!

    Moma tried real hard.

    Long days and short nights make you old.

  6. #6
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    In 1979 I was just getting into Drum fishing and had spent some time on the beach. I spoke with a guy who at the time looked like he knew what he was doing. I asked him about bait and he told me that “ Fat Buck” was absolutely the way to go. Now you have to understand that I am a scrapple eaten redneck from Pennsylvania. Fat back was something we made every year at butcher time. We alwayse kill at least two hogs at Thanksgiving.
    At any rate I loaded up with some fat back and proceeded to the point next fall armed with the best bait you can get for drum. Once there I watched what everyone else was using in the way of tackle and bait. At this time I knew absolutely nothing about a fish finder or even a three way set up. I approached one fellow and asked about his set up. He told me that I would need a couple of things before I was ready to fish. At that point he tied a shock leader on for me (don’t remember what weight and it wouldn’t have mattered at the time anyway) I was anxious to be of help to this kind fellow so I asked him if he wanted some fat back. His reply was that he had plenty but was glad to hear I had the right stuff. I then proceeded to hook up a huge chunk of Pennsylvania “ Fat Back “ and marched off towards the point. I hadn’t made more than a couple of steps when my mentor asked, “ What in the hell have you got on that hook”
    Over the years I have met some of the most down to earth folks while fishing. This guy busted up when I told him what I had. By the end of an hour he had given me the basics of casting and what North Carolina coastal version Fat Back really was. I spoke with him several times before he passed on in the early nineties and to this day will never forget the guy who was willing to take the time to help out a real “First Timer”! Thanks to all who take the time to teach!
    Just do it!!

  7. #7
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    I have had pretty good luck with spot, I would use it before bunker, mullet, seamullet.... Cut spanish is nice, just dont get caught with anything less than a whole fish in your cooler. Sinner likes to cut their tails off, keep him away.....

  8. #8
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    I'm no local, but I always scour the island for bunker when I'm fishing down there. That's even if the fingers are in the surf. I've just always had good luck with it, and it's my go to bait that I have confidence in. Now, on the other hand, it's not increased my hook ups nor decreased them while in a blitz. But look out if I catch the first one of the night! You wouldn't believe what guys have offered for a chunk or two after I caught the first one of the night. The last time I was down, I fished all night with Sarge, and we done very well with about ten fish in a few hours all above 35 inches. I was fishing with bunker, he had mullet. I caught the first couple, and I could see his wheels turning. He stuck with the mullet though, and they averaged out for the rest of the night. I caught five fish that night, and it's one of the best nights I've ever had. Sarge even got to calling me "absolute Ohio" for my home state and my rod of choice. ha ha ha

  9. #9
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    Boxlock:

    I just had Diet Dr. Pepper shoot up my nose when I lauhged so hard at your post.
    BIRD WATCHERS DON'T SURF OR SURF FISH

  10. #10
    SINNER Guest
    Jeez, cut the tails off of two spanish and he gets all cranky. Leave em in my cooler and it's your risk.

    I like to "cone" bunker heads. Take a nice sharp serrated knive and cut off the bottom jaw. This cuts down on the extra stuff that don't do much for you, and keeps the mouth form scooping water and dragging your weight off the bottom. If the doggies aren't thick I just like little chunks of fatback for bait. Seamullte heads and spot heads and whole "candy bar" blues are all good bait.

  11. #11
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    Any fresh that you can get your hands on. But distance is the key. The guys that cast the furthest at the point, catches more fish than other guys. That's from watching the guys that hooks up more often. Not me. I was counting becuase I didn't hook up.

  12. #12
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    Keeping bait:

    1. Never, Never, (did I say NEVER) let the water in yer cooler get on your bait.
    2. Bait should have clear eyes and pink gills. (Don't matter the type, it gotta be fresh)
    3. Buy a pair of oversized scissors, Makes cutting bait, coning heads and getting broke pull tabs on yer beer outta the way. Serrated knife is fine, I get taught on scissors, so that's what I use.
    4. Did I mention not to let the cooler water get on your bait?
    5. Some folks "Brine" the bait. Layer Fresh bait, Ice, Bait, Ice, Bait etc to top. Get immediately to beach. Use mixed drink cup (Best device for this) to get fresh saltwater, pour over bait. Let sit for an hour or so, open drain on cooler. Leave Drain open. DO NOT LET FRESH WATER GET ON BAIT (Did I mention that??)
    6. Use fresh bait. The Drum are used to it, and do not like 4 day old musty stinky bait.

    It's fun to cast net, or to catch yer own bait. Take shrimp (From RDT) peel and lay on cutting board until it dries slightly (makes it tougher) use 2 hook sea striker rig from RDT. Catch mullets and spots. Use heads for drum and bodies for belly.

    Catch them all.
    Last edited by Custer; 09-24-2008 at 03:23 PM.
    Custer
    Time spent negotiateing with the enviro-whackos is time wasted.

    It is a harsh war, and only harsh actions can provide victory. Negotiation is not an option.

  13. #13
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    I love to hear that...

    Quote Originally Posted by boxlock View Post
    In 1979 I was just getting into Drum fishing and had spent some time on the beach. I spoke with a guy who at the time looked like he knew what he was doing. I asked him about bait and he told me that “ Fat Buck” was absolutely the way to go. Now you have to understand that I am a scrapple eaten redneck from Pennsylvania. Fat back was something we made every year at butcher time. We alwayse kill at least two hogs at Thanksgiving.
    At any rate I loaded up with some fat back and proceeded to the point next fall armed with the best bait you can get for drum. Once there I watched what everyone else was using in the way of tackle and bait. At this time I knew absolutely nothing about a fish finder or even a three way set up. I approached one fellow and asked about his set up. He told me that I would need a couple of things before I was ready to fish. At that point he tied a shock leader on for me (don’t remember what weight and it wouldn’t have mattered at the time anyway) I was anxious to be of help to this kind fellow so I asked him if he wanted some fat back. His reply was that he had plenty but was glad to hear I had the right stuff. I then proceeded to hook up a huge chunk of Pennsylvania “ Fat Back “ and marched off towards the point. I hadn’t made more than a couple of steps when my mentor asked, “ What in the hell have you got on that hook”
    Over the years I have met some of the most down to earth folks while fishing. This guy busted up when I told him what I had. By the end of an hour he had given me the basics of casting and what North Carolina coastal version Fat Back really was. I spoke with him several times before he passed on in the early nineties and to this day will never forget the guy who was willing to take the time to help out a real “First Timer”! Thanks to all who take the time to teach!
    To me,that's one of the great things about this passion of ours,passing the knowledge on to other folks who are willing to learn.
    As for me,it is usually whatever is the freshest,although I will admit I have caught on rotten bunker when there was no fresh. Drum are usually not picky,how do you think they got so big? Usually what gives off the most smell will do the trick. Spot heads,sea monkey heads,bunker,cob heads,they all will work if you get it to the dining table. Personally I have always preferred a cob head; stays on when the nibblers are feeding,and it throws pretty good.
    One more thing. I never leave home without a package of frozen fingers or cobs that have been vacuum packed,just in case there is no fresh on the island. Hope this helps.
    JB

  14. #14
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    WOW!! I really appreciate all the responses so far. You guys ROCK! Hey Custer and Sinner you both mentioned coning the heads. Is that just referring to cutting off the bottom jaw? And I guess Custer that letting your bait getting exposed to fresh water will take away the "briny flavor" of the bait? Seems to that all bait including shrimp gets soggy when it has been in fresh water. So should i let the cooler water get into the bait or not Custer?! Ive had others say that you should scale whatever cut bait your throwing. Seems like all that does is allow easier hook penetration when putting it on. You guys ever fool with that?

  15. #15
    SINNER Guest
    Coning is just cutting off the bottom jaw and the bottom of the gill plate. Done right, the bottom of the bait is the roof of the bunkers mouth. Makes it a nice neat little cone shape that throws better and the mouth cant fall open. Hook thru the roof of the mouth out the top of the head between the eyes. If you use thick wire circles, you can hook in one eye and out the other.

    Fresh water lets the bait soften up and get mushy. Kinda the reverse of brining. You can tell the difference between sound caught bait and ocean caught bait by the firmness of the flesh. The fresh water also robs your bait of the blood and oils that make the scent trail.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by soakin bait View Post
    WOW!! I really appreciate all the responses so far. You guys ROCK! Hey Custer and Sinner you both mentioned coning the heads. Is that just referring to cutting off the bottom jaw? And I guess Custer that letting your bait getting exposed to fresh water will take away the "briny flavor" of the bait? Seems to that all bait including shrimp gets soggy when it has been in fresh water. So should i let the cooler water get into the bait or not Custer?! Ive had others say that you should scale whatever cut bait your throwing. Seems like all that does is allow easier hook penetration when putting it on. You guys ever fool with that?
    Naw, I just take tip of scissors and knock a hole in one side as a part of the bait prep.

    The freshwater "washes" the bait out, removing the oils that perfume the surf, to help Mr. Drummie find that one nugget in the acres of tossed envirowhacko (also known as human defaction, but Bob won't let me use the 4 letter explanation.... ). The Guru FHB's that taught me said the first thing you do when you buy your cooler is to drill a 1/8" hole through the threaded part of the spout, then you can back the cap off slightly and let the saltwater slooooooooowly drain out. The Salt water really firms the bait up and makes it last.

    I do not know the science (and honestly, do not have the brain cells or desire to learn) but Bait exposed to fresh water turns mealy fast. You want the bait as firm as a 19 yr old.....
    Last edited by Custer; 09-24-2008 at 06:11 PM.
    Custer
    Time spent negotiateing with the enviro-whackos is time wasted.

    It is a harsh war, and only harsh actions can provide victory. Negotiation is not an option.

  17. #17
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    My tip would be.......CATCH YOUR OWN BAIT!


    It might take some time to learn how to throw a castnet, but it's worth it.

    It might take some time, and some hours cruising around the island, checking different places, but its worth it.


    Once you catch your bait, you know have THE FRESHEST BAIT ON THE ISLAND!

    I gut all my bait bc the guts will spoil the freshness. DONT LET FRESH WATER TOUCH YOUR BAIT! (sorry Custer)

    Definitley checkout Tres' guide on hatterasoutfitters.com on cleaning a fatback.

    Good stuff....be down soon doin' it myself.

    FA
    "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."

  18. #18
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    Appreciate everybodys input. Hey even if no fish are caught I wouldnt wanna be anywhere else than standing in the surf, soakin bait and a chilly in hand. Hope to meet some of you folks this fall. Ill be in a green Toyota Tacoma with matchin' top and basket on the back(might be on the front Im still workin on that) Anyways stop by and have a cold one! Might even have a little something homemade to warm your blood. Hunter

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custer View Post
    I do not know the science (and honestly, do not have the brain cells or desire to learn) but Bait exposed to fresh water turns mealy fast. You want the bait as firm as a 19 yr old.....
    Osmotic pressure man, Water moving from a greater to lesser concentration. Bunker flesh has salts, proteins etc. in it, water don't, thus it moves across the osmotic membrane into the bunker flesh, producing what we chemists call mushy, crappy bait.

    If the saltwater has a higher content of salts than the bunker meat, it works backwards, drawing water from the bait and firming it up, producing what is scientifically known as good chit.

    The osmotic pressure π of a dilute solution can be calculated using the formula

    π = iMRT,
    where

    i is the dimensionless van 't Hoff factor
    M is the molarity
    R=0.08206 L · atm · mol-1 · K-1 is the gas constant
    T is the thermodynamic (absolute) temperature
    Pumpkinboy

    When in doubt, poke it with a stick.

    NCBBA #10034
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  20. #20
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    Took the words right outta my mouth! Well said Pumpkin!

  21. #21
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    Hey Pumpkin...

    Are there t-shirts with your avatar on it? Cause damn Id pay good money for one!

  22. #22
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    Cooler Interior Rack...

    You can build a rack that goes inside your cooler that keeps your bait above the level of the drain plug and then put a disposal pan on top of the ice and add thin layer of salt water to the pan. Rack is built from PVC.
    NCBBA 10605 Lifetime
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  23. #23
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    I was given

    a tray for me cooler from Longcaster. Made of stainless and drilled full of holes, it is da chiznitz for sure. It will keep bait for days with clear eyes, firm flesh etc...and to think I went for years without one. Never again!
    Thanks again Jim
    "Smart is the man who has nothing to say and cant be persuaded to say it".....................Ben Franklin

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  24. #24
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    So, if I read this right.....

    ...you guys are saying that I should NEVER let the fresh water touch the bait?


    Honestly, I never knew that but what you say makes sense to me. So can someone out help me out. It's now late November, the road is re-opened, all of the wives have driven to Rodanthe and said to each other "oooh, that's the house, can you believe Richard Gere was right there", I have aired down and I'm at Frank and Frans with an empty cooler on the truck, a bag of fresh mullet in one hand and three ten pound bags of ice in the other.


    What do I do? We are used to just throwing it all together and heading out, but it seems that mushy bait we end up with has been "self inflicted" for the past 15 years.


    Your guidance and expertise is appreciated.
    NCBBA Member
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  25. #25
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    that

    would be correct...
    You can brine your bait though...I use kosher salt with plenty of ice and water.

    This also works for a prep after cleaning a fish to get rid of the acids built up in the meat during the fight. Before you cook/freeze yer fish let it soak in a brine for a few minuets. Makes a difference in the end. Chowed on some of the cobie I caught this spring the other night, it was awesome, tasted fresh after almost five months. (it was vacuum sealed)
    "Smart is the man who has nothing to say and cant be persuaded to say it".....................Ben Franklin

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  26. #26
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    Wheat youre right on it by saying that soakin your catch in the brine works. Ive always done it but never thought about doing the same with my bait until posting this thread. Keeps it nice and fresh right out of the freezer.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custer View Post
    I do not know the science (and honestly, do not have the brain cells or desire to learn) but Bait exposed to fresh water turns mealy fast. You want the bait as firm as a 19 yr old.....
    "Osmotic pressure man, Water moving from a greater to lesser concentration. Bunker flesh has salts, proteins etc. in it, water don't, thus it moves across the osmotic membrane into the bunker flesh, producing what we chemists call mushy, crappy bait.

    If the saltwater has a higher content of salts than the bunker meat, it works backwards, drawing water from the bait and firming it up, producing what is scientifically known as good chit.

    The osmotic pressure π of a dilute solution can be calculated using the formula

    π = iMRT,
    where

    i is the dimensionless van 't Hoff factor
    M is the molarity
    R=0.08206 L · atm · mol-1 · K-1 is the gas constant
    T is the thermodynamic (absolute) temperature "

    Damn...there goes one of the last two brain cells...After reading this, I dreamed of DR. Kevorkian...must of been a "literal" dream.....Only one cell left...it's screamin'....MURDERED...MURDERER...

    Thanks P-boy....Now with ony 1 brain cell left, I truly have an excuse for my insanity
    Custer
    Time spent negotiateing with the enviro-whackos is time wasted.

    It is a harsh war, and only harsh actions can provide victory. Negotiation is not an option.

  28. #28
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    Never thought I would...

    I never thought I would have to use my chemical engineering degree to bait fish. When we were asked "What do you think you could do after you get out of college?", "Bait-n-Chum Master" never came to mind! Kinda like that show "Good Eats" where they explain the detailed chemistry/chemical process behind simple prep/cooking steps for everyday food. I dig that stuff. Yeah I know it's a little nerdy but I find it interesting.
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  29. #29
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    Question for you guys. A fellow told me he catches Drum by putting a big gob of sand fleas on his hook. He said he just puts a bunch of em on and gives it a pitch.. That's a new one on me, I know they are a natural bait but a whole hook full???
    Just do it!!

  30. #30
    SINNER Guest
    Seen the snadflea trick first hand. Lee and I walked out to the Point duringthe closures and he dumped his bait box trying to run away from the baby biter I was reeling in at his feet. A long walk back, or load up the hook with sandfleas. He caught a 40" drum a few minutes later. Damn.

  31. #31
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    I'm suprised that no one has said Bratz.

  32. #32
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    Teo don't give away the secret now its all over the net again That is going to cost you a beer for each of us.

  33. #33
    Bill Tipton Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheatland_Whilly View Post
    a tray for me cooler from Longcaster. Made of stainless and drilled full of holes, it is da chiznitz for sure. It will keep bait for days with clear eyes, firm flesh etc...and to think I went for years without one. Never again!
    Thanks again Jim
    My good ole bubby, and dearest fishing friend wouldn't have another would he?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinboy View Post
    Osmotic pressure man, Water moving from a greater to lesser concentration. Bunker flesh has salts, proteins etc. in it, water don't, thus it moves across the osmotic membrane into the bunker flesh, producing what we chemists call mushy, crappy bait.

    If the saltwater has a higher content of salts than the bunker meat, it works backwards, drawing water from the bait and firming it up, producing what is scientifically known as good chit.

    The osmotic pressure π of a dilute solution can be calculated using the formula

    π = iMRT,
    where

    i is the dimensionless van 't Hoff factor
    M is the molarity
    R=0.08206 L · atm · mol-1 · K-1 is the gas constant
    T is the thermodynamic (absolute) temperature
    You been taking Wheats classes?

  35. #35
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    Pinfish!

    Catch some pinfish if the water in the canals manage to stay warm. Better than bunker and most of all.........free! hehehe

  36. #36
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    Pinfish Pete, you've obviously never fished with a fresh sea mullet head. Remember all the fish we caught back in August? They werent drum but they were nice blues.

    Jr.

  37. #37
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    I always have a rod out with shrimp

    Spring 07 rays where hammering everyone but Susan, Debra, and I. The guys resisted using shrimp until we put the 3rd or 4th citation on the beach.
    Retired and love it!

  38. #38
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    JIm and Ginny stole my line ,last november friday after thanksgiving I was fishing half way between ramp and inlet ,i was out of bunker and leaving thenext day so I used the weekold shrimp that would barely stay on the hook,I caught a 28" ,32" ,22" and a couple 18" puppies worst bait I have ever fished with caught the most and biggest drum to date. Some times the fish just make up there mind to eat and go for whatever is in range.

  39. #39
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    OBXFHB, Old Grumpy Fred and I kicked butt on yearling drum last March in O'cock on squid. Between the 3 of us we got well over 30 drum with almost all biting on squid. Point is i they're hungry, they'll eat!
    Why am I so addicted to catching a fish I can't keep?!

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