Fishing report, May 3rd: Black drum under mangroves

May 3, 2015

Fishing report based on what the Bill Jackson’s staff is seeing and hearing about:

Snook are now closed to harvest in Gulf of Mexico waters as of May 1, and many anglers are finding success with black drum under the mangroves.

To set up properly for black drum, use a 7-foot-6 medium-light, fast-action rod with a 3000 series reel. Spool the reel with 10-pound-test braided line and add a 25-pound-test leader. Tie on a 1/0 long-shank hook to complete the tackle setup. For bait, use large live shrimp hooked through the body, with the bend and barb coming out by the legs.

Snook are off limits in the Gulf of Mexico, so anglers must release them. Still, these prized game fish will be showing up on the beaches in the coming weeks. For those targeting snook with a fly rod, use Polar Fiber flies, gurglers and seducers, in white or a light tan color. For those using live baits, try threadfin, smaller pinfish and pigfish. Pigfish produce a grunting noise that snook find irresistible. Fish along the beaches in the troughs, by piers and jetties.

Tip from the Fishing Hut: A smaller diameter braided line glides through the rod guides more easily and increases your casting distance.