Schooling Black Drum and Sheepshead
Cool overnight temperatures continue to give anglers a good excuse to sleep in and start their fishing trip a little later. Air temperatures in the 40’s and early morning water temperatures in the low 60’s often make for a better afternoon bite. Fishing this week on the Banana River found both sheepshead and black drum schooling around the docks.
The sheepsheads were receptive to frozen shrimp pinned to a ¼ ounce Rip Tide Pro Jighead. Rigging is easy. Pinch the tail off the shrimp and simply thread the shrimp onto the hook through where the tail was pinched off. Even though the sheepies were schooling between the docks, best results came when the shrimp tipped jighead was thrown in close to the dock pilings.
Sightfishing the schools was a little different process. They were extremely spooky in the open water between the docks. Almost any presentation would cause them to bolt to deeper water. After switching over to a fly rod for a few casts I got a couple sheepies to follow, but they never would eat the fly.
The black drums were willing to take frozen shrimp on a circle hook. In this case the shrimp was suspended below a popping cork and fished around the docks in the area where the schools were spotted. The drum were on the move up and down the shoreline. When they came back through the area they couldn’t resist the easy meal of the dangling shrimp. When attaching the popping cork use a leader (mono or fluorocarbon) appropriate to the water depth you are fishing and tie on a 3/0 circle hook with a uni-knot. Add another short piece of mono to your mainline if you are using braided line. Use a double uni-knot to add the leader. Now you can use a regular uni-knot again to attach the leader to the top side of the popping cork. When using braid the extra piece of mono makes a more secure connection on the wire of the cork.
Using braid is a good idea when fishing around docks and other structure because of its abrasion resistant qualities. The black drum picture here wrapped around two different pilings before coming out into the open water. If the mainline had been mono he could have easily broken off.
That's what it's all about. Good fishin'.
Capt. Ron Presley