Renitas new personal record, an oversize black drum
Imagine catching a fish that is one third of the size of your boat. Imagine the large fish pulling your boat even though you have two anchors down. Further imagine a fish that nearly spools your reel which is loaded with one hundred and fifty yards of twenty-pound test braid. Oh, and you have a small net….
Last week Renita had caught a twenty-nine inch black drum, her salt water personal best, (although she had caught a forty inch northern and a thirty inch walleye in fresh water). It was only a matter of time before she finally hooked into a monster black drum, one over thirty inches.
Her time was yesterday as we fished/kayaked a local bay. She had cast her shrimp near the end of pilings left over from a hurricane destroyed pier. It sat there for a while and then slowly started to move. She was using a number three/ought circle hook under a slip boober, and as the fish moved it hooked itself, (You don’t want to set the hook when using circle hooks).
The fish took off on a long run which didn’t stop. There’s not much you can do with a large fish until it stops its run, hoping it doesn’t spool your reel. Luckily the fish stopped it run. It had settled in deeper water and Renita started to gain line. I had our kayaks connected and anchored but the ten foot boats had been pulled off our spot.
Reeling down and then pulling her rod tip up she gained a foot and then another. The fish took off on another short run before it again stopped and she was able to start the process all over again. Now we both wondered if the line would hold, if the pole would break, or if the fish would find a snag, forcing her to break it off, (much of the bottom here is covered with sharp oyster reefs with areas of sand and mud).
Gaining more line, the fish decided to try another tactic as it headed towards the nearest barnacle covered pilings. Putting more pressure on the fish and at the last minute, Renita was able to turn it and it swam into open water. The final part of the fight was to bring the fish to the boat, where it tried another tactic, snagging the line on our anchor ropes.
As the fish swam around us, both of our kayaks were twirling like a pair of whirling dervishes. Now it was a question of who would tire first, her or the fish. The bobber appeared and we spotted the fish near my kayak. Knowing that I had to head the fish I was able to slip the net partway down the fish and hoist it besides my yak!
It was picture time and Renita kept it in the water while I snapped several photos. She passed the net to me, and I lifted the fish into my kayak, nearly swamping my boat. Trying to straighten out the fish, I measured it. It was still curved, and it measured over thirty-five inches, a twenty two plus pound fish.
Texas has a slot limit for black drum. To keep one, it must measure from twenty to thirty inches. One fish over fifty-four inches can also be kept. This ensures the brood stock remains for reproduction.
The fish immediately swam down, a great release! We fished some more and ended up catching four black drum and one speckled trout, (mine were the smallest ones. Which Renita pointed out as she told her fish story). I felt proud for her after the outstanding job she had done catching the big fish!
Well done Renita! Clear skies