Thursday, April 23, 2020

Drum trips

This time during most years would find our August and September drum season already booked tight.   We have large corporate groups who have been fishing 6-8 boats each day during the same weeks for many years. 

Fearing the answers through these uncertain times, we have not been pushing for confirmations or requesting deposits.   I am anticipating cancellations.    

If you know that you or your group is planning on coming, send me an e mail and let me know so that I can get your dates in ink. 

If you know that you are NOT coming, I also appreciate the heads up so we can begin to fill those openings.    

We have started a wait/call list for last minute openings,  reach out if you would like to add your name.

For those who have never done it, see a recent description on the fishing and the rates:

OK, a few more details on the details.
In the Neuse River/Pamlico Sound there is no lunar tide.   Unlike many places, lunar tides are predictable and with a good understanding of a tide, anglers can predict where the fish should be on a particular tide.
The arms of the Outer Banks wrap around the shallow waters of the Pamlico Sound  and negate any tidal influence coming from the ocean.   However, we do have tides, but our water is moved by the wind.   Even a light afternoon breeze, over a few hours can change the flow of the river; a stiffer breeze can change water levels by a couple of feet; a hard southwester can leave creeks dry whereas flounder can be seen crossing the street in Oriental on a strong nor’easter.

There are several ways that we can catch the giant red drum.    The traditional way of fishing for them is using cut bait in the afternoons, fishing  through sunset.   Although this technique can be productive any time of day, the afternoon breezes move the water and , broadcast the scent of the baits over a larger area, attracting more fish than under calm conditions.   On this “afternoon  drum trip” we typically use larger boats, 21-28’ center consoles that are comfortable and fishable under almost any sea conditions that the Neuse can offer.     If there is enough wind, we often hit the shoreline for a couple of hours to catch our limit of puppy drum or legal sized red drum, maybe also a trout or flounder before setting up for the big ‘uns……unless of course you want to forego catching dinner and target the giants from the start of the trip.    These trips are typically very consistent.

The other way of catching the big ones is using artificial lures and popping corks.   The tackle is lighter and this technique involves a lot of casting, so often preferred by experienced anglers.   Success for the big drum is consistent as long as weather conditions are calm with little wind, therefore these trips are usually run very early in the mornings before the breeze picks up.    Although the guides with the big boats can also catch the big drum in this manner, a smaller “bay boat” with a trolling motor is preferred,

Giant red drum trips:
Long half day, bay boat, artificial lures $600.  full days $800,  start time at 6/7 am
Long half day, larger center consoles, with bait $750.  full days $900, start at 6/7 am or 10/11 am

We also offer “split days” which take advantage of the morning and afternoon peak feeding times.   These days can be done on the same day or split over two days.    Spilt days on the bay boats are $1000 or $1200 on the larger center consoles.

Depending on the trip that you want and your arrival/departure dates into Oriental we can make hotel reservations for you and bundle that into a package.

Regarding your request for availability on Sunday afternoons through Tuesday afternoons during the peak of the season, these are the current options with first string guides:

Aug. 2, 3, 4 and 9, 10, 11 are open.
Flounder season opens Aug. 16 which is open and Aug. 17 is open, but things start getting very busy for us.
Aug. 23 is open with one boat possibly available on Aug. 24 and/or 25
Aug. 30 is open and the morning of Aug. 31.
Sept. 7 pm and Sept. 8 am are open
Sept. 13 pm and Sept. 14 am are open
Sept. 21, 22, 23 and 27, 28, 29 are open.

 Let me know if you have any questions or dates that jump out at you and we'll get you penciled in on the calendar.