Have you ever been to one of those large family gatherings where one of the grandparents or great parents is talking about a family member only to throw the words “Bless His Heart” into the story? Usually those words are the precursor for a story of struggles or sadness but there are a few people that can turn these stories of sadness into a comical performance. My favorite comedian of all time John Reep said it best: When ever someone throws out a “Bless His Heart” in conversation there is a going to be some trash talking involvedJ

Lately, my anglers and I have been having some incredible success catching and releasing Black Drum in the 20-45lb ranges. Now catching these large fish is awesome but there are times when I have a Black Drum boat side (especially the Giants) and I can’t help but have this weird thought in the back of my mind. My thought goes a little something like this:


“Look at that Monster Black Drum. Bless His Heart. He’s not as pretty as a Redfish but surely his mother still loves him.”


What? Is it bad to have those feelings? I promise I love all fish but pulling a 40lb Black Drum out of the water with his lips so busted up that it looks like lipstick is comical to me. Now one may wonder what’s with the busted lips? The areas of limestone and oysters where we fish for Black Drum often are very rough or jagged. As these fish forage along the bottom their lips can become incredibly raw as they mouth the bottom below trying to find shrimp and blue crabs.

Since these fish spend a good portion of their day feeding on the bottom it helps to make sure your baits or flies are weighted properly as to stay as close to the bottom as possible. With stronger than normal tides during the next few months fishing around the earlier or latter portions of the tides are a must.


Although some folks give Black Drum a bad wrap they really are some of the most awesome fish that swim in shallow water. Any tailing fish is special in shallow water but a fish that can reach 50lbs+ takes things to a different level.


Capt. Kyle Messier

Reel Florida Fishing Charters

(352) 634-4002