A couple weeks back my good friend called. We decided to take the ride to explore what the South Jersey coast had to offer. With the bite in full effect in the Raritan Bay we knew we had two choices. Follow the crowds or go south to escape them. We decided to take a run to unexplored waters. We arrived at the South Jersey sod banks about 5 hours before the high tided came in. The wind was barely moving we setup our gear. Anyone that knows me will tell you I very rarely use bait “Chunking” as some call it. I enjoy throwing plugs and working the water column. Clams in the shell were the ticket.
We setup the spot which consisted of two 5 gallon buckets and a wooden board to use as a bench. Two rod spikes True Lazy man fishing, Just sitting back and enjoying the views of the Atlantic City in the distance. We waited and waited nothing happen as the sun began to set the wind really started to pick up blown back from the east at 11mph I walked back to the truck and grabbed my 11ft setup with and 8000 baitrunner reel. My rig consisted of a 65lbs Seaguar Leader with a 5oz pyramid sinker. 7/0 Owner circle hook loaded with a nice whole clam. I casted then set the baitrunner feature which I would recommend this style of reel for anyone that chunks. With price point from $60.00-$280 dollars they are worth every penny.
I placed the rod back in the holder and had a seat. It was two hours before the high tide and the sun had just set. Some call this the Magic Hour!
The Strike was so strong it tipped the rod down into the sand. As I grab the rod turned the handle just enough to engage the main drag and the fish was on. It didn’t have the strong head shakes that you get from a Striped Bass fight. It was more of a rolling action. As I got the fish closer to shore I knew we had caught something special. Rich grab him while I reeled him up over the side of the sod bank. I unhooked him took and couple of photos and Let him return for the next angler to enjoy.
New Jersey Black Drum 25lbs on the bogo grip the fight only lasted for a couple of minutes but the memory will last me a lifetime. Moral of the story don’t be afraid to go your own way. Try new techniques even if it means taking it back to the way we grew up fishing as kids.
Rob Zorn is the Founder of iBass360 and works in various capacities inside the Fishing industry.