How to catch freshwater drum

Many people never learn how to catch freshwater drum. Likely because they grew up hearing about the fight of big bass or the amazing taste of the walleye. The truth is many anglers who catch freshwater drum think it fights harder than large-mouth or spotted bass and taste better than a walleye.

I personally think that for generations anglers who aimed to catch freshwater drum have kept this secret from all but the closest of their bass fishing buddies. If you have a boat full of bass fishing gear or a baitcasting setup that makes the walleyes tremble in fear but have been neglecting the freshwater drum you have got to give them a shot.

  • Fish the bottom of wherever your at! – Drum stay at the bottom of waterways.
  • Live bait works great – Worms and Crawfish both work great.
  • Fish at night!!! – Freshwater Drum are nocturnal so 95 percent of the feeding they do will be at night. Start around dusk when the drum start waking up.
  • In the summer they will move into shallow water. Generally above 30 feet.
  • Freshwater drum love sitting on top of large rocks in the middle of rivers.
  • Use Deep Diving Crankbaits – make sure you are making it to the bottom it find the drum.
  • Bring Bigger line! – Freshwater Drum will strike your bait like a Mac Truck and fight way above their size. They have broken many lines and even snapped a few lightweight poles with their monstrous first hit.

What is the best bait to catch a freshwater drum?

Picture of a freshwater crawfish on a lake bed. Hanging out in a place where a freshwater drum would be looking for him at!

Most freshwater drum are caught on nightcrawlers. That is likely just due to how many people fish nightcrawlers and that they are such a cheap bait when compared to other live bait options.

Many of the anglers that go out looking for a monster freshwater drum swear by whatever local version of crayfish is in their area. These are a natural food of freshwater drum and in clear water at dusk or at night, they are almost guaranteed to hook a freshwater drum that will bend that rod!

In murky waters you can get away with using a lot more artificial lures and worms that hang out on the bottom of the lake or river your fishing. Drum prefer clear water but if all of the water is murky they will feed on the bottom with reduced or no visibility.

Where can I catch Freshwater Drum ?

Picture of a freshwater drum hanging out on top of a riverbed. The water is very clear which is a drums favorite although they are capable in cloudy water as well.

Freshwater Drum will always hang out at the bottom of whatever body of water they at so if you are not fishing on the bottom you will not catch any drum. They are often caught on accident by anglers when they are out fishing for catfish.

If they have a choice they will also always head for clear water. A solid rock or gravel rockbed in clear water is their favorite home. Their habitat stretches all the way from Canada to South America leaving plenty of freshwater to catch these fish in.

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