I cruised by the Saltwater Fishing Expo in New Jersey this past weekend and was stoked to see some old familiar fishing industry faces, and that's where I ran into Ryan White of Hatteras Jack in Rodanthe, NC.
White is the owner of the North Carolina based Century rods and as we got to jabbering, he told me that the Outer Banks was giving up some solid surf red drum fishing right now. "Redfish use the currents to push bait around on the edges of riptides in the cuts and sloughs of the shoals," said White. "They're really feeding on the pogy right now, it's a good time to catch fish in the 15 to 30-pound range."
White's go-to method is to toss out a fishfinder slide chunk rig consisting of a braid-friendly sinker slide clip with 4 to 8-ounce Hatteras sinker, a short 8-inch 60 to 80-lb Seaguar fluorocarbon leader, to which a size 8/0 to 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook is snelled on. A nice, thick pogy aka bunker chunk is cut and lanced onto the hook through the backbone. Heavy gear is desirable when chunking in the swashing waters outside the breaking surf and around inlets.
If you are adept at throwing a heavy duty baitcasting set up, go with a Hatteras designed 12'6" Century Slingshot SS1506C matched with an Abu Garcia CS Pro Rocket conventional reel, spooled up with 50-pound Spiderwire and either tie direct to the rig or Albright knot a 10 foot top shock leader of 50-pound Triple Fish monofilament before you tie the rig on. The mono shock allows for easier casting. If using a spinning set up, go with a 12 foot Shimano Tiralejo TRS120MHA matched with a Shimano Ultegra 14000 reel.
Red drum feed similarly to striped bass as they cruise the sloughs and cuts looking to suck down any remnants of fresh pogy, clams, crabs and other forage that gets churned up in the roiling surf. Let the drum take the bait, give it a three count then set the hook.
- Abu Garcia CS-7000 Ambassadeur CS Pro Rocket
- Century Sling Shot Series Rods
- Shimano Ultegra XTD Surf Spinning Reels
- TackleDirect Storm Hatteras Sinkers