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Several years ago, I went on my 1st drum trip and caught several. After we took pictures, we put them back and sorry to say, several floated away, out of site. The capt said they would be fine but I'm thinking probably not. They were healthy going back into the water so I'm not sure what happened. This happened to a 30lb and 80lb. Is there a swim bladder that you have to push on, so that they release what appeared to be a belly full of air?
 

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The swim bladder would not deflate on a fish from those depths.. you dont fish deep enough for that.. the best bet is to revive them like any other fish in the water in your arms cradled and wait until they decide to swim away....

They should give a nice kick and be off back to the current and bottom!

If not bring em in the boat and eat it or crab trap it!

Keep the eco system going either way!
 

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What we do

sportfishingusa said:
The swim bladder would not deflate on a fish from those depths.. you dont fish deep enough for that.. the best bet is to revive them like any other fish in the water in your arms cradled and wait until they decide to swim away....

They should give a nice kick and be off back to the current and bottom!

If not bring em in the boat and eat it or crab trap it!

Keep the eco system going either way!
Good reply sportfishing! The drum are not deep enough and you aren't bringing them up fast enough for their bladder to inflate. What we do is keep the gaff in their bottom lip and hold them into the current upright. They will give a good head shake when they are ready. If you don't get one after a few mins they are most likely too exhausted. We have fought fish for well over 45 mins on light tackle and revived them in 5 mins or so. Some only took 10-15 mins and were spent. Maybe they had just spawned and were tired:confused:

I have seen drum float by us upside down that were still alive, I honestly don't know if they make it or not.
 

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GAFF IN BOTTOM LIP!!?!

sounds like me drinking.. Dribble lip! lol hahaha

:D :p :D
 

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The longer the fight, the less likely that drum is to live. They don't have many predators to avoid, and that 10-15 minute battle is literally the fight of their life. That's why it is so important to use appropriate gear when targetting them. I see way too many people these days going ultra-light tackle on drums, to the point it takes 30 minutes to get shorts or even a 30lb fish boatside. I guess the light stuff is fine if the bite is in very shallow, slack water, but when the tide is hauling butt, break out the heavier gear so you have a chance of releasing them alive if that's your choice.
 

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we dont even take really big fish out of the water 75#+
they are so exhausted boat side you can simply dehook them,
and with a boga revive them boat side.

-ZAR
 

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I LIKE TO CLIP OFF THE SCALES AND PICK MY TEETH WITH THEM. :eek: :rolleyes: :D
 

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First you need to use the right equipment. Yeah you can catch a 75 lb drum on 20lb test but why risk it. Use tackle heavy enough to get em to the boat in a decent time. Then if you aren't keeping it, keep it in the water. We net em,keep em in the water, pull the hook and use the net to put their face into the tide. Then when they try to swin reverse the net. I have never seen one of our releases go belly up. They have all headed to the bottom. I can't attest to what happens after that, but it looked good at the release
 

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Gear

We use primarily 4/0 senators for drum loaded with 30# test(quattro). The fights are typically 10-15 mins on these. We will not usually fish with anything lighter than 20# unless its a specific request with their own equipment, and then we let them know that the fish will most likely be exhausted and we'll be keeping it. We don't like to keep more than 4 per trip.
 

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Do they taste as bad as they look?!?! lol
 

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BigSexy said:
First you need to use the right equipment. Yeah you can catch a 75 lb drum on 20lb test but why risk it. Use tackle heavy enough to get em to the boat in a decent time. Then if you aren't keeping it, keep it in the water. We net em,keep em in the water, pull the hook and use the net to put their face into the tide. Then when they try to swin reverse the net. I have never seen one of our releases go belly up. They have all headed to the bottom. I can't attest to what happens after that, but it looked good at the release
That is the best way yo do it.
There is no need to gaff them even if You are keeping them
I have netted drum to 90lbs
Just grab the rim of the net when You lift it!
 

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sportfishingusa said:
Do they taste as bad as they look?!?! lol
Better believe it or not.....breaded and fried with some fresh mozzerella and sauce......belissimo!!

Listen here Scotty......I like the gaff, it makes me feel like a man:D That didn't sound too good, huh:eek:
 
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