Banging Giant Drum

These kayak-caught black drum are so big and powerful, they appear like a caricature of what a giant drum MIGHT look like.
These kayak-caught black drum are so big and powerful, they appear like a caricature of what a giant drum MIGHT look like. YouTube frame capture.

Banging Giant Drum
By Mike Stevens

Have you ever wondered what professional fishing guides and captains fish for when they are not on the clock? Maybe they fish for something completely different, or, perhaps it is simply a bigger, badder, more extreme version of what they do during the daily grind.

That may be the case for Captain Dave Lusk of Salt Minded Fishing Charters out of North Carolina. His business operates with the "Premier Light Tackle Outer Banks Fishing Charters" tagline, and he typically takes clients out to catch speckled trout, striped bass, flounders and puppy drum, but this video offers a glimpse of how his days off are spent.

While he (and his brother, Matt) are indeed fishing for drum, these giant black drum are not the typical inshore versions shown in countless photos of happy clients, but rather a model of fish so big and powerful, they almost look like caricatures of what a giant drum MIGHT look like. But these are the real deal.

While most black drum weigh less than 30 pounds, they are still the largest of the drum family and can tip the scales at just south of the century mark. Their rounded teeth and powerful jaws are custom built to make short work of oysters and other shellfish, and they are typically found near brackish waters with larger models residing further offshore.

Despite the use of beefier spinning gear and heavier braided line, the strain these fish put on the Lusks' rods and reels from hookup, to head shakes, to freight-train runs that leave their reels screaming indicate that this is definitely a rare combination of inshore and big game kayak fishing.

These catches occurred off Cape Hatteras, which is close to where south-flowing cold water collides with northward warm water creating a ton of fishing diversity and one of the most popular all-around sportfishing locales on the east coast.