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Went back to Johnsons beach this afternoon for another attempt at catching a fish. So far all I have managed there is a couple Rays. But today I finally caught a fish, and is was a good one, a great fight. I arrived at about 315PM and the tide was coming in fast with big wave action. It was raining a bit when I set up my three rods. I didn't see anyone else fishing anywhere. I set three rods, small medium and large, all with live shrimp. I moved them around a bit every so often, the tide was coming in fast. About 420 my biggest rod took off. We fought up and down the beach a while and tired each other out after close to 20 minutes, when I finally pulled it just out of the surf - and my swivel snapped. I had just put new 30# test on and it held fine, but the swivel actually broke. I was able to grab the fish and pull it out of the water at this point. It was a 30+ inch, 25+ pound black drum.
 

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I was pretty excited to have such a big fish, and equally excited to have all that meat to try different recipes. As it turns out, there was less meat than I expected. I filleted it and I found worms in the tail section of the meat. I removed the worms after filleting it and then did as we used to do with large cod that were often wormy, I put the fillets on a large pan and put some salt on the meat and let them sit in the fridge over night. After catching this large fish, I assumed the meat would be very similar to cod, but when I filleted it I found it to be much darker meat, with more blood. The meat was tougher to fillet as well. As I cleaned this fish I was less excited about the meals it would make, but I have come this far and will go ahead with my plans to deep fry some and chowder the rest. I have only caught two black drum prior to this one, I caught a couple that were about 16-18 inches down in Naples a couple years ago. Those were excellent in the deep fryer. I'll find out about this larger one later this week.
 

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FishSlayer
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The larger drums tend to be not so good fried, I recommend a large chowder with a few friends over one day, that's what I do with mine and cut them in inch by inch squares, nice catch hopefully I can get out soon and get one.
 

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The big ones like that tend to be all head and shoulders. Once you cut out and around all the worms you aren't left with much. The "puppy drum" size up to about 20" are pretty decent. Hard to distinguish between it and Redfish once its fried.
 

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Nice Catch! It sure beats catching nothing from the surf.

I like to bleed all of my saltwater fish out by cutting the artery behind the gills as soon as possible.

Good and Even Better Luck for Next Time!
 
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