The recent cold spell that hit Hatteras Island brought an unexpected thrill to local and visiting surf fishermen – puppy drum.
Local fishing reports excitedly spread the news, and anglers came from Manteo to Morehead City for what several classified as the greatest run of puppy drum in anyone’s memory. The drum were literally visible in the waves as giant red blobs, and many fishermen agreed it was something out of a surf angler’s dreams.“I would say it’s probably the best in the 30 some years I’ve been on Hatteras Island,” said one tackle shop owner in an interview for a Greensboro based News and Record article. “We had people driving up and down the coast, looking out in the water. They would see the fish in the surf, get out and cast, drive down a little further until they saw more fish, then they’d cast out, catch fish and ride on down the beach.”
The puppy drum is a young red drum, our state fish, and a bronze beauty of a fish that generally weighs about five or 10 pounds. Full grown, the fish also known as a channel bass or redfish can grow in excess of 50 pounds. The world record red drum was caught off Hatteras in 1984. It weighed more than 94 pounds.
The cold weather seemed to be the catalyst that brought them in by the thousands, and anglers are hopeful that another January or early February cold snap will continue the trend of record breaking drum runs.