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Fish: Freshwater Drum

Where can I get Drum? N CO

Post By: Mr.B      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:01:21 PM     Points: 452    
It seems like an obscure fish in Colorado, since I can't remember ever hearing of anyone catching one. I know Boyd is supposed to have some, but I've had bad luck getting any bottom feeding fish out of there.
The info I've read say's they feed on bivalves, insects, fish and stay in the deep water. So, seemingly you might catch one while catfishing, but after hundreds of hours of cat fishing I've only hooked cats, except a few rare occasions where I've got carp and even white bass on liver.
So where would I go, and what would I use to find one around Northern Colorado? And how do I catch one from shore? Especially at Boyd or around Loveland. Also where are the cats at Boyd and Loveland Lake from shore?

 Reply by: FishSeal      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:20:19 PM     Points: 3482
Mr. B,
Welcome to Fish Explorer.

I'd like to suggest you check out "our" Fish Species page: [log in for link]

Click on the fish of interest and you'll see at the bottom the forum posts. You can note where people have harvested, sizes, and frequency and you'll find places that help your catching of your targeted species.

Good luck and again, welcome.

 Reply by: finsnfeathers      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:36:46 PM     Points: 203
I used to catch them all the time at Bonny reservoir. Wasn't even very deep, fished right off the jetty at the marina. Caught them on minnows under a slip bobber fishing for crappie. Now that they are gonna drain Bonny, they should be even easier to find.

I heard Jackson has a decent population as well.
 Reply by: Mr.B      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:42:25 PM     Points: 452
Thanks, its a really great forum!

Already been there, that's why I got interested in them.
I was looking for where I saw Drum listed in Boyd. Near the skipper link under the Boyd page, click on Boyd Lake.
Of all the lakes with drum listed it looks like Jackson is the closest to me, but still too far for my budget, maybe someday.
I guess there's a reason I haven't heard much of them. All the lakes listed are pretty far to the Northeast.
I guess my next question would be, has anyone ever caught drum outside the Northeast quadrant, or even west of Greeley?
 Reply by: jig head      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:42:38 PM     Points: 943
You have a god shot at hooking into one at Jackson.
 Reply by: ripin lip      Posted: 4/26/2011 5:55:14 PM     Points: 119
I caught one small one 10" out of the poudre out east of greely in a diversion dam fishing for suckers years ago, I had no idea what the hell it even was, then a couple of years later I was in south dakota walleye fishing and we caught a bunch on crawler harnesses. Anyway they are great eating and now that I know what they are I have talked to guys who catch them out east ie, sterling and that area. I know this doesnt really help since you are confined to the loveland area. But I did catch the one on the river, must have been washed out of one of the lakes out east I guess, so you never know where you might catch one, but all that I have caught have bitten worms.
 Reply by: Mr.B      Posted: 4/26/2011 6:37:25 PM     Points: 452
Thanks. Any information is helpful. They sure are cool looking and I bet they put up a good fight, by the shape of their bodies. I'll definitely get one someday.
It'd nice if the DOW would experiment planting some in a reservoir around here. From what I've researched, it doesn't seem like they'd have much impact, but who's to say? I guess the habitat must not be right or something.

This is a link I just found that supplies good info.
[log in for link]
 Reply by: Joeyone      Posted: 4/26/2011 6:49:32 PM     Points: 979
John Martin Res. is full of them.
 Reply by: roughfisher      Posted: 4/26/2011 6:58:09 PM     Points: 52
I can't help you on locations in CO, though I've caught tons of them back in the midwest - up to about 10lbs. I fish with one guy who has caught one over 20lbs. The fight decently, once they get over 3lbs or so, the small ones don't fight. They'll take about anything - live bait, flies, lures - though my biggest usually come on jigs or crankbaits.

If you choose to eat one, they are good if taken care of. Get them on ice ASAP to keep the meat firm. Then they fillet like a giant crappie (boneless to boot) - trim off the dark meat if there is any. The meat is mild and flaky. I like to grill it skin-on ("on the half shell" like Redfish, which they are related to), that said they are good fried too.
 Reply by: cheez      Posted: 4/26/2011 7:09:51 PM     Points: 42
I caught a few 15 to 20 inch drum out of the Jumbo Annex last summer and man do they put up a hell of a fight very fun to catch.
 Reply by: trollalong      Posted: 4/26/2011 7:55:42 PM     Points: 4572
The Arkansas river drainage has them, I've caught them from Nee Noshe, Nee Gronda, and John Martin. In my opinion they are not that fun to catch, feels more like you have a rock snagged on the bottom when you get into a 5 pounder. I was always trying for wipers when I hooked up with them.
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: 4/26/2011 10:32:03 PM     Points: 6196
Drum are the best. I agree with roughfisher about the bigger fish. Every drum I've caught on live bait was under 12 inches and fought like a spastic bluegill. Out of the same river (Des Moines river) I got a nice 18 incher or so on a white twistertail, and in the current he gave me a hell of a fight. Thought I had a decent walleye on till I saw what I had. And I can tell you that I wasn't disappointed in the least.

I've seen decent ones caught in texas on mussels. Drum are valuable with zebra mussel control in the great lakes. While they don't prefer zebra mussels as a food source, they will eat them when they are abundant.

It's a shame that most people see drum as a trash fish. I always see a bunch rotting on shore along the Des Moines river in Iowa. Their iridescent blue color, drumming noise, behavior, propensity to strike artificial lures, decent fight (at least as good as a walleye) and succulent flesh makes them, in my eyes, a true sportfish. However, they're not native and can do damage to native bivalve and crustacean populations, so their spread is not ideal.
 Reply by: BiggieSmalls      Posted: 4/26/2011 11:19:15 PM     Points: 1252

The Des Moines in IA?

I fished it in the SW corner of MN, right before IA. Had some really good Buffalo, Carp and walleye fishing there. Never caught a Drum.

Nee Gronda use to be full of 'em, but that's all past tense now.
 Reply by: Ch00Chee      Posted: 4/27/2011 5:39:22 PM     Points: 62
i heard you can catch a ton at bonny and john martin. i think most lakes with wipers would have drums
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: 4/27/2011 6:08:58 PM     Points: 6196

Yep the Des Moines River from Saylorville to downtown Des Moines is full of drum, cats (all three types), carp, smallies, largemouth, white bass, wipers, and bluegill. Gulp minnows, worms, and cut bluegill have always produced for us.

I can't talk about this river without showing off... lol.
 Reply by: Mr.B      Posted: 4/30/2011 4:29:59 PM     Points: 452
Thanks for the info. I'm probably not going to Iowa in the near future but it looks like a fun spot.
Its sad about Bonny, never been there but it sounds like I'll never get to. It'd be a worth while trip if I could get a drum and a flathead, two species I've never seen.

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