Red Drum at Night, Fishing Delight

Fishing for Red Drum

Red Drum takeover the Pamlico Sound

North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound draws anglers from throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic in August. Why? For a fishing experience like no other. It’s that time of year when adult red drum migrate into Pamlico Sound in large numbers to spawn.

Red drum, also known as channel bass, include the nicknames “old drum” and “bull drum” because they can live to be 50 years in age, grow to lengths of more than 40 inches and weigh from 35 to 90 pounds. The bull red drum is one of the most exciting fish to catch, and many of the fishing guides believe the best time to catch bull drum is after the sun sets.

Guides around Pamlico Sound launch late in the evening for an unforgettable nighttime fishing experience. Red drum actively spawn in the Sound in August, so care is required in gear selection and catch-and-release techniques (especially with the largest bulls) to ensure they live to spawn another generation.

An important note for anglers in South Carolina is to be aware that the State has instituted new catch limits that took effect July 1, 2018: “A person may not have in possession more than two red drum in any one day, not to exceed six red drum in any one day on any boat.”

Always consult local fishing regulations in the area where you fish. Coastal conservation associations provide valuable information about red drum fishing in the southeast coastal states.

In North Carolina, check online at, and in South Carolina, check

By Bob Arrington, Southern Boating August 2018

More about Pamlico Sound:

The Pamlico Sound is the largest sound on the East Coast. A “sound” is a regional term for a saltwater lagoon. Approximately 80 miles long and a 20 miles wide, the Pamlico Sound comprises the majority of the western Outer Banks coastline. That includes Whalehead Junction at the edge of Bodie Island all the way to Portsmouth Island.

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