May and June are the best times for black drum on Delaware Bay; always has been. A relative of the Atlantic croaker, spot, perch, and weakfish, the black drum come in to spawn from April to early June as water temps reach 57 to 68 degrees according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

Once again in 2021, The Fisherman has partnered with our friends at PENN to help kick start the spring run of black drum, with our annual Black Drum Battle from May 1 through June 30.  First place grand prize is $2,200 prize package that includes an eight-hour black drum charter in 2022 with Capt. Bob Cope aboard Full Ahead Sport Fishing, a pair of PENN Fathom reels and a pair of PENN Rampage 7-foot rods, two 300-yard spools of Spider Wire Ultra Cast, two 100-yard spools of Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon Leader, and a pair of Costa Sunglasses.

Sign up free for the 2021 Black Drum Battle!


Open to subscribers and non-subscribers alike, to qualify for the grand prize a black drum of at least 20 pounds must be caught on rod and reel within New Jersey or Delaware marine waters, and must be weighed and measured (length and girth) at one of the participating tackle shops which are designated an official Fisherman Magazine Weigh Station. One second prize winner will receive a pair of PENN Squall star drag combo outfits, a pair of 300-yard spools of Spider Wire Blue Camo and a pair of Costa Sunglasses.

After you’ve registered in the Black Drum Battle and then caught your big boomer, the fish weight and measurement must be entered on an official weigh slip, signed and dated, by the tackle shop’s authorized personnel, with photo of you and your qualifying submitted along with the Official Entry you’ll find at the official Fisherman Magazine Weigh Station. The contest entry period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, 2021 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2021.

If you are a current, active and paid subscriber to The Fisherman Magazine, you’re already entered into the contest, and you could also win $500 cash prize on top of the first place prize package if your black drum tops them all. Subscribe here.

The contest is open to residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, though employees The Fisherman, sponsors, promoters and any prize providers are not eligible to enter or win. Contest is only open to those not currently employed in the fishing industry (commercial or for-hire captains and crews are excluded, as are tackle shop owners and staffers, marina owners and staff, outdoor writers, and those who work in the sportfishing and marine industry).

Free sign-up for the 2021 Black Drum Battle!



Smith’s Bait Shop Leipsic 302-744-9140
Lewes Harbour Marina Lewes 302-645-6227



New Jersey

Absecon Bay Sportsmen Absecon 609-484-0409
One Stop B&T Atlantic City 609-348-9450
Julian’s B&T Atlantic Highlands 732-291-0050
Avalon Hodge Podge Avalon 609-967-3274
True World Tackle Bayonne 201-339-2628
Jingle’s Bait & Tackle Beach Haven 609-492-2795
Fisherman’s Den Belmar 732-681-5005
Bullet Hole Annex Belville 973-759-8806
Jersey Hooker Outfitters Brick 732-903-6904
Gabriel Tackle Co. Brick 732-714-6609
Pell’s Bait & Tackle Brick 732-202-6776
The Reel Seat Brielle 732-223-5353
Riptide B&T Brigantine 609-264-0440
South Jersey Marina Cape May 609-884-2400
Hands Too Bait & Tackle Cape May 609-884-2248
Higbee’s Marina Fortescue 856-447-4157
Tackle Box Hazlet 732-264-7711
Twin Lights Marina Highlands 732-872-7200
Jingle’s B&T Long Beach Island 609-492-2795
Keyport Marine Basin Keyport 732-264-9421
Up Front Bait and Tackle Keyport 732-497-0919
Ray Scott’s Dock Margate City 609-822-6819
Charlie’s B&T Normandy Beach 732-793-1144
Fin-Atics Marine Supply Ocean City 609-398-2248
Clark’s Landing Marina Point Pleasant 732-899-5559
Chestnut Neck Boat Yard Co Inc. Port Republic 609-652-1119
Grumpys Tackle Seaside 732-830-1900
The Dock Outfitters Seaside Heights 732-830-8171
Betty and Nick’s B&T Seaside Park 732-793-2708
Dockside Bait & Tackle Sewaren 732-261-3996
Fisherman’s Headquarters Ship Bottom 609-494-5739
Bait N Hook Sicklerville 856-513-2232
Go Fish B&T Toms River 732-929-3474
Hook House Toms River 732-270-3856
Creekside Outfitters, LLC Waretown 609-242-1812
Grassy Sound Marina North Wildwood 609-846-1400
Pier 47 Marina Wildwood 609-729-4774
Sterling Harbor Bait & Tackle Wildwood 609-729-1425