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Bull Red Tactics

This is the time of year that the Bull Reds really start to get active in and around the pass (although they've been here for a little while now.) I need a break from the deer woods, so tomorrow a.m. I'm going to get after em. Interested to hear what everyone does to enjoy the Bull Red fishing action.... Since you can't keep em, my thought is that folks won't be so concerned about discussing tactics, as there are PLENTY to go around.

One very effective way I've found to locate and catch them is to troll a big lipped plug. A Mann's Stretch 30 or 20 will do the trick, although this tactic can be a little 'unsporting.' A large rod/reel are required to pull the large 30's (my personal favorite) and I generally don't like to dwell on this style of fishing for them very long as it doesn't produce the most sporting fight, which after all, is the only reason to target these fun fish. Bubblegum pink, Fire Tiger, and red and white are all my go-to's.

Once I've found a productive area to work, I like to switch down to a medium action rod with about 4 ft. of 20 lb. test leader and a small circle hook. I'll use enough split shots to get a pinfish to start swimming down towards the bottom and slowly drift with the current near the rocks, bumping my boat in and out of gear every so often. You don't want your pinfish to swim all the way to the bottom, about 20-30 ft. down works great. This is by far my preferred method of targeting Bull Reds, and I am almost always successful when fishing this way.

Another way I like to target them, especially when the current has slowed, is to use the tried and true fish finder rig with a chunk of cut/fresh pinfish. Anchor up and cast your line 10 ft. or so from the rocks and wait. When fishing at the jetties, especially as you get close to the opening of the gulf, you really don't want to stray too far from the rocks with your cast. The reason being, and as a diver I have seen this first hand, that there are several 'shelves' where the dredge has come along and dug trenches. These are very steep dropoffs, at points dropping down to 70', and I have never seen redfish in these super deep areas just hanging out. I'm sure it happens, but I've always seen the best numbers closer to the rocks. Since a fishfinder rig puts you on the bottom, I'd highly reccommend casting just off the rocks. This is the lazy mans way to Redfish, and works great inshore for slot reds as well. For whatever reason, I have always had my best luck on cut pinfish. I've fished live side by side with cut on numerous occasions, and the cut almost always outfishes it 4-1.

IMO, the most important aspect of redfishing is TIDAL MOVEMENT. If the tide isn't moving, or barely moving at all, you might as well sit at home. I'll sleep in if the tide is slack early in the morning and wait for the right current. A strong outgoing is best (again, only in my opinion) but a strong incoming proves productive most of the time as well.

SO....What say you all, how do you get after em?


Here are just a couple photos from last year

A Red from last year that my girlfriend caught. It is currently being replicated by a taxidermist and we should have it back within a couple of weeks. It was 38" long.

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A 30" Fish
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They Can't Us "You Should Have Been There Yesterday"...........Because We Were!

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