Fall is upon us! The October Bull Reds come to spawn on our coast and they are so much fun to catch! Here are some tips from local pros on how, where and when you can land one for yourself.
I feel October is the best time to fish for the big spawning reds (bull reds). These are strictly photo and release fish. They usually range 20-40 lbs and possibly some bigger. I like to use cut bait on the bottom in 20 to 40 ft depths along river channels and off the north jetty rocks. I use heavier tackle for these usually 50 to 60 lb braid and about the same for the leader.
Capt. Tripp Lang of Capt. Tripp Lang Charters http://www.fishsaintmarys.com/
Fishing for Bull Reds in the fall is a great way to set the tone for the winter fishing. Much like most guides, I love to see my clients play tug of war with these big girls! Finding them isn’t always easy and choosing the right bait can be a chore as well. When I’m planning my trip I’ll carry some live shrimp, mud minnows and mullet. We’ll start out by running to the jetties looking for the deeper spots.
I’ll cut a mullet in half toss it next to the deep rocks and let it sit for a bit then drag it a bit and let sit some more repeat the process. These beasts can be found near the channel as well. You can find bulls roaming around near the grass as well as around any kind of structure. If I’m fishing around the grass I’ll put on a shrimp under a float, with a pop of the float this is a great way to call these fish in and when the float goes under hold on! I covered the mullet and shrimp and you maybe wondering when I use mud minnows well here it is. With my trusty Carolina rig and just enough weight to keep my minnow from swimming to far or to fast, I’ll tell my clients to toss it near a dock pillion or around some trees. We let it sit for a bit then slowly work it back to the boat with a long pause. As the water gets colder with winter coming remember slower and deeper. Tight lines and bent rods!
Capt. Ken Olson of Captain Ken’s Fishing Expeditions http://www.inshorega.com/
“October brings us cotton candy skies and football. It also brings in those big, orange, round, heavy…….Redfish. That’s right, the big pumpkins are starting to roll into our sounds and rivers coinciding with the start of the fall mullet run. October to February is my favorite time of year to fish. A lot of fish move up into the rivers this time of year to spawn, but the big bull reds move in from just offshore or off the beach; however, it is not uncommon to find a fish of 30”+ further up river. When fishing for big bulls I like to be somewhere along the edge of the deep channel out in the sound. I typically fish between 30-50 feet deep utilizing a bottom rig with a sinker slide above my swivel. Below the swivel I tie a 60-80 lbs. fluorocarbon leader, and I finish the rig with a 3/0-4/0 demon circle hook. The weight all depends on how hard the current is running, but most times I’ll use between 4-8 ounces of lead. Cut mullet or pogies, if they can be found, are choice baits for these bottom feeding Jack-O-Lanterns. Don’t miss what I foresee will be an epic bull red run this year, and make sure to check out Buccaneers Bait and Tackle for all your fishing needs.
Capt. Joseph Stover of Lo-Joe Charter Company https://www.lojoechartercompany.com/