That Ain’t No Bull - The Redfish are Running

News & Tips: That Ain’t No Bull - The Redfish are Running...

fishing the mississippiThat ain’t no bull when I tell you the redfish are running -- the “bull” redfish. I live and work and fish in Venice, Louisiana. This area is at the mouth of the Mississippi River and is known as the “Redfish Capitol of the World.” Believe me, it is.

The big Mississippi brings tons of nutrients from the entire country and deposits them down here in the Delta. These nutrients feed the small organisms that start the food chain. This food chain goes up and up and feeds the redfish that finally grow up and become “Bull Reds.”

We normally consider any fish over 27 inches to be a bull. However, the word “bull” is a misnomer. The 27-inch fish of the species are the females, and yet we call them “bulls.”

I think the term was probably given to them years ago because of their fighting ability. When you hook one, it is literally like hooking into a real bull. Her first run will test your stamina and your equipment to the fullest. And then there is a second run, and then a third, and on and on. If you and your equipment are good enough to wear her out, and you manage to get her in the boat, be careful; she’s still got a lot of fight left. Catching a bull red is one of the most exciting events in fishing.

There are several methods I like to use when targeting bulls. All bull reds like rock jetties. These jetties are havens for small fish, crabs and shrimp. These three are the favorite food of the red fish, so naturally they like to patrol the jetties.

I like to rig up with a 3/8-oz. jig head with a stout hook. I’ll put a fresh shrimp on my jig and cast as close to the rocks as possible without getting hung up. Let it sink to the bottom, and slowly pump it back to the boat just like you were fishing a plastic worm for bass. When a bull picks it up, you’ll know it; set the hook hard. Reds have a hard mouth, so make sure you drive the hook home. If you’re not sure, set it again. I normally use a baitcasting reel spooled with 50-pound braid. I like a fairly light 7-foot rod. This makes the fight a lot more fun.

A second method I like is to fish along the outer beaches where there is a lot of current. A sand bar or a grassy point with current rolling around it is prime. Lots of times, the bulls will be out from the point, so start far out and work your way in.

by Capt. Owen Langridge
Big “O” Charters L.L.C.
225 978 1136