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Brown Pelican by JamesEvery now and then I manage to get a good shot of a bird myself, this picture was taken off the dock with my little Nikon 950 with a TCE3 lens. It was a foggy day but the pelicans were everywhere so I had a ball just shooting away. I love digital Photography, there's no film to develop and with a computer and some PhotoShop post processing you can produce  some very fine photographs. "Click Here" for an enlarged look.
    "Winter Time Bull Reds" (continued)                                               "Back"

"Grand Isle Grows some HUGE Bull Redfish"

The lovely Liz Folse with quite a load.
The lovely Liz Folse holds a load of Redfish

Why stay home in the winter when the Bull Reds run "HOT" in Caminada Pass at Grand Isle.

It was late evening when Ricky Bourg, Liz Folse and I climbed into Ricky's 26' Boston Whaler. The boat was tied to the pier behind Ricky's Motel. We pulled away from the pier and headed for Caminada Pass to fish for the huge Bull Reds that had never left the area all winter long. Liz was the first to have a hook in the water baited with cut mullet and I heard her cry out as her muscles strained under the pressure of a 30" plus Bull Redfish, this fish would weight in at 23 to 25 pounds, that's a handful. The fish headed for the bottom with a dogged determination to be free of the hook stuck in his jaw. Liz was making her way from one side of the boat to the other as the fish made heavy runs around the boat. The line stripping sound from the reel's drag made that ever pleasing sound to a fishermen's ears. Finally after several minutes there was the sight of red showing up near the surface and Ricky was trying to find a net or gaff to land this big bruiser. Naturally the men were catching it from Liz because the girls were ahead of the men, fact is I think Ricky was having to spend most of his time helping Liz land her fish, but after a while he caught his share, this writer was too busy taking pictures but I finally got into the action and caught my share, no problem. I think in about an hour we caught and released 6 of these big fellows.

Here's how you do it:

I like medium spinning gear with a pretty stiff 5 1/2 to 6 ft rod and line size in the 15 to 20lb range, you just never know how big these fish may be.

The H&H 3oz Ready Rig.
Redfish botton rig

I like to tie one of the H&H Redfish Ready Rigs in the 3oz size on my line, "yeah I know it's a big ugly hunk of wire and lead", but it saves time and it catches fish, and that's what counts. Now you don't have to use this rig, you can make up your own. If that's what you choose to do, scramble around in your tackle box and find a barrel swivel, a 1 to 3oz egg sinker will do and a piece of leader line in the 20 to 50lb size, wire leader material also works well. Slide the egg sinker onto your line and then tie on the swivel, this acts as a stop for the sinker and keeps it up away from your hook, we want the baited hook to just flag up in the current as the sinker sits on the bottom, the fish can bite without feeling the entire weight of the sinker because the line will just slide through the hole in the sinker. Ok, that's it, now all you need is bait.

The Bait to Use:

My favorite bait for the big bull Redfish is cut Mullet. These can be caught readily just about anywhere around the island in the shallow water, or under the bridge around the pilings, if you're handy with a bait casting net, that is, if cast netting is not your thing you can purchase fresh or frozen Mullet at the bait and tackle stores on the island and Ricky usually has them in the Tackle Shop. Being the cast netter that I am I love to use the small whole mullet and if they are alive this is sure to get you a hookup. The larger Mullet I cut straight across the body into about 1 to 2 inch pieces. I love using the head, just hook it through the eyeballs and hang on. I don't know what's special about the heads but for me they are a better bait. I fished Florida waters for years and found I caught more Grouper on the bait fish heads, than the body parts, must be the eyes.

I'm going to get a lot of disapproving opinions here on my first choice of using cut Mullet for bait. Many fishermen will swear by live Blue Crabs and I want give you an argument, it's a great bait, they're also good cracked in pieces and put on your hook," Live Croakers, Pinfish,  Menhaden, " called Pogey's locally ",  or about any crustaceans such as shrimp, "especially the large ones", will produce excellent results, shucks, when they're baiting you can probably catch them on what's left of your lunch.

Don't rule out artificial jigs and plugs as a prime bait for Redfish, I have caught a boatload of Redfish on lead jig heads tipped with a sparkle beetle," plastic grub with sparkle dust", and a small piece of shrimp to sweeten it up. A gold spoon can be a killer at times and a large Redfish can mangle a spinner bait. One of my favorite ways of fishing is sight casting to tailing Redfish in the shallows with a top water plug.

The bottom line is Redfish are not real picky when it comes to fresh bait, granted at times they will be hitting one bait better than others; the best thing to do is ask around and see what's producing at the time you get a chance to go fishing.

Where are they at:

For the big Bull Redfish we are speaking of in this article here's where you go. Make reservations at Ricky's Motel, park your boat at the pier and then when you're ready head out under the bridge of Caminada Pass, "You can catch them under the bridge also" , but for now keep going towards the Gulf; weather allowing. As you head out of the pass and begin to enter into the Gulf you will see a sandbar and usually whitewater breaking on the right just as you enter the Gulf, this is Elmer's Island, get about midway of the pass and then head straight out into the Gulf until you're in 8' to 12' of water, most of the time you will see the water gets a little clearer just outside the breakers, anchor down there and go fishing. If the first location you try is not producing after about a half hour, move a hundred yards or so, maybe toward the white water breakers at Elmer's Island, "Its not really an island but that's what they call it locally, be careful, the currents can get nasty there and you can get your boat beached as the water can get shallow quick. They're there, keep looking around, you'll hit'em after a while.

Good Luck Folks


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Ricky's Motel & RV Park
1899 Highway 1, Grand Isle, LA 70358
Phone: 985-787-3532
Email: info@rickysmotel.com

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