Big Red fish


big Reds. By big I mean over 34 inches and some of these fish will weigh in at 40 pound or more.
In the gulf from land you can catch these Reds, but this is evening , night or morning thing. If you are fishing during the day all I can say is that it is better to be lucky, If you are there early or late which is the prime target time. Try casting 3/4 once weed-less spoons out from the beach I like to add a length or fish bites, I cut the fish bites strip down to 4 inches and stick on the hook of the spoon. cat out and reel in trying to get the spoon to come back in about a foot off the bottom, I use the count method where off the sand I figure to have about 6 feet of water so when the spoon hits the water I count to five then start reeling, and keep your rod tip down, this is keep the spoon from trying to swim up as you reel it in.  and a slow steady retrieve, I will stop reeling two or three times on my retrieve to let the Spoon settle on the bottom. Once the spoon is on the bottom I will just lift or sharply jerk my rod tip to sort of dance / slide the spoon across the bottom then start reeling again. Think bait jumping off the bottom to escape a predator fish.
Now trolling for these big reds is the same thing as trolling for Grouper a lure which will dive at least 30 feet, and trolling between 3 to 4 mph, what I look for is a path between 2 reefs like Maryís and the power poles. I figure that the fish would most likely head from one food source to another So trolling from one reef to the next always seem right to me. Now I do this is around 30 feet of water and the lure says it goes 30 feet deep, You may compensate by reeling in some line to get the lure shallower or letting line out to get deeper. Pink and bright greens for one of the lures, and the other purple dark and light is key then if you get hit on the darker color a couple time switch the other lure over and visa/ versa.
Now getting into the Harbor just out side of Jug creek shoals, this is a bait thing, lure will work but it is double tough to do it. I do a Lewis & Clark on the sand bar when the tide is very low so I can see where the cuts in the bar are at, By this I mean slight ditches if you will where the water has cut a trough across though the sand bar. this is where the Reds will cross from the Harbor to get back up on the flats. They are going up on the flats to find Shrimp or Pin-fish, But white bait {hard scaled sardine} will work the best right now. Get to the trough at Low tide and get set up, then be quiet like a hole in the water. The reds as the tide comes up will want to get up on the flat to feed, cast your bait into the middle of the trough and wait if you fish them, they will come. I have seen the huge bull reds wait for schools of smaller mullet or lady fish to try and leave the flats as the tide is falling and just lay out side the cut in the bar and ambush the fish as they come out. So donít get all hung up on fishing the trough/cut that you do not see a big school of Reds right there. This is the reason I try to keep the boat to one side or the other of the opening So the fish will try to move through the cut. if your boat is setting right where the reds are trying to get on the flats, as you guess not good stay off to the side and try not to interfere with the fish as they travel except to stick some as they pass by,
How you rig up depends on the tide a slow moving tide, I free line the bait 20 pound braid with 25 pound test floro leader, now if the fish get closer to 40 inches go to 40 or 50 pound test leader, the #20 braid should hold but it takes longer so the thicker leader gives you more time to land the fish. If the currant from the tide is stronger or if you have to cast farther to stay out of the path of the fish I will add a sinker about 30 inches up the line from the hook. Split shot maybe even a 1/2 to keep my bait in the trough, If I am using a sinker I switch from hooking the bait in the head or mouth to hooking just above the Anal opening. {Right over itís butt} this allows the bait to swim better pulling against the hook & line rather than pushing it.
I hope you find these schools of big Bull Reds, if you can find some blue crabs and cut them into bait chunks that is candy, crack for big Red fish. And donít worry if the fish breaks your Rod or pulls it out of your hand, I have more to sell, Hang on to your rod, have fun and best fish wishes
Fishin Frank