For most of us, the bull redfish run season may strike us as a confusing Spanish San Fermin festival, where people find it thrilling running Infront of angry bovines. However, ask any of the many port aransas fishing guides about it, and you will be amazed by their response. Arguably the most anticipated fishing season in the Gulf Coast, the Bull Redfish Run, starts during the climatic transition from the hot summer to the cooler fall. The temperature change during this climate change sparks the migration of breeding redfish, which move in for spawning season, displacing the already matured 3 to 4-year-old redfish out into the Gulf of Mexico to live out the rest of their adult lives.
Among the highly visited regions during this season is the Texas coastal bend, which is characterized by the distribution of seagrasses that provides the perfect environment for healthy redfish population. Studies show that redfish prefer living in shallow waters bays of about 1 to 4 feet in depth with submerged vegetations for warmth and oxygen. Additionally, their preference for soft mud makes this region their most favorable habitat.
Fishing for redfish can be done all year long. In the off-season, shallow-running boats, kayaks, or wading are the most favorable method of finding redfish in this habitat. However, At the beginning of the "redfish rodeo," during the fall run, anglers troll considerably bigger motors in pursuit of large groups of redfish wandering from the bay towards the large flats near deep water passes leading to the Gulf of Mexico. Although you can catch a redfish on your own, it is highly recommended to seek a port aransas redfish guide to not only navigate through the shoal and shallow flats but also help in monitoring the tide changes. According to Capt. Jason Sullivan, a local fisherman, the tide and depth directly determine the best fishing grounds. "The right depth is when my skiff drags a little when I am poling."
Besides the environmental factors, what makes the redfish easy and desirable to catch is its willingness and aggressiveness to take on any bait, be it natural or artificial. 'The redfish would even push a "mullet ball"' explains Capt. Barnie white, from Brewton, Alabama. According to White, it's fascinating how the fish can blow up a Badonk-A-Donk, an artificial topwater saltwater lure. However, Bull Redfish are best caught using natural baits, i.e., crabs and live mullet. Equally important, is using a single drop or a double drop bottom rig and a heavy grabbing sinker, useful in maintaining the position of the bait. When sight fishing on the shallow flats, use a 7- foot medium-light rod and a size 3,000 fishing reel spooled with 10-pound cord. Pier and Surf anglers for "bull" redfish are recommended to use stiff rods above 10 feet in length to manage a heavy terminal tackle. According to Capt. Sullivan, throwing the bait past the fish and reeling it towards their mouth, is effective when the redfish are tailing, whereas casting it along their path is effective when they are cruising.