Bull Reds, Fly Fishing, Marsh, Redfish, Skiff -

Running of the Bulls

I spent a few days east of the border last weekend. The food was good. The company was great. The fishing was incredible.

The first day started off a little slow. We had trouble finding clean water. The grey skies weren’t doing us any favors either.

I caught one low 30” fish early but that was it.

We hoped from spot to spot looking for fish and fishable water. We saw a few pumpkin-colored submarines cruising the surface, but we failed to get a good shot. Not to be discouraged we ate lunch and kept looking. Late in the evening we finally found a spot holding good numbers of big fish. We landed a few before we ran out of light.

We headed in before it got dark.

We headed back to base camp to re-energize and come up with a game plan for the next two days.

The area was still recovering from when Hurricane Isaac hit in August…

The next day we decided to hit the sweet spot again and then do some exploring at a few likely areas if the first spot was a bust. The other guys decided to do some exploring.

We arrived to more cloud cover. Things started slow until the sun began to break through. As soon as that happened we started to see and catch fish.

We met back up with the other guys for another skiff-side picnic.

We decided to split up again and attack new water. We did a lot of running and checking out new areas. We found a lot of good water, but nary sign of any fish. We decided to finish out the day at our first spot. We only saw a few fish and didn’t get any more shots.

The other guys did pretty well boating over a dozen fish on the day including 4 fish over 40″.

The fishing was so good the day before we decided to fish a half day before heading out on Sunday. I’m glad we did. The conditions were perfect. The clouds finally broke, which left us with bluebird skies and light winds. Exactly what we needed.

We had a great morning of fishing…

While running to another spot we ran over a big school of bull reds in open water. We shut down and waited to see if they would pop back up. A few minutes later we saw the school surface about a 100 yards away. We idled downwind of the school and drifted into them. I fired off a few casts and hooked up fairly quick.

The school was still working around us, so my buddy decided to jump off the platform to get a piece of the action. The only rod we had left on the boat was his 6wt. He fired off a few casts and hooked up too. That is when mayhem ensued.

My fish hightailed it to Mexico. His fish made a hard run behind the boat. He tight-roped the gunwale trying to make his way to the back and in the process took a swim. I asked if he was okay and hesitated but answered yes.

He tried getting back in the boat with the rod in his hand and the fish ripping drag, but he only made it halfway up before he slipped back off the gunwale. I took his rod and he was able to climb back in using both hands. Before I busted out in laughter I asked if he was all right once more. He said he was fine and I start cracking up. We landed both of our fish.

Soaking wet while fighting a fish…

After that episode we were ready to call it day and go out on top. Surely we couldn’t top what just happened. We decided to start our way in and fish one last spot.

We spotted a few fish. My buddy hooked a small fish that almost wrapped him around an island. The fish pulled lose. We started to pack up. He started to reel in his fly line when a big fish popped up 30ft away. He hurriedly stripped some line out, fired off a cast, and hooked up.

One more fish for good measure before we called it quits at 11:00…

The other guys had a great day too…

Together we boated over 40 fish on the trip. Almost all of our fish were over 35″, including 10 fish that were between 40-43″. Everyone caught their personal best redfish on fly. It was an epic three days of fishing.