John's Journal...


Landing the Redfish

Click to enlargeQUESTION: How did you find the big bull reds off the coast of Georgia?
HILDRETH: I actually located this spot about five years ago, when I was whiteing (ground mullet) fishing. When I caught a big, bull red, I started fishing for them. I found big concentrations of fish there. This region is a big, shoal area where the bottom comes up from 18 feet to 3 feet on top. The reds move up into the 3 feet of water because that’s where the baitfish are, especially during the fall when the reds come up to those shallow bars to feed on menhaden.

QUESTION: What’s the best tide to fish for these big, bull reds?
HILDRETH: The tide doesn’t really have that much effect. We can catch them on both the incoming or outgoing tides. But the very best time to fish seems to be during the last part of the outgoing tide or the first part of the incoming tide.

QUESTION: When you have a big Click to enlargered on a grub and 20-pound-test line, do you have to chase the fish?
HILDRETH: Not really, because the reds will stay fairly close, once they’re hooked. The reds may pull out 75 yards of line, but they usually don’t run much farther than that. Then we can start working them back in to the boat.

QUESTION: How long do you usually need to get a redfish that weighs from 20 to 30 pounds to the boat on 20-pound-test line?
HILDRETH: Most of the time, we can land each fish in 20 to 30 minutes.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: What’s the real secret of landing a big redfish?
HILDRETH: Don’t try and force it, or put too much pressure on the fish. Be very careful bringing the fish to the side of the boat. Don’t let your line touch the side of the boat because that’s where a lot of fish get broken off. Most of the time, a big redfish will make two or three more runs after he comes to the boat the first time. So, you need to let the fish wear itself out until it rolls up on the side of the boat. Once we get the fish played down to where we can land it, we try and get the redfish in the boat, unhooked and back into the water as quick as possible.




Day 1: How to Catch the Big, Bull Redfish
Day 2: Catch Them By the Hour
Day 3: Landing the Redfish
Day 4: The BogaGrip and Redfish
Day 5: Catch and Tag Bull Redfish


Entry 327, Day 3