John's Journal...


Catch and Tag Bull Redfish

Click to enlargeQUESTION: What’s the most-fun redfishing trip you’ve taken?
HILDRETH: I fished for three days with my wife, Delana, who works for Georgia’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. We were catching and tagging redfish. Each day, we’d go out and catch 15 to 20 redfish, bring them to the boat, tag them and then release them. We were both working together having fun catching and tagging reds and releasing them. As fast as we could cast our rods out, we were catching those redfish.

QUESTION: Delana, what have you learned from your tagging program?
DELANA HILDERTH: We’ve learned a lot about the bull redfish’s Click to enlargespawning habits and other information regarding this particular species of fish.

QUESTION: What have you learned about their spawning habits?
DELANA HILDRETH: We’ve learned that bull redfish generally go into the same inlet to spawn where they spawned the year before. We’ve also learned that they have a spring spawn and a fall spawn. Too, we’ve learned that generally more fish come in during the spawn in the spring. It seems the fishermen seem to target the bull reds more in the spring than they do in the fall. We’ve also learned that the reds traveled further than we’ve ever thought they do. Greg caught a redfish that was tagged in South Carolina, and we also had a redfish that was tagged here in Georgia, that was recaptured in Cape Canaveral, Florida. We’ve learned that bull reds move about 30 miles or Click to enlargemore offshore where they stay until it’s time to spawn.

QUESTION: What’s the longest you’ve ever had a redfish tagged out in the water? DELANA HILDRETH: Greg has had some tagged fish that were out five years without having the fish recaptured.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: Greg, how many redfish have you tagged, and how many have you recovered?
HILDRETH: I’ve tagged several hundred, and so far haven’t had any recovered. This is another advantage fishermen have when they fish with us. If they want, we can tag the redfish they catch for them and if any of those redfish are caught and are recovered, we can let them know where it was recaptured, who recaptured it, and how much it weighed.

QUESTION: What rods and reels do you use to catch these redfish?
HILDRETH: I use a Pflueger Contender G30 reel with Cajun 20-pound-test line and for a rod, I use a 7-foot Pflueger Medalist with 2 medium-fast-action rod.


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 5