Updated: Nov 1, 2019
It’s that time again and bull redfish are moving into Mosquito Lagoon for the catching! Fall season is spawning season, and that creates the most favorable conditions for hooking a redfish in the lagoon. Mosquito Lagoon is always a sweet spot when it comes to catching reds, but Code Red Fishing Charters has some tricks and tips to reeling in that massive scale-tipping bull redfish.
Locating Bull Redfish
Redfish travel in large schools and move into the shallow waters of Mosquito Lagoon for spawning. Spawning begins in deeper regions of the St. Johns River during the first big moon of August. Action near Florida’s Panhandle begins near Halloween and continues all the way to February. The most productive time to fish inshore is November and December. Hundreds to thousands of redfish travel near the coastline, and seek the protective cover of underwater vegetation in skinny water like Mosquito Lagoon. You'll find them in estuaries along the eastern seaboard and the gulf coast. They can be found in backwater flats, salt marsh creeks, rivers, and oyster bars.
Best Rigs for Catching Bull Redfish
A circle hook almost always sets in the corner of the mouth and avoids deep hooking. This provides better outcomes for catch and release, and lessens the mortality rate of released redfish. The Gamakatsu Monster (extra wide gap) is a high carbon steel wide gap hook design that is large enough for swim baits and strong enough to conquer stubborn bull redfish. You need a solid hook-set when using natural bait. Out in deeper water, a weighted worm-style hook is ideal. The goal is to get that bait near the bottom where those bottom feeders are sifting for their prey.
Your tackle makes the difference. Bull redfish rely on their sense of smell, making cut bait or scented lures a good option. When fishing with artificial bait, try soaking lures, plugs and jigs in liquid fish attractants as an alternative to live bait. When fishing with live bait, sink blue crabs nearshore and rig them on a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook on a 30 to 40 pound fluorocarbon leader. Shrimp and crab make the best lures to entice bottom feeders and get them striking. Live finger mullet and pinfish also make for great baits. Just remember, the larger the bait, the larger the catch.
The evolution of fishing line has created superline, monofilament, and fluorocarbon, giving anglers an advantage when it comes to strength and visibility. Beefing up your game with a 6,000 plus class spinning reel that’s spooled with a 50 plus pound braid on a 7-foot heavy-action rod makes the perfect bull redfish setup.
Fishing for Bull Redfish
Bull reds call for strength, endurance and technique. They have been known to rip line off reels. Code Red Fishing Charters has the skill to take your fishing game to the next level. If you are ready for action, climb aboard a skimmer skiff with captain Matt Lee and begin your next fishing adventure!
1. Cut bait works best.
2. Avoid frozen crab meat. It falls apart with the cast and has a foul odor.
3. Big bait catches big fish.
4. Never jerk bait.