From our friends at the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Tourism....
"Battling Bull Redfish Has Begun Off Alabama's Gulf Coast
11/12/2010 - Armed with only 10- to 12-pound-test line, wimpy spinning tackle and top-water bass lures, as well 3/4-ounce jigs, the men and women who do battle with the bull redfish this winter already have started their war. Seeing 100 to 200 giant bull redfish around a boat happens almost weekly on Alabama's Gulf Coast and will continue as the weather cools down. "I've seen acres of redfish all around my boat during the fall and the winter here at Orange Beach," reports Captain Troy Frady of Distraction Charters. See it happen on this link to YouTube: www.youtube.com/distractioncharters.
According to Captain Keith Powell of the Alabama Inshore Fishing Guide Service out of Zeke's Landing Marina, "This past Sunday, Mandy Prell, an avid fisherman here at Orange Beach, and a friend went out for 2 hours on the front beach at Orange Beach just west of Perdido Pass and caught and released four big redfish, then went back to the jetties at Perdido Pass and caught white trout and bluefish."
"Last Saturday, the first weekend in November, I had a 6-hour snapper and bottom-fishing trip," says Captain Don McPherson of the "Getaway" charter boat out of Zeke's Landing Marina. "We caught our limit of snapper, triggerfish and some other reef fish. I had heard reports all week that the big bull redfish were schooling off the front beach on the west side of Perdido Pass. So, when we had about 1-1/2-hours of fishing left, I asked my party if they'd like to run-in and try and catch some of those big bull reds," McPherson says. His party agreed to take the remaining 1-1/2 hours and run within a mile or two of the beach.
Most often, anglers find schools of redfish by watching seagulls and other shore birds hovering over schools of large baitfish being forced-up from the bottom by the big schools of bull reds feeding on them. On this trip, when McPherson and his party were in the shallower water near shore, they didn't spot the flocks of birds working the schools of baitfish. However, another technique to catch the giant redfish that's deadly effective when you don't see the birds is trolling. McPherson explains that, "We put out four trolling lines with 40-pound-test monofilament. The lures we used were Mann's Stretch 20+, Stretch 25+ and Stretch 30+ in the pink bubblegum color. Within a matter of minutes, rods begin to bend, and four anglers hooked-up to four big redfish. I've seen days when the bull reds are really aggressive and will bite any color of crankbait you put out. We were using 40-pound test monofilament line, but when the reds are on top in large schools, we fished with 20-pound test. The smallest redfish we caught and released weighed 17 pounds. The biggest red weighed about 35 pounds.
"Last weekend was the first real cold front to hit the Alabama Gulf Coast this fall, but as the weather cools-down, the redfishing will heat-up. When the weather becomes cooler, I like to fish top-water lures, like chugger bass baits and top-water tuna baits for the reds. I've seen as many as 100 or more redfish come to the boat when we can find those big schools in the winter. And, we have caught and released as many as 24 redfish in a morning of fishing, but that was an exceptional day. When you catch the redfish schooled-up on top, and the fish are really aggressive, you can wear-out a rod and reel. When we catch the fish on the surface like this, we can net them and release them without any ill effects to the fish. If a party wants to take one or two of these big reds home for a meal of blackened redfish, they certainly can."
This weekend and next weekend, will signal the end of the fall red snapper season, however, as snapper season winds down, fishing for bull reds at the Gulf will heat-up, offering anglers the opportunity to possibly catch the biggest fish of their lives. For the next two weekends, you too may be able to double-down on a limit of red snapper, possibly some triggerfish and vermilion snapper and an hour or two of bull red fishing near shore.
For more information on red snapper season or fishing for bull reds for in November, December, January and February, contact Zeke's Marina at 1-800-793-4044, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit these charters on the web at http://www.zekeslanding.com.
For more information about other fishing guides and charter boats, lodging accommodations, restaurants and entertainment on Alabama's Gulf Coast, call 800-745-SAND (7263), or visit www.orangebeach.com. You also can get a fishing report three times each week by visiting the "What's Biting?" column at www.orangebeach.com/fishing/biting.