Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No. 1 - Page 18

Gulf Coast Closeup (Continued from page 14.) at 23 pounds before I revived and released it, all the while being almost certain it was bigger than that. And I must confess that a couple of months would pass before I realized that I had weighed the fish on a 15-pound scale! Anyway, no matter how big it was, it was both a prize and a surprise. And I have a scale with much more capacity in my tackle bag now! That item brings up some important points, since bull reds can appear in a lot of places along the coast where you aren’t expecting them. You can catch them in these waters on the same gear that you normally use for specks and reds in interior areas during winter, but that gear will require some refining unless you are partial to long-distance releases. Beginning with lures, jigs either straight-up or sweetened with a small dead shrimp should contain a stout shortshank hook in size 2/0 or 3/0. There is much less of a chance of straightening one of those during the tussle. And don’t worry about the shank being too short to extend far enough into the grub to prevent short strikes. You might miss some small specks or rat reds, but a bull will find that hook. You might think big reds want big baits. Perhaps, but baits that are too big will be a hindrance to amassing a mess of skillet material. Grubs in the 3-1/2 to 4 inch range should be just fine on both counts, as are the same types and color combinations that you normally use. On that note, the bulls in Weeks Bay seemed to like “electric chicken”. If you choose to fly fish, a 9-weight outfit with a slow-sinking-tip line is fine. Flies like size 3/0 Deceivers and Clouser Minnows (and the “Golden Rule”, which accounted for the fly-caught bull at Rockefeller last March) are established patterns. No matter whether you fly fish or use conventional gear, a short length of 30 or 40-pound fluorocarbon for a “shocker” will help prevent fray-offs. Bulls will take a lure much deeper into their mouths than a regular red or speck will, and their teeth are abrasive. Also, back your drag all the way off when you are through fishing for the day, and re-set it when you begin the next time. You may not have had much need for your reel’s drag before, but the odds of that changing seem to be increasing each winter! You should buy either an outrageously-large landing net or a small N O R T H G U L F S t. J o s e p h P o i n t, FL to S h i p S h o a l L i g h t, LA Wells Fishing Forecast Adjustment Times St. Joseph Point Panama City Destin/East Pass Pensacola Bay Entrance Alabama Point Mobile Point Horn Island Pass Pascagoula Pass Chandeleur Light -:60 -1.20 -:40 -:30 -:20 -:15 Same -:10 -:15 Long Point/Lake Borgne Bay St. Louis Rigolets South Pass/Delta Empire Jetty Barataria Pass Cat Island Pass Pointe Au Fer Isle +:20 +:20 +:35 +:20 +:45 +:55 .+1:10 To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) or subtract (-) hours and minutes shown above for the area you plan to fish from the Forecast time. No attempt should be made to compare the time of high or low tide, shown below, to the times of current presented in theWells Fishing Forecast. Tide Table Adjustment Times HIGH LOW Port St. Joe -0:24 -0:51 St. Andrew Bay Channel -1:31 -2:02 Panama City -0:43 -0:44 Parker -0:05 -0:22 Laird Bayou, E. Bay +0:26 +0:40 Farmdale, E. Bay +0:35 +0:55 Wetappo Crk, E. Bay +1:01 +1:40 Lynn Haven, N. Bay -0:06 +0:20 West Bay Crk, W. Bay +0:18 +1:23 Choctawhatchee Bay East Pass (Destin) -0:27 +1:20 Harris, The Narrows +1:37 +2:51 Fishing Bend,SantaRosa+0:41 +0:51 Pensacola Bay Entrance -1:23 -0:34 Warrington, 2 mi. S. of -0:27 -0:30 PENSACOLA Times Shown Lora Pt., Escambia Bay +0:36 +1:03 East Bay +0:44 +1:17 Bay Point, Blackwater .+1:23 +1:27 Milton, Blackwater R. +1:40 +1:47 Mobile Point +0:26 +0:12 Bayou La Batre -1:17 -1:04 Horn Island Pass -0:31 -0:53 Pascagoula, MS Sound -0:40 -0:46 Pascagoula River entr. 0:00 -0:42 Biloxi, Biloxi Bay -0:32 -0:20 Ship Island Pass -0:42 -0:30 Cat Island (West Pt.) -0:44 +0:07 HIGH LOW Bay St. Louis +0:53 Long Pt, Lake Borgne +1:29 Shell Beach, L. Borgne +3:22 Chandeleur Light -0:39 Gardner I., Breton Sd -0:19 Breton Islands -0:21 Jack Bay +0:12 Lonesome Bayou -2:35 Mississippi River Pass a Loutre ent. -1:48 Southeast Pass -2:32 Port Eads, South Pass -2:13 Joseph Bayou -2:32 Southwest Pass -2:34 Head of Passes -1:47 Paris Road Bridge +4:09 Empire Jetty -2:47 Bastian Island -1:03 Quatre Bayous Pass +0:34 Barataria Pass -0:44 Barataria Bay Bayou Rigaud, Grand I -0:12 Independence Island +0:45 Manilla +0:48 Caminada Pass (bridge) +0:30 Timbalier Island -1:25 Pelican I., Timbalier +0:42 Caillou Boca -1:04 Racoon Point, Caillou B -1:47 Ship