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Would anyone offier some tips for catching more bull reds in the pass and nearby. I have been blind fishing for them for several years and this year, I read great reports and pictures on the forum but are not getting good results myself.

Trolling Stretch 25s is the usual method, but I just realized I should stay in water 30+ feet because Stretches dive deep.



Should I troll in the deepest part of the Pass(the channel) or try to stay near the drop offs along Caucus Shoals?



I know about finding schools(birds, surface commision, etc.) except for the finding part. Last Saturday, I was out there 4 hours all over the place and did not see a single fish.



You hear about a favorite color of the Stretch, but that varies with the posts.....pink, tiger, parrot!!!



Since they are all catch and release, could anyone offer a tip that produces fish regurarly?? Time of day, tide, color Stretch, location..anything!!!!!



Thanks......AJ
 

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You pretty much mentioned all the methods of catching them. I have had good results by trolling stretch 25's and drifting bait on the bottom in the pass this time of year. The ledges are where you want to be. The last time out, I was simply trollingstretch 25's along the west side of the channel when the two redfish hit. I had no birds or baitfish on top or on my bottom machine. I have yet to see a school or redfish, so I can't give any advice on sight fishing them. Although I hear it's an experience when you see hundreds of redfish busting the top of the water.

I have had better results on the first part of the outgoing tide most of the time. Here lately, thathas been early in the morning. It seems that the fish wait for the bait that washes out of the pass or something. But have caught reds on other parts of the tide cycle as well.

As far as depth, I try and stay in the 30 -45 foot range for depth in the pass.

As far as color. I have yet to catch anything on my pink stretch. All the reds I catch on stretches have been colored on top (blue, green etc...) and a silver/white underbelly. The last time out, they tore up my two piece blue and silver stretch. See pic below.

 

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As far as finding them in the gulf, look for the birds. Once you get close, keep your eyes on your bottom machine, you should be marking bait. When you find the bait school just start blind casting a jig, let it hit bottom and start working it. If you can stay around the bait long enough sooner or later you'll find the Reds.



Trolling while looking for birds usually produces my first bites; then, while fighting the trolled up fish, I'll start jigging. This is how I've been getting multiple hook ups. I've been catching a lot of my fish by slow trolling live white trout while I'm looking for birds and/ or bait.



Hope this helps and good luck
 

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Would some one mind repeating the recipe for trolling stretches? Ive heard use 20lb test, 100ft behind the boat. BUT,how fast? How can you tell how deep they're running? Mine never seem to hit the bottom?:banghead
 

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The stretches don't need to hit the bottom. Troll along the edge dropoffs and the speed is around 4mph, just above idle on the motor! Hope this helps.
 

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L.D.D (11/15/2007) Would some one mind repeating the recipe for trolling stretches? Ive heard use 20lb test, 100ft behind the boat. BUT,how fast? How can you tell how deep they're running? Mine never seem to hit the bottom?:banghead
I use either 20-30lbs test(depending on which rod)with at least a 12"steel leader. Steel leader is a must if you get hit by a king. I troll around 4-5mph. At that speed, I can see my stretch hitting the bottom when I hit 20-25 feet of depth. The current in the pass can play a role in how far they dive as well. I can tell that they hit the bottom due to the rod bouncing. I will usually place one stretch farther back than the other. Farther one is probably40-50 yards or so. I set the drag where it barely holds on till a hit. Set my clicker to on, and sit back and wait for the ziiiiiiiiiiiiing.
 

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Tide is very important to the extent that there must be <U>some </U>water movement. If you want to catch the bulls in the gulf, then an outgoing tide will work best, preferably in the morning. Take some binoculars with you, and scower the water for bird activity. Pelicans and large gulls are your best sign of fish, as they will usually target the menhaden, same as bull reds. when you get around the birds keep an eye on the bottom machine, it should light up with bait and fish. As for baits, I use a 2oz bucktail jig or a large bunker colored storm to cast at the birds, or to drop on the bait that my bottom machine is marking. If you keep your eyes open, it is almost for sure that you will see reds destroying the top throughout the day, so have a hefty top water bait ready to throw when this happens. I generally start my search to the west of the pass and as far as the Ala. line, or the Eaden condos. Dont be afraid to burn the gas, because most of my best fishing is as far as the beginning of Johnsons beach and further to the west. Again, birds are the best way to locate feeding fish, and sometimes you cant see them without the binoculars, or at least I cant. When chasing the birds, you are more than likely to be with several other boats, so be courteous and dont crash through the middle of the bird activity. The fish move fast so be prepared to run and gun through out the day and be prepared to cast to the birds immediately upon arriving to the scene. When casting the jigs or storms, make damn sure that you let your bait sink to the bottom, 95% of the time it Will Not make it.

You can also find lots of fish in the bay or the turning basin when the tide is coming in, again locate your birds and go to them. You must learn how to recognize the bait and fish on your bottom machine, then drop your jigs or Storms TO THE BOTTOM. Reds will produce plenty of topwater activity in the bay as well, keep your eyes open for surface activity. Work the areas of the bay that lie between the channel coming from Escambia Bay and The chanell coming from Santa Rosa sound and to the East of where the two come to a point, or look for birds.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW!! I never expected so many responses and generosity in sharing all the helpful info. The two points I had forgotten are go deep, let the jig fall to the bottom and be willing to pilot("drive" a car; "pilot" a boat) your boat many miles WEST of the Pass along the beach. That theme has been repeated in previous years. I often get discouraged after a few miles, so next time I will go farther and hit the Mother Lode, I hope.



Also, binoculars, which I hate but really should use as suggested. Larger ones with a high(like 50) second number are recommended by me.......e.g. 8 x 50 means 8 times enlarged and "50" illumination. You need the illumination to be user friendly. Too much enlargement, like 10 or 12 makes the view jiggle so much it is unpleasant. I like the 8 x 50 or even 6 x 50. One should be able to buy a pair at Academy Sports for as low as $30-35.

Again, all comments were helpful and thanks.



AJ
 

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I've fished with Capt. Jeff Moore (BETTER) several times doing this and it really works.

The only thing I've changed since started doing this on my own, is that I tend to throw a topwater even when I don't see busting fish. Frequently, they'll come up and take it even in deep water. The topwater bite is SOOO much more fun that'll I don't mind if I don't get them every time. Watch out for pelicans that love topwater plugs!

And don't forget the note about how fast / far they move. I got on some the other day, they were right by the boat when we almost had a pair landed, but by the time we were ready to cast there was no sign of birds or fish. We motored from near the pass to the far end of Johnson Beach before we found them again.
 

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theres definately some on the beaches

i went surf fishing yesterday for pompano and caught a nice 20-25 pounder. was using frozen shrimp on a double drop rig. :)
 
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