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I've lived in P'cola for many years and have recently got a really BIG fishing bug. I'm looking for some advice, tips, tricks, general knowledge of how, when, and where to catch some big reds. When is the best time - incoming tide, high tide?? What type of bait works best? I've heard from cut bait on the bottom to grubs and spoons. Unfortunately, I am as landlocked as they come, so, is it possible to find some good fights off of a pier or bridge?? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am off work until Saturday night and would love to get out there ASAP with at least something in my tackle box other than the ever popular "Well, honey, they just weren't biting today" or "I had a huge bite and then you called me on my cell phone !!" stories!!!

Thanks!!
 

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Well there's a lot to discuss. First we got to get you on some fish, then we can fine tune your efforts.

For big Bull Reds- use a large spinning rod with plenty of new 20 or 25# test.

Terminal tackle- I use 24-30" leadermade with50 or 60# mono line. Not sure the size, but I use a 'medium' size long shank J hook. You can also use a circle hook. Depending on the current, I'll use 2-4 oz pyramid weight that slides between the leader and line. This is known as a 'Carolina rig'. see pic



Make a rig like the one above. I like the pyramid weights b/c they don't roll around if the waves are rough. But I also use slide weights as well.

For bait- you can pretty much use anything that's fresh but smelly. No jokes please! Try to use what is around as this is what the Reds are feeding on. I like to use live bait- either a pinfish or pigfish. A chunk of Ladyfish works well, so does cut Mullet, Menhaden, Jack and even whole Blue Crab.

Right now the Big Reds aren't in big schools like you'll see in a month and throughout winter. Since your landlocked, go to the T-Pier in Gulf Breeze, Bob Sikes Beach side or any other strip of rocks and sand that looks like it would attract fish.

You asked about tides- an in-coming tide is best. And even better if its a heavy tide. Last night was great- an all night incoming tide that was like 2 1/2 ft above normal. Always catch the tides moving. Slack/dead tide means no fish!

Throw the rig out as far as you can cast and wait. A pvc rod holder in the sand works great and the piers you can just set the rod down witha looseneddrag.

Good Luck!
 

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T-pier is the South East side of the 3 mile bridge. Before you get into Gulf Breeze, get in the left lane. As soon as you get off bridge, it's immediately left. Cross the road and you'll see picnic tables. Follow to end and you'll see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! Keep an eye out for the results tomorrow as we will be fishing the next incoming tide !!
 

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No luck everyone - too much wind. Had one on, but he spit the hook after destroying it!! Pulled up stakes and went to a calmer spot with some lures. CAUGHT ONE!!!!!! 17 and 999/1000 inches!!!!! :reallycrying

Thanks a bunch for everyones tips and hints !!
 

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I have recently had a lot of luck fishing off of the Gulf Breeze side of Bob Sike's towards the very end. I was a using one of those steal leaders with a split off for a pyramid weight (2oz.). As far as hooks go, I am a big fan of any hook size that seems to fit well with the size of your bait, at least when fishing with shrimp (which seems to work the best for me when fishing off of Bob Sikes and hoping to catch red fish). As far as bait goes, I use Live Shrimp. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night I caught a (24", 24", and 28" in that order) all using live shrimp. The key to using shrimp is making sure they are as big as possible, I caught the 28" red on literally, a 5" shrimp, that was by far the biggest shrimp I have ever seen. Over the past 4 months I have been fishing out on Bob Sikes (mainly at night) and prior to the past 2 weeks, I have seen only but a few red fish landed, the past 2 weeks, there has been at minimum of2-3 reds landed each time I have been out there. Good luck and hopefully this will help.
 

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Landlocked, IF you are willing to take a little drive and maybe buy an Alabama license, You could probably do pretty good out at perdido pass under the bridge. They don't usually do license checks so its up to you if you want to chance it but the big reds will be moving in and out of that pass this month in good numbers, especially when the air cools a bit more. Apply the same advice the other guys gave you and try around the alabama bridge after dark. I bet you do pretty good. You can fish the west side of the bridge right outta a parking lot, but the better fishing is on the east side--just gotta walk a little further from the car.
 
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