Night time is right time to ride the bull

Bruce McDonald
September 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Kenny Domangue with a 39-inch bull redfish caught in Caminada Pass.
Bruce McDonald/Herald-Guide
Kenny Domangue with a 39-inch bull redfish caught in Caminada Pass.
On a recent bull red fishing trip to Grand Isle, Pete Cassagne, Kenny Domangue and I fished two straight nights for monster redfish in the Gulf.

We launched from Cassagne’s camp before sundown and headed out towards Caminada Pass. We were looking for a spot near the sandbar, which extends from Elmer's Island outward into the pass.

We were also looking for 12 feet of water.

"We have caught bull reds on both sides of the sandbar,” Cassagne said. “The Gulf side is usually the best on an outgoing tide." 

We found a good location near the green buoy in 12 feet of water and dropped the sand anchor. After securing the anchor, we rigged our lines hoping to catch a big redfish.

Domangue used a 7-foot Ugly Stick with a Epixor Okuma reel. It was spooled with 50-pound Power Pro braided line and baited with the head portion of a ˝ cut mullet on a #7 hook and 1-ounce weight Carolina-style rig. Cassagne used a Daiwa 1500 series 6 ˝ foot rod with a Pen 65 spooled with 50-pound line. He baited the #7 circle hook, Carolina style 1-ounce weight, with a live crab, breaking the claws off and the points on each end of the crab. 

I set out an Eagle Claw Granger Ocean II 7-foot rod with a 400S series Shimano reeled, spooled with 50-pound mono-line and a large #5 treble hook Carolina style with a large poogie. We set out the rods and were ready for action around 7:30 p.m. 

The tide range was 1.5 and was outgoing.

We were excited as we watched the sunset in the west. After eating a sandwich, drinking a few beverages, telling a few jokes and solving the world's problems, Domangue set the hook on something big at 7:55 p.m. 

"I think this redfish is going to pull me in the water!' he yelled out. 

The big redfish went from one side of the boat to the other, eventually getting tangled in the lower unit of the 200 hp Yamaha outboard. We reeled in all the line so as not to get tangled together and the big redfish found the outboard.

Domangue fought the  redfish for 20 minutes in the dark before I netted him on the port side of the boat. The bull red measured 39 inches in length and weighed more than 30 pounds.

"This is the best fish I have caught all summer and I’m ready for another,” Domangue said. 

We fished for a couple of hours and changed locations several times in hopes of catching another redfish, but we were unable to get a hit. Around 11 p.m., we pulled up the anchor and headed for the bridge. 

We found a work barge next to the bridge with a bright light shining off the side and into the water. White trout and specks were hitting everywhere. The tide had changed and the clear light green water was moving in. 

Dropping the anchor within casting distance of the barge, we began catching white trout and 12-to-14-inch speckled trout.  With one bull red caught, our focus was on the top water and hitting fish under the lights.

The fish were hitting anything we threw at them. The glow, chartreuse, green, smoke, bluemoon, clear/chartreuse, small silver spoon and chad rig under a cork or cast-n-retrieve worked to catch fish. Soon we had filled the ice chest around 2 a.m. and decided to call it a night.

On the second night, we were unable to catch a bull red in Caminada Pass, but the fish were still under the lights.  Again, we managed to catch an ice chest of white trout and speckled trout.

September and October is a great time to fish the Passes along the Louisiana Gulf Coast.  Redfish congregate in the passes to spawn.

The action is super this time of year. The size and possession limit for redfish is five per person, 16 to 26 inches, with no more than one redfish over 27 inches.

View other articles written Bruce McDonald

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