Last Updated on December 22, 2021 by Jordan Pate
The 2021 Bull Redfish run in South Carolina has been nothing short of incredible. We’ve been blessed with excellent weather the last few weeks and as a result, we’ve had a lot of memorable trips with one triple header after another and a lot of happy clients. Most of our bull redfish charters depart from Georgetown and we focus our fishing efforts in Winyah Bay and the Santee Delta.
We began seeing some excellent catches of Bull Redfish in May, but the main event typically occurs in September and October as ocean temperatures cool and the mullet migration begins. Mature redfish that average 40in will move into the inshore waters to feed and spawn in large schools. In addition to using cut bait while fishing on the bottom, we are also catching bull redfish by locating the large schools in the ocean and casting bucktails and flyfishing with big flies and sinking lines.
My favorite way to target redfish is to locate the big schools of surface feeding fish in the ocean. We will often run the beach looking for signs of life until we locate a school of surface feeding fish which are often under diving birds. Garmin Side Scan technology allows us to scan more area when searching for the big schools of red drum in open water. Bucktails and heavy jigs rigged with soft plastics allow us to work the entire water column and are very effective when casting to bull redfish.
Since these fish are our breeding stock and South Carolina law requires anglers to release red drum over 23in, I encourage anglers to quickly land large redfish. To avoid prolonged fights, I use an assortment of heavy spinning gear and would not recommend anything smaller than a 5500 reel with a heavy action rod. My favorite setup for casting artificials to bull redfish is the 7ft XH TFO Tactical Inshore Rod, paired up with the FFP Osprey 6000 Reel, 50lb power pro tied to 4ft of 60lb floro leader. This is the same setup I use for tarpon so they are more than adequate enough to handle large redfish.
As the Fall Bull Redfish run begins to taper off in November, bull redfish will move out to deeper water where they will spend the Winter and we begin to shift our focus to the shallow waters where we target the juvenile redfish. If you are looking for trophy fish that will test any anglers skills, give us a call to book a bull redfish charter.
-Capt Jordan Pate