Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No. 1 - Page 11

Gulf Coast Closeup by Pete Cooper, Jr. Louisiana’s Winter Bull Red Invasion D uring winter, bull reds have begun showing up across the Louisiana coast in some unusual places. It wasn’t all that long ago when Louisiana anglers with an itch to catch a bull red had some rather limited seasonal and site-specific options. Four Bayous Pass – east of Grand Isle – was a popular summertime spot for soaking mullet heads on bottom, and over the years gave up a lot of the brawny beasts. The east jetty at the Mississippi River’s Southwest Pass was, and may still be, the premier autumn fishery on the entire Gulf coast for reds of all sizes, and they will readily strike everything from cast jigs and trolled Magnum Rapalas to flies. And late in that season – and throughout winter – a very nice fishery was available in the surf of the Chandeleur Islands, if you were able to access it, which was always a bit difficult and impossible at times due to the weather! Nowadays, though, bulls can safely be taken from craft as small as Florida flats-skiffs – and even my 15-foot aluminum skiff! What’s going on here, you ask? The answer is really pretty simple. Due to the absence of marsh which was present throughout much of the area a short time ago, the fish have an almost direct shot into waters where they were seldom, if ever, encountered before. Combine that with the abundance of prey species there – and the presence o