Georgia’s Surf Reds

Fall on the Georgia coast is the prime time for bull redfish

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The marshes of coastal Georgia create prime surf habitat for bull redfishChris Woodward
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The reds school along the shorelines in September and OctoberChris Woodward
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Shifting sandbars create rips where baitfish travel.Chris Woodward
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Reds, sharks and other fishes follow.Chris Woodward
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Anglers set up to fish the rips by anchoring their boats in the swells and casting baits back to the waves.Chris Woodward
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Fairly stout tackle ensures the spawning size fish are brought quickly boat-side.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Pelicans feed in the whitewash where baits and redfish gather. Boaters must be careful in the surf and study how the waves break before anchoring.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Georgia's director of the Coastal Resources Division, Spud Woodward, prepares to lift a bull red into the boat to tag, photograph and release.Chris Woodward
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Always support large fish horizontally to avoid damaging their internal organs.Chris Woodward
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Some days, anglers boat to sandbars, and then get out and fish from the beach.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Anglers of all ages love to reel in big bull reds.Chris Woodward
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Live finger mullet and dead chunks of mullet make the best baits.Chris Woodward
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Sand spikes hold multiple rods until a fish hits. The nearest angler picks up the rod - always terminated with a circle hook - to fight the fish.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Happiness is a cold redfish?Capt. Spud Woodward
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An angler approaches a hooked red to capture it for tag and release.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Once played into the shallow water, the bull reds usually remain docile.Capt. Spud Woodward
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The redfish's low-slung mouth makes it easier for the species to feed from above its prey. A redfish trying to take a top-water bait can be comical.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Large circle hooks even take smaller, legal-size reds.Capt. Spud Woodward
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Fall's surf reds aren't always bulls; some measure within Georgia's 14- to 23-inch slot.Capt. Spud Woodward