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 redfish Chris Woodward
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The reds school along the shorelines in September and October Chris 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