Bull Red Run
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So, this isn't Pamplona. Well, that certainly doesn't preclude Texans from having their own “running of the bulls.” Instead of hoofed mammals, the “bulls” which are running along the Texas coast during October and November are spotted and scaled. However, the zeal with which Texas coastal anglers participate in their running of the bulls is no less emphatic than their Spanish counterparts.

Since mature reds - bulls - live offshore, the run takes place along the beachfront. Actually, the run is part of a mating ritual, when the mature fish move in close to rivers and passes in order to lay their eggs, which are then washed into the inshore bays by the tides. It is in the bays that the eggs hatch and the young fish live the first few years of their lives before moving offshore as mature fish.

“We usually start catching a ton of big reds in early October,” said Galveston guide Capt. Michael LaRue. “Guys will be catching 20 to 30 bull reds a day. And, it gets better as October goes on.”

“Most of our bull reds are caught along the jetties, especially the north jetty,” continued LaRue. “They move up and down the jetty looking for an easy meal. The key to catching good numbers of them is to keep a lot of rods out, keep plenty of bait in the water. As long as there is bait around, they stick around. If there isn't any bait in the water, they'll move on.”

“The absolute best bait for us is shad,” advised LaRue. “You can use shrimp or mullet or even artificials, but shad is the best. Just fish it on bottom using a heavy Carolina rig. When it gets rough, you may have to go really heavy with the weight to keep it on the bottom. But, the rougher the water, the better the fishing.”

Sabine Lake guide Capt. Jerry Norris says most of their bull reds are found along the jetties as well.

“We have bull reds around most of the year, either on the jetties or at the short rigs,” said Norris. “But, we have a little better fishing for them in the fall and winter. Most of the fish will be along the west jetty. We do catch them on artificials, but most of the fish are caught on finger mullet.”

Along the southern Texas coast, the `run' begins a little later. However, once the fish move in, anglers can expect action every bit as exciting as they found along the middle and upper coasts.

“We usually don't see our bull reds until mid-October or early-November,” said Port Isabel guide Capt. Eddie Curry. “But, when they move in, you can catch a lot of them around the jetties. Really, for most bay fishermen, the bull red run is their best opportunity to catch a really big fish.”

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