Ride The Bull – Unofficially

To finish off the month of October, I wanted to try something new. Well, kind of new. In 2013 I fished the famous Ride The Bull Kayak Rodeo for the first time. That experience can be found here. I fished it again in 2015. Neither time did I catch anything other than catfish and white trout. I also didn’t really know what to look for.

Now, with a bit more experience and some coaching, I headed down to Grand Isle to target some massive reds again, this time with a game plan. I would be meeting up with Mark Carline, a co-P&P Guide and former co-worker, and his father and brother. We would be targeting these bulls IFA style, meaning on artificial lures rather than the Ride the Bull typical cracked crab and cut mullet.

I arrived a little before Mark and started fishing for trout near the rock breakers. There were schools of mullet swarming on the surface, but nothing crashing from underneath. After Mark – and family – arrived, We headed out to the deeper water. Using my depth finder, I was looking for a school. In around 11ft, I picked up on a school of something and made a cast. Using a 1 oz. Jighead and Gulp, I jigged the bait a few times and had a bite. I reeled up quickly, but pulled up an empty hook after the fish got off.

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A few minutes later, Mark’s Dad, Mr. Mark had hooked up. I was nearby so I got some shots of him and then assisted in landing the fish.

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Mark’s brother, Josh, had also hooked up a few times throughout the day, but I was never close enough to get photos.

After helping Mr. Mark with his fish, I soon hooked up again, and . this one didn’t escape!

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Mark and I were fishing for LKFC’s CPR Tournament, so length was really what we were after. This first bull measured in at 34″. Not even close to what I needed, but still a lot of fun!

Mark was next to hook up…

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It went on this way for a few hours. Between the bulls, there were black drum and catfish also caught.

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One of the highlights of the trip was when Mark hooked up to a roughly 40 incher on the fly. The fight lasted on the better side of ten minutes and got a little interesting as a crew boat passed nearby.

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The biggest red I’ve caught up to that point had been a 36.5″ that I caught in Fourchon for last year’s LA1 Slamboree. Here’s some flashback photos…

I beat that twice on this trip. The first was a bull around 38″ (Photo further above). The second came around 1pm as we were fishing the tideline. I’d been catching catfish the last few casts – but knew fairly quickly that this wasn’t a cat. It helped that it started pulling drag…

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Managing a big fish like this can be tough to take a CPR photo. Between controlling the fish, having it’s nose against the bumper and trying to get every bit of length from it, you’ve got your hands full. Thanks to Mark for helping get the photos of this fish. And also a shout-out to Tourneytag, who makes the sleeve that my CPR card goes in. It keeps the card dry, safe from the ink bleeding, and (as seen here) it’s strapped to my wrist so it’s one less component to worry about keeping in place.

We had a great time and it was a new experience for me. Especially different from marsh fishing and watching for tails! While I’ll definitely fish for bulls this way again, it’s time to get to the marsh, so that will be the next trips I make!

Gear Rundown

Kayaks

Lures

My Rod/Reel Combos

Fishing Line

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