Ride the Bull has been around for six years, and last year 732 paddlers participated.
The bull redfish tournament is based out of Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle tomorrow morning, when all of the kayaks leave the marina and paddle out to Caminada Pass on a quest for bull redfish.
The object is to land the heaviest bull — not an easy task in such a little boat.
Here are some tips to help ensure that big fish ends up in your ’yak.
1. Drink, drink, drink — Kalley LeRoy, winner of the fifth-annual tournament, learned the hard way that there’s more to fishing a tournament than just catching the fish.
Drinking plenty of water is a top priority.
“Last year, I was brought back in one of the safety boats, and I was pumped with two bags of IV fluids because I wasn’t hydrated enough,” LeRoy said. “You’re not going to do anything if you don’t stay hydrated.”
2. Your cut bait isn’t better than anyone else’s — There are many types of fishing rodeos that require great skill, but Ride the Bull isn’t one of those.
Everyone is fishing with practically the same bait — frozen, stinky stuff that’s been in the freezer for a while.
“It’s a luck tournament,” LeRoy said. “You don’t know where they’re going to be, precisely.”
3. Don’t load up on Red Bull — Energy drinks can be a life saver when you’ve been up for 24 hours and need a pick-me-up. However, they’re like poison in this tournament.
“The (redfish) move in schools,” LeRoy said. “One second they’ll be over here and the next second they’ll be in a different spot.
“It’s literally just waiting. You have to be patient.”
4. Differently shaped plastic transportation isn’t a bad idea — It isn’t called Ride the Bull Kayak Tournament for nothing, but LeRoy takes a different method of transportation that has proved to be effective for winning the tournament.
“I fish off of a paddleboard,” she said. “The board only weighs 35 pounds, they’re super easy to move around and store, and you’re still able to deck it out with the ram mounts and everything.
“You have the 35-inch platform that’s super stable. We bring our dogs, and they have more freedom to roam around when we’re out fishing.”
5. Think you have enough anchor rope? Pack more — Eric Muhoberac, a consistent Ride the Bull attendee, has found that having a long anchor line is a big advantage.
“Having a good anchor is key,” he said. “Seventy-five feet of line is a major help.”
6. Don’t bring a Nerf gun to the paintball fight — Having stout-enough gear is critical to landing the monster bull reds it takes to win the tournament.
Bring your wimpy trout rod, and a bull will wrap you around 32 different structures and pull your kayak to the Gulf.
Muhoberac constructs a stout Carolina-rig for fishing the redfish.
“I use a football sinker, 30-pound monofilament and a 5/0 hook,” Muhoberac said.
His braided main line is spooled on to a 7000-series Penn Spinfisher spinning reel.