Battling big Buras bulls

Pre-spawn schools packed in now on east side of the Mississippi River, guide says

If you’re into some drag-screaming, rod bending, hold-on-for-dear-life bull redfish action, now is the time to head down to Buras to target schools of the fish piled up in coastal waters gorging on live bait before heading out to spawn.

“Right now we’re pretty much at our peak,” said Capt. Joe DiMarco Sr. with Cajun Fishing Adventures, which recently hosted the Buras Marsh Media Bash for outdoor writers and fishing industry leaders from across the country. “By the next full moon in September, they’re going to start leaving to go offshore and spawn.

“They’re coming in because the pogies are coming in. They’re following the bait.”

Late last week, it was a veritable non-stop bull red bonanza in spots like California Bay, Main Pass and Baptiste Collette, DiMarco said. Forty-inch-plus fish were common.

“We caught 41 on a LIVETARGET topwater bait the other day. It’s just that time,” DiMarco said. “So many people come here for the bull red run, and it’s peaking right now. I would say it’s going to last at least another two weeks, then slow a little bit — then you’re going to see smaller and smaller schools, and they’ll start moving further down to the mouth of the (Mississippi) river, then they’ll start moving offshore.”

You can hardly miss the bulls blowing up and smashing the live bait, but DiMarco said to always be on the lookout for current lines, tidal lines, bait slicks, pelicans, frigate birds and terns to help you key in on potential schools.

“If you have the combination of slicks, current lines and tidal lines, just hang on,” he said. “You’ll find them pretty much anywhere right now on the east side of the river, probably all the way to the long rocks.”

For the most part late last week, the fish weren’t real finicky about what baits they smashed. Z-Man Trout Tricks under a cork also were a deadly combination for the big bulls, which were all released to go out and spawn.

“Popping corks, swimbaits, topwaters — it really doesn’t matter what you throw,” DiMarco said with a chuckle. “They’re feeding — just throw something out and hang on. We caught them on every color this week.

“I think you could throw a bare hook out there and they would probably eat it if it was a shiny hook.”

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About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and

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