The Bulls Are Back In Town

The Bull Red Drum Run Is Happening.

(Sept 17, 2021) … The past week or longer some bull reds have been caught south of us in the surf and back bay areas. From the beaches of Chincoteague to Assateague. The action has picked up more this past week and is just getting amped up. The bull reds, or big red drum are arriving more and more. Lot of fun to catch, but you can’t keep them. The kayak anglers are doing well in Maryland.

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Red Drum caught by Dean Lokey owner of OC Kayak

Dean Lokey owner of OC Kayak offers a few types of kayak tours including, fishing tours. If you want to get into some bull reds on a yak. I would defiantly recommend taking one of these trips. If you don’t have a kayak they can take care of that as well with a kayak rental. Catching big fish from a kayak is exhilarating. Not only do you get a quick ride it is a much different experience than yanking a fish onto shore.

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Red Drum caught by Dean Lokey owner of OC Kayak
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We catch bull reds in Delaware, if you wanted to try for them the southern beaches are a good place to start looking. Kingfish are one of the preferred baits, but they have been caught on bunker, mullet, and spot. Usually by shark anglers kayaking out baits. It isn’t a fish a lot of people think to target here, many believe they only show up at assateague. We have the same conditions not that far away. We used ot have a big fishery for them as far up as north Jersey.

bethany beach, bull red drum, delaware, sussex county, surf fishing, red drum, cut bait
Oct 2018 … Matt Miller with one of the three bull red drum he caught in the surf off Bethany Beach

Fenwick Island State park, and Bethany beach would be your best bets. A few have been caught this time of year in the past as late as December.
The slot sized red drum we catch in our waters will hit cut baits like mullet. That is how it happens, surf anglers using a mullet rig or fireball rig for bluefish and catch a red drum.
Slot sized and smaller red drum are here all year. In Maryland they are called channel bass for a reason.
You hear about the occasional one caught at the inlet or around the inland bays. Anglers don’t really target red drum in Delaware. Those that do keep it very quiet. We have a decent red drum fishery around the inland bays, but you have to know where to go.
The hard part is getting there because boats don’t really work in these areas, it is too shallow. We see them “tailing” when kayak fishing the inland bays near the marsh banks. Try the shallow waters and look for them tailing, then don’t tell anyone where.

The slot size limit for Delaware is 20 to 27 inches (total length) in State of Delaware waters (coast to 3 miles offshore). Anglers can keep 5 fish per day. Red Drum fishing is closed to keep the fish in federal waters.

Fish On!
Rich King

red drum, puppy drum, Fenwick Island,
Nov 2014 … Dan Hurst’s red drum caught on mullet chunks at Fenwick Island.

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