Saturday, December 27, 2014

3 Mile Predators

Late December is considered by many to be the greatest time of year. Heck, even the popular Christmas songs say it is! Some consider is great for getting together with family, others love it for giving or receiving gifts. Well, I have to believe that if you live around the Pensacola Florida area that you may think it's the greatest time of year for another reason...
Bull Reds at the Bridge! 
My good friend and fellow active duty Air Force member, Jay Moore, joined me a late night bull red hunt at 3 Mile Bridge in Pensacola. It's no secret that big reds patrol the lights of the bridge during this time of year. Jay paddled the Old Town Predator MX and I took out the Predator 13, perfect platforms for spotting the big ole' pumpkins!
This was Jay's first time out at the bridge going for big reds. His personal best red was slot sized so my goal was to get him one that would top that mark, pretty attainable at 3 Mile. The night started out pretty slow but it didn't stay slow for too long.
We fished light after light without seeing or hooking any fish. We moved to a certain light that had fish waiting for us. I wasn't tossing at them until Jay hooked up. Well, it didn't take long before Jay's drag was screaming! The 3 Mile reds don't come easy, and this guy fish was no different. After 10 seconds, he shook the hook. No worries, Jay hooked up again within 5 minutes of losing the first one. This time the damn fish actually broke the clip that attached the lure to the leader. Of the hundreds of fish that I have caught on these clips, I have never had one break. I guess Jay had to be the first!
As we separated and fished different lights, I saw a slight glimpse of a long orange blob moving in front of my bow. The plump 36.5" pounded my Swinging Hammer as I swam it in front of him.
We paddled back into the light and Jay spots a single and makes a text book cast...
This fish gave him a great fight; run after run, in between pilings, going underneath the kayak, you name it. Jay fought this fish perfectly! Once the red was tired, he wrapped his hand around the leader and leveraged him into the MX. Game over!
35" bull red in boat!


By this time, it was getting late so we decided to make our way back down the bridge towards the launch.
Only issue was we left the lights with fish! The more we paddled, the more the fish disappeared. I did happen to spot a big single cruising pretty fast. This guy was on a mission. My mission was to drive a hook in his mouth...And I did just that!

This 39.5" put up a hell of a fight! When they are pushing 40", they seem to hit another gear!

The big tail swimming down to the depths signified the end of our night. All in all, it was slow but productive! We had multiple hook ups and saw fish cruising the surface. Most of all, Jay got his personal best red and the taste of bull reds at the bridge. I'm sure we will be loading up the Predators again very soon!
~See ya on the water!


  1. Just a great night! Learned so much about angling Bull Reds. The equipment was key as we were fighting some gusty conditions to get to where the fish were lurking. A larger boat would have been beaten hard, but I was surprised at how responsive these kayaks were in the rough seas.
    Fantastic fight, huge adrenaline pump and some killer teamwork on the water! I had a blast and can't wait to hit the water again!

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