We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Hobie Regional Pro Staffer, Marty Mood, to discuss fishing lightweight soft baits for Pensacola Bull Redfish from a kayak. Here's what we learned...
Location: 3 Mile Bridge – Pensacola, FL
Approach: I can share a report, no big secret there. I was fishing the “3 mile bridge” that connects downtown Pensacola to Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach. It is a very popular night time spot due to the structure from the bridge and the lights concentrating the fish. Some nights it is a really good spot to sight fish to Bull Reds in the lights, but that night it was a total washing machine due to E/SE winds coming right down the Bay so making sighting fishing impossible. Instead, I was using the depth finder to find large concentrations of bait with bigger marks nearby.
Rigging Selection: For targeting these bull redfish in deep water, a super strong jig head is necessary to stay tight. The 3/4oz Barbarian Jig Head was perfect for this application.
Bait Selection: The Hogy 7inch Original
Why This Bait? The profile and size of the 7inch Hogy Original Original is perfect to imitate medium size mullet and sardines that wash out with the tide.
Colors: Bone and Bubble Gum are great.
Retrieve: On this night, the wind and tide were working against each other, which pushed the fish down towards the bottom in 20′ – 28′. The weight of the jig head was necessary to maintain contact around the bottom structure. A normal, lift-pause retrieve was used to temp these fish into biting. On calm nights, its common to see these redfish swimming at the surface. In that case, I would choose to use a lightly weighted hook, like the Hogy 5/0 Weighted Swim Bait Hook.
Kayak: Hobie Pro Angler 14
Reel: Daiwa Ballistic 3000
Reel: 7′ Medium action G-Loomis spinning rod
Line: 30lb Power Pro Braid
Leader: For these heavier redfish 30lb Fluorocarbon tied line to line with a crazy Alberto knot works perfectly.