The bulls are running — the bull redfish, that is

Anglers are catching some of the biggest redfish of the year along both Carolina coastlines. (All In One Charters photo)

Anglers in both Carolinas catching lots of bull redfish

From late summer and into the fall, bull redfish make their annual trip to the inside waters of the Carolinas. Some years, it starts a little later than others. This year, it’s already on fire. Numerous anglers have caught giant bull redfish in both Carolinas in the past week. And the bite is only going to get better.

Neuse River Bait & Tackle has reported on several bull red catches in their area. Jenny Jones was fishing with cut croaker off her dock on the Neuse River and caught a monster redfish, known locally as “old drum.”

Some shop staffers have also been catching bull redfish in the area while night fishing.

Alex Allinen was also fishing the Neuse River when he caught a giant redfish. John Minter had the same luck in the river, hooking up with a bull redfish that had his drag screaming before he was able to bring it in for a quick photo and then a release.

Jenny Jones landed this bull redfish from her dock on the Neuse River. (Neuse River Bait & Tackle photo)

Minter caught his big red with a Blabber Mouth popping cork and a D.O.A. Airhead. The Blabber Mouth worked for Scotty Zillioux too. He had it paired up with a Z-Man SwimmerZ, got three bull redfish bites, and landed all three of them.

Bull reds are biting in the surf, inshore, and nearshore

TW’s Bait and Tackle has also gotten plenty of bull redfish reports. Joe White caught a 36-inch one at Ramp 4 in the surf. And they’re getting numerous reports of anglers catching bulls both inshore and nearshore.

It’s the same story from Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle. Their clients have also been catching bulls with Z-Man and D.O.A. soft plastics under Blabber Mouth and High Water popping corks. They are also catching them in a mix of sizes with live minnows and cut bait.

bull redfish
Capt. Joe from Chasin’ Tails caught this bull redfish at dusk. (Chasin’ Tails photo)

In the Charleston area, Capt. Chuck Griffin with Aqua Adventures is putting his clients on some bulls. He said the bite has been hot along the jetties. His anglers are catching redfish in a variety of sizes, including some slot fish out of the Isle of Palms Marina.

bull redfish
Charleston-area anglers are catching bull redfish at the jetties and other parts of Charleston Harbor. (Aqua Adventures photo)

Capt. Ronnie Kinner with All In One Charters in Charleston has also been on bull redfish. He’s been finding them deep with his electronics. And once he locates them, he sets his anglers up with cut and live bait, depending on the current speed.

Kinner said the bite is as hot as anglers could expect right now. If you’re not out there, you’re missing one the hottest bites of the year, he said.

The hot bull redfish bite is on, and it’s not expected to slow down any time soon. (All In One Charters photo)

“We’ve been catching reds pushing 35 to 40 pounds, with almost constant tight lines. The bite is on. The big hammers are inshore and their mouths are wide open. We’ve been doing very well with cut bait when the current is around 2.2 knots. When the current drops below 1.1 all the way to slack, we use live menhaden.

“We’ve had good success finding the bait early in the morning in the ICW up around the connector. As the heat continues, it may be tough (for anglers) to bear, but rest assured, these babies are chewing. The added heat only further speeds their metabolism, thus keeping those mouths wide open,” Kinner said.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1648 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at