BULLoween? This last Saturday Brandon Barton from the Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association organized a CPR Bull Red tournament at three mile bridge in Pensacola, but there was one catch, you had to be dressed up in a costume.
I asked Brandon how he came up with the idea of BULLoween. His answer was “I just thought October is a great time in our area for bull reds and Halloween is in October so it just all fell together. Plus it just seemed awesome to have people catching big redfish at night from kayak in costumes” Kayakers took pictures of any bull reds caught with the tournament token on an approved measuring board. Participants where allowed to submit one red drum picture at the weigh ins. Each picture then would be evaluated at the end for authenticity and size. The tournament was a Calcutta format with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placing in the money. 1st place also got a custom Halloween YakAttack BlackPak. Leopard Red (the redfish with the most spots) took home a $100 gift Certificate to Broxson Outdoors and best costume received a “Sleigh Ride” long sleeve shirt from Yangler. The tournament started at 7pm and would last until midnight.
It all started at 6:30 pm with a parking lot captains meeting. Everyone was having a good time laughing at the thought of fishing dressed up in Halloween costumes. There were Vikings, Superheroes, Evil Clowns, Alabama fans, Mortal Kombat characters and many other creative costumes. The launch was pretty hilarious as everyone attempted to unload and race to the ramp while avoiding tripping over their costumes.
This was the most kayakers I had ever seen at 3MB in one night. It felt more like a party than a tournament. Everyone was having a blast, laughing at one another and snapping pictures all while bowing up on bull reds.
Unfortunately for me, luck was not on my side that night. I managed to catch trout, ladyfish, catfish, sharks and the smallest red snapper ever, but I did get best costume with my CDC outfit.
Taking home 3rd place was Louis “the clown” Anderson with a 37.5in bull red. Louis caught his bull using a 8″ curly tail with a 1/2oz red jig on a 2500 penn battle paired with a Bullbay Senzi grip rod. Louis and myself always fish as a team at 3MB. When one of us hooks up, the other will stow their rods, get fish grips ready and follow the other. Once the fish was yak side, I handed him the open grips and grabbed his rod and had my camera ready to go. This gives him the opportunity to deal with the fish without having to worry about tangling his line, setting up his camera or knocking a rod out. We also feel this gets the fish back in the water much faster.
Coming in at 2nd was Sub Zero Kris with 38.50 inches. Kris caught his bull with a 4 inch gulp shrimp on a jighead with a Penn Battle 6000 paired with a 7ft ugly stick medium action spooled with 17lb mono. He was casting under the bridge lights and allowing his bait to sink to the bottom then jigging it back.
And first place went to Brandon Batman. Brandon caught his bull with a Live Target pinfish with a Penn 5500 Spinfisher V. Brandon was vertical jigging the Live Target directly under the bridge lights.
Not only was Brandon able to organize the tournament, but he also managed to pull off the win. 3MB has had the nickname “Barton Bridge” for a few years now due to the amount of bull reds Brandon has caught from under it and tournament night was no different. Barton Bridge keeps its nick name for another year at least.
Overall it was a hilarious night fishing with friends. Next year we hope to see you at 3MB in Pensacola for BULLoween!
I would like to thank Brandon Barton, Marty Mood, Louis Anderson, Kris Martinez, and Amanda Silvia for sharing their pictures of the night. Also YakAttack, Yangler, and Broxson Outdoors for their donations to the tournament. Bulloween was an amazing success, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s tournament!