With burning arms, I start to understand. This is why guys get all gooey over redfish. Living in southern Michigan, I’ve tangled with plenty of big smallmouth, some oversized pike, a few monster muskie. But until today I’d never laid eyes on—let alone stuck a hook into—one of the golden rockets that draw anglers to salt water and make them babble like children on Christmas morning. That changes when the popping cork disappears, the strike nearly ripping the rod from my hands as the drag screams. It happens in an instant and it takes a moment before I realize I’m tied up with my first bull red.