One of the most-difficult problems for fishermen in the fall is choosing between staying home and watching one of their favorite football teams or going fishing. However, Capt. Jay Trochesset has solved this problem for anglers fishing with him on the Silver Dollar III, based at Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi.

"I've got a television set in the boat and an antenna for DirecTV," he said. "My fishermen can watch their favorite football teams, whether they're college or pros, and still go saltwater fishing.

"I have to admit, I like to watch football too while I'm out fishing."

During September, Trochesset, who has fished the Mississippi Gulf Coat for 39 years, mainly trolls for big bull redfish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and sharks. His philosophy is, "We'll fish for anything that bites."

 

What's available in September

"September is one of our more-productive fishing months of the year on Mississippi's Gulf Coast," Trochesset said. "Trolling, we'll catch a number of bull reds, jack crevalle, big Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and blacktip sharks. We can use bait for redfish, but we'll troll for schooling bull reds. Once we pinpoint a school of redfish, we usually catch blacktip sharks from the same area."

Trochesset trolls drone spoons for king and Spanish mackerel. He likes No. 4 spoons and 14 feet of 20-pound-test monofilament leader tied to a barrel swivel. He uses planers to get his spoons down in a zone where the mackerel and redfish are feeding. He also fishes flat weighted lines and outriggers.

As the Silver Dollar III passes over a section of water, the captain and the deckhands put out plenty of lures to attract fish. The average redfish he'll catch will weigh 22 to 24 pounds, with the biggest last year weighing 34 pounds.

"Besides the redfish, we're catching 3- to 5-pound Spanish mackerel, which are really nice-sized Spanish mackerel," Trochesset said. "Our king mackerel will weigh 10 to 25 pounds."

On an average September day, the Silver Dollar III will catch and release 14 to15 redfish, 40 or 50 Spanish mackerel and king mackerel for a party of 12, if the boat fishes off Horn Island.

"The water gets cleaner when you go east of Horn Island, where we find most of our king mackerel," Trochesset reports.

Trochesset also catches some mahi-mahi (dolphin) in September. If he sees any type of floating structure, Trochesset and his crew will reel in their trolling lines and try to get within casting distance to catch good numbers of delicious "chicken" dolphin, weighing 2 to 4 pounds.

 

Fishing for Jaws

In recent years, a growing number of anglers have come to the Gulf Coast to fish for sharks - one of the hardest-fighting fish in the Gulf of Mexico that will test your angling skills.

"We catch a lot of blacktip sharks," Trochesset says. "The blacktips are big and mean, but taste delicious."

These sharks generally weigh 60 to 120 pounds. Most often Trochesset rigs with a wire leader and dead bait.

"We hook a lot of sharks, but they'll bite through regular leader, causing us to lose a lot of tackle," Trochesset said. "If our party wants to catch sharks, we use wire leader."

Trochesset chunks for sharks, a form of chumming that utilizes big chunks of pogies and menhaden, by throwing the chunks out behind the boat to create a chum line to enable the sharks to find his bait.

"To locate blacktips and other sharks, look for a school of red minnows," Trochesset said. "Then start cutting up fish and chumming the chunks toward the school of red minnows."

Although Trochesset catches and releases numbers of sharks, in state waters anglers only can keep three sharks per boat and one shark per boat in other waters. At this time of the year, you'll catch blacktips, hammerheads, fighting sharks, bull sharks, Atlantic sharpnose sharks and spinner sharks.

"Our anglers really like to catch the spinner sharks because they'll jump and put on shows," he said. "When a 120-pound shark goes airborne, everyone on the boat gets excited."

If a group wants to fish only for sharks, Trochesset expects to catch and release 12 to15 sharks in an 8-hour trip.

"But while sitting still and waiting to catch sharks, our fishermen can really get hot," Trochesset said. "That's why we promote trolling and then occasionally stopping to catch a shark."

For more information, call Trochesset at 228-388-2209, or email him at captainjay@cableone.net.