Strictly Business Fishing Charters owner Michael Moore has a summertime motto: "If you want to go on a short trip in July, we can catch fish; and if you want to go on a long trip, we can catch fish too."

Right now there's simply an abundance of fish to be caught off Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Here are some thoughts on how to find your share of the catch:

 

Redfish and king mackerel

During July, the weather and the water will be hot. So many anglers opt for a four-hour trolling trip for redfish and king mackerel.

"We'll use a large feather jig and cast into schools of bait," Moore explained. "Not only do we catch redfish and king mackerel, but we often catch tarpon."

 

Tarpon

This summer, Moore is incorporating some of the fishing tactics he's been using on his charter boat at Islamorada, Fla., into his Mississippi fishing.

"In Florida, we use kites and light line, light-action rods and circle hooks baited with live croakers," Moore said.

Moore said that, from July through August, large numbers of big tarpon swim just offshore of Biloxi.

The tarpon come in to feed on red minnows, as do the king mackerel and the redfish.

The fish are coming around Ship Island and around Chandeleur Island. Moore and other anglers see very big schools of tarpon in July.

"By using the kite and the 20-pound-test line, the bait appears more naturally in the water, and the terminal tackle is almost invisible," Moore said. "When we target strictly tarpon, we will be using 6-inch-long live mullet for bait. If the red anchovies are coming in, schooling, we should be able to hook-up with a tarpon every day we go after them.

"The good news is, more than likely, we'll catch king mackerel and redfish while we're fishing for tarpon in July."

For many years now, Mississippi anglers have passed up the opportunity to catch tarpon, preferring instead to catch redfish and king mackerel. If a tarpon is caught, it's an incidental catch.

But, this year, Moore deliberately will target tarpon using the techniques and baits that have been proved successful for catching the big silver kings, which often will weigh 100 pounds.

"At this time of the year, we rarely see any small tarpon on Mississippi's Gulf Coast," he said. "Most of the fish we see will weigh 80 to 100 pounds or more.

"The run will usually last into the first few weeks of September."

Moore will use the same reels and lines that he uses to catch sailfish; the spools on the reels will hold 350 yards of line.

"There's a really good tarpon fishery around here that's being underutilized," Moore said.

 

Red Snapper

For the first few days of July, red snapper season still will be open, and Moore will be fishing offshore for big sows.

"I like fishing the Block 108 area for 10- to 12-pound and larger red snapper," Moore said. "Once again, we'll be fishing with live croakers, and we'll be chumming to get the snapper on top. I don't like to fish the bottom for snapper because you can't pick out the fish you want to catch.

"When we can get the fish to the surface, we can pick out the larger snapper and get them to bite. Even if we catch smaller snapper, we can catch and release them without having the mortality that occurs when you bring snapper up from the bottom."

 

Cobia, tripletails and smoker king mackerel

According to Moore, there is plenty of other coastal action available this month.

"We also have a resident population of cobia that's here all year long, and have had a tremendous run of tripletail this year," he said. "So on the way out to Block 108, we'll be looking at anything that's standing or floating in the water to see if we see cobia or tripletails.

"We take big, live shrimp with us on each snapper trip to cast the live shrimp to the cobia and to the tripletails."

Also out in this deep water, Moore and his parties will be targeting big smoker king mackerel often weighing 30- or 40-pounds each. They're a great fighting fish and a delicious fish to put on the grill.

"Then, if we have some time on the charter, we'll usually go back inshore and let our party catch a limit of redfish," Moore said.

 

Party boat for anyone and family fun shrimping and fishing trips

Another super family opportunity at the beach this month is the Biloxi Fishing Charter, which has been running since 1953.

During this 70-minute trip, a shrimp net is put out and visitors get to observe how shrimping is conducted on the coast.

When the net is pulled in, visitors can see not only shrimp but an abundance of other sea life that lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This short trip is fun for all ages and an educational fun adventure in which the entire family can get involved. The trip costs $16 for adults and $11 for children.

This same boat is also used from 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning for an introduction to a saltwater fishing trip and is called a family fun-fishing trip.

"We'll fish the oyster banks near Deer Island, and catch white trout and ground mullet on every trip," Moore said. "We'll usually catch 100 to 200 fish on every trip, and on a good day we may catch from 300 to 350 fish

"On this trip, we provide everything - rods, reels, tackle and bait, and we clean your fish. This trip only costs $38.50 per person."

To learn more about these trips, call 228-398-8645 or 228-392-8357 or log onto www.biloxicruisecompany.com or www.biloxishrimpingtrip.com.