Danny Pitalo of Biloxi, the owner of Gorenflo's Tackle Shop and Marina Store and Point Cadet Fuel & Ice beside the Isle of Capri Resort and Casino, has his finger on the pulse of Mississippi saltwater fishing. Every day, anglers pull up to his marina to gas up and buy bait and tackle before fishing offshore and inshore.

Following is his report for May:

"Many fishermen will be headed toward the shallow fields of Curlew Island and Breton Sound. At this time of year, the shallow fields will be producing numbers of cobia, especially near the Chandeleur Island chain.

"Anglers will be bottom fishing for vermillion snapper, grey snapper and amberjack, since the red snapper season doesn't open until June. Also, we'll have numbers of fishermen going to the 133 rigs and the Horseshoe Rigs, which are about 45 miles south of Biloxi, catching plenty of amberjack, various kinds of snapper and grouper.

"From the end of April through May, we get our big run of cobia from the Panhandle of Florida through Alabama and then over to Mississippi. We generally have a cobia tournament the first weekend in May, which is when we see a lot of cobia caught along the bars and around the islands.

"After May, the cobia seem to move out toward the oil and the gas rigs. On the bars, the fishermen primarily sight-fish with live eels, live catfish or jigs for bait. By the time the cobia reach our area, they've seen just about every jig made, which is why live bait usually pays off best at this time of year.

"Live bait is still the best bet for snapper and grouper when you fish offshore. Many fishermen will chum using ground chum or cut pogies. Once anglers get the fish feeding, they'll usually drop down a live hardtail (blue runner) to catch those big amberjack and grouper. The good news is we've still got a lot of grey snapper and vermillion snapper for anglers to catch until red snapper season starts in June.

"At this time of year, our region of the Gulf of Mexico holds plenty of wahoo, dolphin and white marlin, with an occasional blue marlin caught here. But we usually don't see blue marlin until the first or the middle of June. Most fishermen use Ilander Lures with a ballyhoo or a small Moldcraft Softhead.

"Remember, if you're trolling offshore this month, there's a new rule that you must use a circle hook if you're pulling natural baits. Most fishermen use either a No. 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook or opt for a black Mustad circle hook with a small shank, a thin diameter and a laser-sharpened point on the hook. This hook catches well in the upper jaw of the fish, and helps you get a clean release.

"Most of our trollers fish 50- to 80-pound-test line for wahoo and white marlin. The 50-pound-test line seems to be sufficient, but when the blue marlin come in, fishermen will change to the 80-pound-test line.

"If our region gets a good warm-weather push this month, and the loop current pushes in toward shore, the blue marlin may follow that loop current and start showing up in May. But most years, we don't begin seeing blue marlin at the mouth of the Mississippi River until the first of June.

"In the inshore waters, live shrimp and croakers, Cocahoe grubs and D.O.A. shrimp will be the preferred baits of most fishermen. Inshore wrecks and reefs should produce well, and the rocks down below the Beau Rivage and the back side of Deer Island are great places to catch specks, reds and flounder.

"The new 15- to 20-foot-wide Katrina Reef on the back side of Deer Island sticks out of the water about 4 or 5 feet. It's easy to see and to fish. It's about 1/4-mile off the south side of Deer Island, and runs about three-fourths of the length of Deer Island toward the west.

"The reef, made from the concrete dumped in behind Deer Island from the Ocean Springs Bridge, starts on the eastern end of the island. The Katrina Reef produced white trout, ground mullet and flounder as early as March 2008. The reef hasn't been deployed quite one year yet, but this May and June, we expect it to produce some excellent fishing opportunities for Biloxi-area fishermen.

"Also, there's a big spoilage site just to the east of Deer Island that has been created to try and help rebuild Deer Island. In January and February, anglers gigged quite a few flounder at night out on those new flats, created from sand dug out of the channel that came into Biloxi that the state had pumped onto Deer Island, and then Katrina washed it away."

For more information on fishing conditions, you can call Gorenflo's Tackle at (228) 432-7387 or (228) 432-0454.