In the spring, according to Kyle Perry of Biloxi, the trout move from the bays and bayous to the front beach. And that means it's easy to put some fish on the table - even for those anglers who are boat poor.

"This migration along the beach allows easy access for anglers who may not have a boat or a boat big enough to make it to the islands," Perry said.  "This typically lasts through May, and then the majority of larger trout will move to the islands, leaving smaller school trout behind."

During this springtime big-trout bonanza, Perry dons his waders every chance he gets and hits the surf - as he did recently.

"As I arrived at the beach, I could see there were plenty of mullet flipping in the surf," Perry explained.  "Most of the mullet were larger, but big trout don't mind.
"On the first cast, I felt that classic trout 'thump', and immediately a large trout came to the surface shaking her head. After about a minute of constant head shaking, she managed to spit the hook. I guesstimated her to be 5 to 6 pounds."

When Perry fishes the surf, he looks for structure such as old pier pilings or rock jetties. He further pointed out that Biloxi's front beach is relatively structureless, so the structure that is available usually holds bait, and in turn, trout or redfish.

"A key factor to finding fish on the beach is bait," said Perry.  "Always look for bait. Like I mentioned, the majority of the bait in the area right now are mullet, so match the hatch and use something that looks like a mullet."

Perry's bait of choice to match the hatch is an Ultra Violet Matrix Shad rigged on a 1/4-ounce Hoosier Hooker jighead. He ties his bait directly to 15-pound braid spooled on a spinning reel on a 7-foot, medium-action spinning rod.

After the big trout spit the bait, Perry stuck around to catch several more trout in the 15- to 18-inch range, along with a 24-inch red.  When the bite slowed he moved to look for more bait around nearby structure.

At Perry's next stop, a set of old pier pilings, he caught a nice 18-inch trout on his first cast and several smaller trout on consecutive casts.

When the surf bite is hot, it can be real hot so don't give up on the first set of structure. Keep moving and looking for bait.

"After a short lull in the bite, something smashed my Matrix Shad," Perry said.  "After a great fight that lasted about 15 minutes, a huge redfish came into reach of my Boga-Grip."

"I was able to finish the day with a 44-inch bull red. I took some pictures and let her go."

The big-fish beach bite will only last about another month, so grab your wading gear and hit the surf. Big trout and reds are cruising the surf looking for something to crush.