You can catch 50 to 100 speckled trout and redfish per day right now on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

"The fishing will get better in September, October and November," says Capt. Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters out of Bay St. Louis.

When we fished with Schindler at the end of July, I couldn't believe the number of trout we caught.

"I generally fish shell islands on the east side of the Biloxi Marsh about 3 miles from Bay St. Louis, and for the past two months, the speckled trout and the redfish have been showing up in these areas every day," he said. "This should continue through September. Generally early in the morning when the tide's running, you can see the shrimp jumping out of the water and the birds diving on them."

Schindler's also found this summer that the water closest to shore usually produces more big trout than deeper water does.

"If I can locate trout in 1 1/2 to 2 feet of water, they'll generally be bigger than the trout I catch in 5 feet of water," he said. "The big trout move into shallow water because when the bait comes into that shallow water, the trout don't have to chase the bait long distances to catch and eat it."

To catch the trout, Schindler begins fishing with live shrimp. Then once he locates the fish, he switches to soft-plastic lures, like the Mister Twister Exude RT Slug, the Fantail Shrimp and the Twister Tail Grub.

"To catch numbers of trout, catch as many trout as you can out of a school of trout while the school's feeding," Schindler suggested. "By using plastic lures, you can keep your bait in the water longer and get it back in the water quicker after you catch a trout or a redfish. When the fish are feeding, they'll hit almost anything."

In many of the areas Schindler fishes, he easily can catch 50 to 100 trout from one spot, but he manages his fishing to prevent overfishing.

"I generally catch 10 or 15 trout from one spot and then move to the next," he said. "I can keep my best fishing holes producing trout and redfish for the next two or three months."

Once Schindler catches his limit of trout, he then searches for redfish.

"If a school of big redfish doesn't move into the area where I'm catching trout, I look for eroded banks on the edges of the marshes where the redfish may be holding," Schindler said. "I prefer to fish isolated clumps of grass or little ditches and cuts coming out of the marsh where the redfish will be waiting on a falling tide to eat the baitfish that comes out of the marsh. Although we have a number of slot reds we can catch and keep, we often see plenty of 25- to 35-inch reds.

"If the water clears up, like it usually does in the fall, we can see the reds pushing water with their heads, and then sight fish for them. September's a great month for specks and reds in the Biloxi Marsh.

"However, since the marsh is in Louisiana waters, you need a Louisiana license to fish there. But if you fish with a guide, you can get a three-day guide pass for about $8."

Offshore in September

This month, the king of Mississippi's Gulf Coast sport fishing - the tarpon - will continue to show up in the Biloxi area feeding on red minnows. You can put a 50- to 200-pound tarpon in the air and watch it shine like a new silver dollar as it twists and turns to try and throw the hook to find freedom in the air.

Capt. Jay Trochesset of the Silver Dollar II at Point Cadet Marina has fished the Biloxi area his entire life and captained his own charterboat for 35 years.

"September and October are the two best months for fishing here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Trochesset said. "Along with tarpon, anglers can catch numbers of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, redfish, sharks and jack crevalle.

"The tarpon show up here the second week in July, and as long as we've got red minnows for them to eat, they'll stay in close to shore. The tarpon fishing during September will be excellent. I probably jumped 50 tarpon last year during this time, but only landed one. When you're trolling, landing a tarpon is harder than when you're targeting them with live or artificial baits."

Although most of the king mackerel caught near shore will weigh 8 to 10 pounds, anglers will also catch the big 40-pound-plus kings during September occasionally close to shore but generally offshore in deeper water. King mackerel fishermen worldwide consider Biloxi one of the best places for catching kings.

"The first of the summer was slow for king mackerel because of the flooding from the Mississippi River," Trochesset said. "In the muddy water, we weren't catching as many king mackerel as usual.

"However, this month, the king mackerel should really be kicking it into gear, just like the tarpon and the redfish."

Trochesset reports that redfishing on Mississippi's Gulf Coast has been outstanding this year.

"We've been catching our limits of redfish just about every day throughout the summer," he said. In state waters, we can keep one 30-inch redfish per person and two redfish under 30 inches per person.

"However, most of the redfish we catch are more than 30 inches, and will weigh from 16 to 25 pounds, providing plenty of action and sport for our fishermen."

To catch specks, reds, tarpon, redfish or mackerel, head to Mississippi's Gulf Coast in September.

To learn more about fishing out of Bay St. Louis and the weather and the fishing conditions before your trip to the Gulf Coast, contact Capt. Sonny Schindler at (228) 342-2206, or visit www.shorethingcharters.com.

Call Capt. Jay Prochesset at (228) 388-2209, or visit www.biloxicharterfishing.com, or email him at captainjay@cableone.net.

For accommodations, great places to eat and other fishing information, contact Bobby Carter at the Isle of Capri Casino and Resort at (228) 436-7928 or (228) 239-2590.