Long jaunts across open water to fish the barrier islands are a distant memory as the water temperature in Biloxi's Back Bay continues to drop, bringing an abundance of bait and the predators that feed on them into the bay.

Capt. Travis Paige of Goin' Coastal Charters and his clients have been enjoying the short boat rides and plentiful fish.

"It has been non-stop action on some decent white trout, ground mullet and speckled trout," Paige said. "We have been catching redfish and black drum with dead shrimp on popping corks around the marsh and bottom fishing around structure and shell beds." (Click here for reef locations.)

According to Paige, the bigger trout will be showing up any time in the bays and along the beach. If you're dead set on making the run he said there are still a few big trout and reds at the islands.

Until trout get on the winter pattern of holding in the deep holes of large bayous and the rivers, Paige keeps his eye open for birds working.

"Watch for the birds," Paige said, "they are a good indicator that fish are in the area. If they are sitting on the water, the bait and fish are nearby.

"We have been using live shrimp and artificial plastics: 3-inch D.O.A. Shrimp and 3-inch MirrOlure Soft Sardines. Fish your bait slowly and let it drift with the water current. Use the lightest baits you can for the depth of water you are fishing."

According to Paige, the bite goes from fast and furious to subtle bites, when all you feel is a light tap or the end of your line get heavy, so be on your toes and pay close attention to what the fish are doing that day.

The toughest summer we've had in decades is over. Dust off your rods and reels, hit one of our many local tackle shops to stock up on D.O.A. Shrimp and MirrOlure Soft Sardines, then find a flock of feeding gulls and get bit.

"I absolutely love this time of year," Paige said. "Cool weather, short boat rides and unbelievable action!"

You can reach Capt. Travis Paige by calling (228) 297-0207 or emailing him at capt.travis@bellsouth.net.