According to Capt. Tom Moore of the Strictly Too, docked at Point Cadet Marina near the Isle of Capri Casino Resort in Biloxi, most people overlook some of the best January speckled-trout fishing on Mississippi's Gulf Coast while they're searching for speckled trout.

Every day, dozens of boats coming out of Point Cadet Marina drive past one of the best speckled-trout spots on the Gulf Coast on their way to find speckled trout.

"In front of Point Cadet, there are a few drop-offs where a large number of female trout come in and bed," Moore said. "Every boat that leaves the Point Cadet Marina passes right by this hole.

"Most days you'll see an older gentleman in a small boat sitting out in front of Point Cadet fishing. I'm sure most people think he doesn't know what he's doing, and he's probably a tourist on a budget who's just decided to fish in the water. But that angler in that small johnboat generally catches more speckled trout consistently than anybody on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, because he's fishing in some of the best speckled-trout inshore holes.

"Anytime there's a falling tide, the fishing is very productive in these holes. Because a lot of tidal movement occurs in that channel between Deer Island and Point Cadet, the locations of these holes change. However, there's a really easy way to locate them.

"Before you put your boat in the water, go to the top level of the parking deck of the Isle of Capri Casino Resort, which is right behind Point Cadet Marina. On a clear day when the water is clear, you actually can see those holes from this site. Once we identify the drop-offs, we go out in the boat and get the GPS coordinates for those holes.

"Although this place is one of the most consistent to catch speckled trout in January, we have to return to the top of the parking deck about every two or three months to pinpoint these drop-offs again. These holes aren't really productive in the summertime, but they're red hot in the winter."

To successfully catch speckled trout on Mississippi's Gulf Coast this month, Moore advises finding the location of deep holes because they have warmer water than the shallow places.

"Some days we only may catch eight trout between two people, but there have been plenty of days where everyone in the boat has caught the limit of 15 trout per person," he said. "Just in front of the tar wharf in the bay, right in front of Will Ladner's dock, is a 15- to 20-foot-deep hole in the bay. This spot, just north of Monger Island, in the middle of Back Bay, runs for about 1/4-mile.

"Any time the weather gets cold, you'll see people in little skiffs fishing in that hole in the middle of the day when the current's moving out. Often 15 or 20 boats will be fishing in that one spot. These little skiffs are catching plenty of speckled trout, redfish, white trout and ground mullet.

"Although this site is generally worthless during the spring and summer, it usually starts to heat up in late November with productive fishing there through the end of January and maybe even the first of February.

"Another secret spot most of the locals fish and the tourists pass up is along the bridges and the broken-up bridges we have in the bay. You'll catch speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead and black drum on these bridges from November through February.

"Hurricane Camille in 1969 beat up the old bridge, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 destroyed the remainder of the bridge. The vast amount of rubble and structure holds fish. The train bridge also is another productive place where numbers of locals fish and catch specks and reds.

"The lights under the new Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge are another place that few anglers fish. The nighttime bite of specks and reds under the new bridge has been incredible. Since most people won't fish at night in January, you'll see fewer boats and catch the fish nobody else is catching.

"Anglers primarily night fish with a popping cork and either a chartreuse, a chartreuse/white or a red-colored grub. You'll probably catch a limit of 15 trout, 14 to 16 inches long, and perhaps some 3- to 4-pound trout and a few redfish almost any night you fish.

"In many of the places I prefer to fish, you may not need to spend more than one-fourth of a tank of gas to catch all the 3- to 4-pound speckled trout you want to take in January. Some spots are so close that you can paddle to them.

"During January, most of our fishing is from the barrier islands, such as Deer Island, through the back bays. However, we still catch speckled trout weighing an average of 3 to 4 pounds, legal-sized redfish and nice-sized black drum on any type of structure and/or bottom break.

"We use medium-action All Star spinning rods with Penn 450 spinning reels and Shimano 250 and 300 Calcutta spinning reels. We fish with 10-pound-test line and fish primarily with 1/4-ounce grubs and top-water lures. Chartreuse-colored grubs will pay-off in big-fish dividends at this time of year."

 

For more information, call (228) 392-4047, or email fishcharter@aol.com. To learn more about accommodations and restaurant suggestions, visit www.gulfcoast.org.