Capt. Matthew Tusa of Shore Thing Fishing Charters, based out of Bay St. Louis, fishes about 250 days each year, and he really loves those he spends on the water this month.

"November is a great month to fish the Gulf Coast because the water's cooling down, and the fish are feeding well and will be concentrated in shallow water," he said. "Rarely will I fish water deeper than 3 feet this month. We'll have to move deeper into the Biloxi Marsh than where we've fished in the spring and the summer. We'll travel about 10 miles from the east end of the marsh to fish.

"Since the water's cooler than it's been in the early fall, we'll be fishing shallow bays and points with jigs and grubs, like the H&H Cocahoes, the Deadly Dudleys and the Hybrid Flurry baits, under popping corks.

"Also, we'll be fishing live shrimp this month, if we can get it, and live cocahoes. My favorite color this month is avocado with red glitter, electric chicken, pearl or glow with a chartreuse tail."

Generally, Tusa fishes with 20-pound-test PowerPro line with a 2-foot, 15- to 20-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. He likes to fish the heavier line because he catches redfish at the same time as he does speckled trout in November.

To connect the braided line to the fluorocarbon line, Tusa ties a uni-knot. If he's fishing live bait, Tusa uses a No. 1/0 Khale hook.

"In November, locating live bait can be difficult," Tusa said. "But if you can find shrimp, they tend to be a good size. You may be able to catch live shrimp at the bayous and the bays at this time of year.

"If we can't get live shrimp, we'll carry live cocahoes. Most bait shops generally will have these if they don't have live shrimp. We depend on Bordages Marina, La France Fishing Camp and Bay Marina tackle shops for bait."

Tusa explains that fishermen usually will catch 12- to 24-inch trout around Thanksgiving.

"The trout generally school up by size, so we may fish one point and catch 12-inch trout and then fish another point and catch 16- to 24-inch trout," he said. "In the marsh, during November, the redfish can be rat reds or bull reds. This month, the bull reds begin to push up into the marsh, and the slot reds will start schooling up, six to 12 fish at a time.

"Our slot limit in the Louisiana Marsh is 16 to 27 inches, and you can have one redfish over 27 inches."

A typical trip this month with two anglers will include eight or 10 reds, so they get their limits of five redfish each. Tusa also mentions that his customers generally can catch 40 or 50 trout fairly easily.

"And with the 25-per-person limit on trout (in Louisiana waters), two people fishing often go home with their limits of both redfish and trout," he said. "Because of the barrier islands off Mississippi's coast, we have some protection where we fish from the wind and the weather. Unless we have severe weather, we usually can fish most days.

"The flounder start coming in this month, too. You'll find some really nice-sized flounder holding up against the banks where they stack up thicker than they do in the early fall. The flounder may be spawning at this time of year, because they tend to stay in larger groups this month than they do at other times. When you catch one flounder, you'll have a really good chance of catching four or five more in the same spot. Flounder usually are an incidental catch in November. But we generally catch three or four flounder when we're fishing down the banks in the marsh for the redfish."

To fish in the Louisiana Marsh, you must have a Louisiana fishing license. When you leave Mississippi to fish in the Louisiana Marsh, you have to return to the dock after you finish fishing the Louisiana Marsh. You can't stop and fish in Mississippi unless you have a Mississippi as well as fish that meet Mississippi's limits. Louisiana's size limits on trout and reds are 12 and 16 inches, respectively. Mississippi has limits of 13 inches for trout and 18 inches for redfish.

"If you'll be keeping fish the legal length limit in Louisiana, return straight to the dock," Tusa said. "Although the fish you've caught in Louisiana are the legal length there, they won't be the legal length if you're fishing in Mississippi."

 

To contact Capt. Matthew Tusa, call 228-342-2206 or email capt_mike@shorethingcharters.com.