One bonus of the October arrival of hunting seasons is decreased fishing pressure on inland and coastal waters of Mississippi. That it coincides with a time when many saltwater and freshwater species are entering major feeding periods creates an ideal situation for hard-core anglers.

On the Gulf Coast, to fishermen like Columbia native Tommy Sutton, it means calm weather and shallow action.

“Two main things that October gives us are some of the most dependable weather and kindest water conditions of the year,” said Sutton, who fishes the Mississippi Sound from Cat Island to the Biloxi Marsh. “That means we can make more trips without worrying about rough seas.

“Cooling water temperatures also means hungry fish, especially redfish. They move to the shorelines of the barrier islands and the marsh and start feeding in big schools. You can wear yourself out on bull reds, but I like to get deeper into the marsh and look for the slot fish (legal keepers), and it’s like bass fishing, only more fun when you hook up.”

Sutton also likes chasing speckled trout; the key is finding oyster beds.

“If you see those big white PVC poles marking a big area, that means an oyster fisherman has marked his area,” he said. “Trout get on those areas and feed like crazy. You can also look for diving birds; that’s a sure sign of schooling fish feeding on the surface.”

Enjoy the month, and be safe out there.