In June, anglers can catch the biggest trout of the year off Mississippi's Gulf Coast, according to Capt. Kyle Jarreau, who guides out of Bay St. Louis and fishes the marsh.

"The big sow trout generally move into the marsh and onto the grass beds around the full moon in June," he said. "Also, the big trout will be on the oyster reefs, especially those inside the marsh. If you can locate grass beds inside the marsh, you also will catch big trout there.

"We generally find our biggest trout the week before or after the full moon. My biggest trout weighed about 6 pounds. We rarely catch 8- to 9-pounders in the marsh. On an average day with three people fishing, we often will catch 50 to 60 speckled trout that will be from 13 inches to 6 pounds.

"The big trout usually will position themselves in one or two places when you find working birds. Either they'll be under the smaller trout near the surface or holding on the outer edge of the school."

In June, many inshore fishermen will start fishing under the birds. The speckled trout and redfish will school under the shrimp and the baitfish, forcing them to the surface. The seagulls will spot the bait and start diving on it. Those schools of shrimp and baitfish either will have to stay down deep and risk being eaten by speckled trout or move up to the surface and possibly be eaten by seagulls.

When trying to catch big trout from under birds, Jarreau wants to get his bait down quickly.

"I'll use a Bass Assassin soft-plastic lure with either a 3/8- or a 1/4-ounce jighead to get that bait down to the bottom quickly before the little trout can eat it," he said. "Or I'll stay about 50 yards away from the diving birds, and fish the outer edges of the school.

"I've found that the bigger trout usually will be holding on the outer edges of the schooling trout and about 50 yards away from where the birds are working. So I'll start fishing well away from the working birds and then drift in under them. Most fishermen, when they see birds working, will go straight to the birds, never realizing that the bigger trout may be holding on the outer edges of the school. You can catch a lot of schooling-sized trout using this technique, but more than likely you'll miss the bigger trout."

Jarreau chooses firecracker, a clear color with red, white and blue flakes in it, as his favorite Bass Assassin lure color for June. He also likes the chicken on a chain color. He uses 12-pound-test Triple Fish line on spinning tackle.

In the Louisiana waters he fishes, anglers can keep 25 trout at least 12 inches long per person.

"We generally get a really good trout bite early in the morning," Jarreau said. "As June heats up and then into July, the bite gets shorter. But you can catch trout early in the morning and late in the afternoon. However, by fishing the first of June, the bite usually lasts longer in the morning and the afternoon."

Don't worry about the trout bite. When it's over, it's over, but your day of fishing hasn't ended. This month you also can enjoy productive fishing for redfish and blackfish.

"We usually try to catch redfish or blackfish (tripletail) after the speckled-trout bite has ended," Jarreau said.

Jarreau pinpoints redfish in drains flowing out of little bays and bayous and some of the deeper cuts and points coming out of the marsh.

"I prefer to find the redfish around the Kennedy area, a bayou with ports and drains," Jarreau said.

Last year, anglers enjoyed an exceptionally good year for tripletail all along the Mississippi Coast.

"The tripletail appeared the second week of May in our area, and we caught them through October," Jarreau said. "That's an unusually long tripletail season for us. Last year, we averaged catching three to four tripletail a day, after we caught our speckled trout and redfish."

Louisiana has no limit on tripletail; however, this year Mississippi enacted a three-fish per person per day limit, with a minimum length of 18 inches. But charter-boat captains like Jarreau can leave Bay St. Louis in Mississippi and fish the portions of the Biloxi Marsh in Louisiana, as long as they have Louisiana fishing licenses.

"I prefer to wait until the sun climbs high, generally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Jarreau said. "I look for any type of floating object on the surface of the water because the tripletail will get under logs, plastic bags, empty beer cartons and crab-pot buoys. Most of the time, we can see the tripletails and sight-cast to them with either big, live or dead shrimp. I usually put a popping cork up the line 6 to 8 inches from the bait."

When the tripletail takes the bait and the angler sets the hook, he'll need to have his drag set tight and use 20- to 30-pound-test main line and 4 to 5 feet of 20-pound-test fluorocarbon leader coming off the main line to successfully boat the tripletail.

"If the tripletail is holding on a crab-pot buoy, and we can see it, I'll try to position the boat so that when the angler hooks the tripletail, I can back the boat up and help pull the fish away from that crab pot," Jarreau said. "This way, the tripletail can't wrap the fishing line around the line connecting the buoy to the crab trap."

Jarreau's biggest tripletail weighed 18 pounds, and other anglers have caught tripletail in this region weighing over 20 pounds.

"Our average tripletail usually will weigh about 8 pounds, and those blackfish are the most delicious fish you'll ever taste," Jarreau said.

 

Contact Capt. Kyle Jarreau at (228) 324-5990 or (228) 342-2206, or go to www.shorethingcharters.com.