Capt. Michael Moore, owner and operator of Strictly Business Fishing Charters based out of Biloxi, captains all the Strictly Charters fishing vessels, including the "Ms. Darsy" and a tour boat that takes 49 passengers on a trip to catch shrimp and other marine life, hear a history of Biloxi and enjoy light-tackle fishing for trout, flounder and ground mullet.

If you go offshore on the Ms. Darsy, you can choose the fish you want to catch during red snapper season. Once snapper season begins, Moore prefers to fish the rigs around 50 miles offshore that not many other people fish.

"The red snapper we brought in at the end of last season averaged 10 to 15 pounds each," Moore says. "We consistently can catch that size of snapper on just about anything from a broken stick loaded with hooks to live bait.

"Live croakers and pinfish are some main baits we use to catch snapper. We fish with fluorocarbon line that's difficult to see, and try to get the bait as far away from the lead as possible."

Moore puts a slip sinker up the line to fall away from the live bait when the sinker falls to the bottom. Moore's favorite way to catch snapper is with a contraption he's named the chumsicle - a fish popsicle.

Moore knows that using a chumsicle on a downrigger is very effective for catching big snapper.

"I put a brick in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket, fill-up the bucket with crawfish and chum, and then freeze it," he said. "When we get out near a rig, I'll drop the bucket about 150-feet deep on a downrigger. After about 10 minutes, I'll crank the downrigger up about 25 feet and let the bucket sit for another 10 minutes. I'll continue to raise the bucket and pull the fish from the bottom, away from the rig, right up to the back of the boat. Just be patient. We use this tactic when our customers want to catch large fish.

"If you use the Chum Churn or put out large chunks of chum in a running current, the snapper may come up 50 to 100 yards behind the boat. But the chumsicle brings that entire community of snapper up from the bottom to the back of our boat. Then, our anglers can pick out the snapper they want to catch and cast their baits right in front of the snapper they want to hook."

Moore has seen as much as 100 yards of snapper come up. He fishes with 50-pound-test fluorocarbon for snapper high on the water. Moore suggests baiting with small pinfish and croakers because the snapper will eat those baits much faster than bigger live baits. Moore has learned that the big snapper are more cautious when a big bait is behind the chumsicle.

Another advantage of using the chumsicle is after you've caught your limit of red snapper, you also can catch grey snapper, often called mangrove snapper or black snapper. Moore changes his bait from live pinfish and croakers to live shrimp, and uses 20-pound-test-fluorocarbon line and a small-shank hook to fish for grey snapper, which are very wary and somewhat line-shy. Downsizing your tackle means you'll catch more and bigger grey snapper.

"I've seen days when the grey snapper are bigger than the red snapper, averaging 10 to 15 pounds," Moore said. "The limit on grey snapper is much more liberal than the limit on red snapper."

 

June cobia

The cobia migration started early this year, with the first fish caught in March. Biloxi fishermen have had a productive year on migrating cobia. By June, many of the fish will be working their way to the offshore rigs.

"The medium-sized cobia on the rigs will weigh 30 to 40 pounds in June," Moore said. "But I can produce bigger cobia (60 to 80 pounds) that are cruising by anchoring on the bars and chumming instead of fishing on the rigs in June."

When Moore's fishing the bars, he uses the Chum Churn and starts chunking with big pieces of bait.

"To fish for cobia, you want a long stream of chum behind the boat to get the cobia to feed up to your boat," Moore said.

Also this technique may give anglers chances to catch sharks or redfish.

 

Contact Capt. Mike Moore at www.biloxifishing.com, or call 228-392-4047 for more information.