• Inshore Fishing

    The author caught this short redfish on a Z-Man Finesse TRD fishing the recently dredged section of Simmons Bayou.

    Scout on low-tide days

    Welcome to January, when it’s typically colder than a well digger’s keister in Montana.

    The cool thing about January — pun intended — is that we have some extremely low tides when a big tide range is met with a stout north wind.

    The resultant larger low tide exposes more of the bayou bottom for all to see.

    January 09, 2017 at 8:35am
    Mississippi's coastal fishermen will soon face a new minimum length of 15 inches on speckled trout. The Commission on Marine Resources gave final approval to the change at Tuesday's meeting in Biloxi, and expect the new rule to be effective by mid January.

    CMR gives final approval for speck changes

    As expected, Mississippi’s Commission on Marine Resources (CMR) on Tuesday gave its final approval on a new 15-inch minimum length limit on speckled trout caught in coastal waters.

    December 14, 2016 at 9:30am
    Heath Hillman caught these two nice trout on a Heddon Spook Jr.

    Same baits, different retrieves

    What in the cat hair is going on? He’s not walking the dog, he’s — dragging the dog.

    Heath Hillman, pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ocean Springs, and I were fishing a productive area around Biloxi not too long ago. Heath was using a Heddon Super Spook Jr. with a chartreuse head and white body; I was using the same lure but with a solid bone body.

    December 08, 2016 at 9:00am
    Mississippi's Commission on Marine Resources on Tuesday rescinded an earlier decision that would have closed the season on speckled trout Jan. 1-March 31 2017, virtually eliminating the winter season when fish are inshore.

    Commission voids speck season closure

    In a surprise move, and two days prior to a public hearing on speckled trout, the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources voted 4-1 on Tuesday in Pascagoula to rescind a three-month closure on specks in 2017.

    The decision negates a vote held at the Commission’s October meeting that would have closed Mississippi’s coastal waters to recreational speckled trout fishing from Jan. 1 to March 31 next year.

    November 15, 2016 at 12:10pm
    The Mississippi coast is a great option when weather turns a little too warm for hunting.

    Too hot to hunt? Go fish!

    Believe in climate change or not, you have to admit that there is no shortage of warm days in the fall and winter hunting seasons.

    November 14, 2016 at 6:00am
    This fat redfish crushed a shrimp creole Matrix Shad fished off the ledge of a small drain.

    Let tide charts lead you to the trout

    Here we are, folks. We made it to November.

    Magic 93.7 is playing Christmas music, cool days and cold nights are here, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is on the horizon.

    November 09, 2016 at 9:00am
    A public hearing will be held Nov. 17 in Biloxi by the Department of Marine Resources to discuss recently announced changes in speckled trout regulations in an attempt to protect Mississippi's popular speck fishery.

    Hearing on speck proposals set for Nov. 17

    A public hearing on the management of speckled trout in Mississippi’s coastal waters has been scheduled for Nov. 17 in Biloxi, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has announced.

    November 07, 2016 at 9:10am
    Anglers like Mississippi Sportsman columnist Sam Davis won't be able to keep any speckled trout for the first three months of 2017 after the season was closed to protect the stock.

    Speck fishing closure proposed for January through March

    In a surprise move, Mississippi’s Commission of Marine Resources announced it's intent to implement a three-month recreational closure of trout fishing at their monthly meeting today, according to a Gulfport angler who attended the meeting.

    “The closure shocked the crap out of me,” Alex Smith told Mississippi Sportsman. “It came out of the blue; a commissioner just proposed it, and it was approved.

    “There was no comment. I think people were just shocked.”

    October 18, 2016 at 2:32pm
    Keeping the sun at your back and wearing polarized glasses to more easily see underwater will help you catch more shallow-water reds in the marsh, according to Chas Champagne

    Best bets for shallow reds

    Chas Champagne is on the water more than 200 days a year, and when he’s not pursuing speckled trout in Lake Pontchartrain you can bet he’s heading for duck ponds in search of feisty redfish.

    October 16, 2016 at 6:00am
    The larger trout Johnson catches are typically roaming the dark edge of lighted docks.

    Under the lights - Night-fishing not just for summer

    Fishing at night is a tactic strictly used during the summer to prevent your face from melting off. Everybody knows that.

    But Gulfport’s Kyle Johnson told — and showed — me differently.

    October 10, 2016 at 8:15am
    In September, the waters of the Mississippi Sound and the barrier islands, and even the bays of the coastal rivers begin to fill with schools of redfish. It’s a great month to get at the fish.

    Redfish here, redfish there

    Doesn’t matter whether you like to fight the big bulls or try to catch slot redfish you can keep and eat, there’s plenty of both in September and plenty of places to find them.

    September 13, 2016 at 6:00am
    Half traps from Bama Crab Traps are all you need for recreational crabbing.

    Don’t be crabby this month

    Every time I sit down to write, I look at the previous year’s column for the same month to make sure I’m not writing about the same topic using the same sources.

    I got into this habit because of something that happened at my home church, Pine Grove Baptist in Carmichael, a few years ago.

    September 08, 2016 at 9:00am
    Biologists say speckled trout are over-fished and that the species is no longer capable of sustaining the population without tighter fishing restrictions.

    Tighter speck limits ‘coming’

    Mississippi is headed for a reduction in its speckled trout limits, and changes in both the daily creel and the allowable length on the popular game fish could soon be enacted.

    “It’s coming,” said Department of Marine Resources (DMR) executive director Jamie Miller, “if not at the September meeting, then October. Everything is on the table — size limits, slot limits, bag limits and even season closures.”

    August 18, 2016 at 3:20pm
    Capt. Terry Snow caught this nice griller redfish fishing a jig and soft plastic on a shallow grass line.

    Fish don't like the heat either

    “Boy it’s hot. This is hot. It never got this hot in Brooklyn. This is like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.” Eugene Morris Jerome, the character played by Matthew Broderick in the movie Biloxi Blues

    I quote that line about 8 a.m. every day I fish during the summer, which is usually followed by my wife lovingly stating, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

    The older I get the more I’m affected by the brutal summertime heat, so to keep my trout hand strong I set the alarm clock early to ensure I’m on the water before the sun comes up.

    August 10, 2016 at 9:00am
    Locating trout schools is easy when birds are picking, but there are some keys to maximizing your effort.

    Taking trout to school

    Scanning the horizon for flocks of diving birds feasting on shrimp is a tried-and-true method for locating schools of speckled trout across Louisiana’s coast.

    July 17, 2016 at 6:00am
    Mississippi offers plenty of action in the surf, so it’s just a matter of understanding the best tactics.

    Magnolia surfing

    Capt. Glenn Ellis and I arrived at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor well before daylight, launched his boat and headed south.

    July 11, 2016 at 9:00am