• Fishing

    Mississippi anglers will have more red snapper opportunities in 2018, thanks to a new program that gives states more control of the season.

    Red snapper season to open May 25

    It could become confusing, but fishermen on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast should be happy with the 2018 red snapper season announced Tuesday by the Department of Marine Resources.

    Yesterday at 9:10am
    Spooling line up to about a 1/16-inch away from the beveled edge on your baitcasting reel allows for optimal performance — and lessens your chances of creating a bird’s nest.

    Easy tip to prevent backlash

    Baitcasters are excellent tools for inshore anglers, offering capabilities not found in spinning reels.

    April 17 at 7:00am
    If the intake on your lower unit gets clogged, you’ll need something stiff like a thumbtack to clean out the gunk that got sucked in.

    Tiny tools that just might save your fishing trip

    We all want to have fun when we go fishing — not play mechanic out on the water.

    April 16 at 7:00am
    Driftmaster’s line of crappie-style rod holders make setting the hook using long rods much easier.

    Rodholders key to stalking crappie

    Driftmaster Rodholders, a division of Black River Tools, is the manufacturer of one of the most innovative rod holders designed specifically for spider-rigging for crappie. 

    April 15 at 7:00am
    Old school Mississippi crappie fishing means using a jig pole to search for crappie in the grass and is still a top producer for slabs this month. An 11- or 12-footer will allow anglers to reach deeper into the vegetation to get to fish others miss.

    The pros and cons of current

    Long is the debate over exactly how current, whether it be wind or water generated, has on crappie fishing. 

    April 15 at 7:00am
    After finding spawning shad on Lake Okatibbee, John Temple caught this spawned-out female largemouth.

    Scouting new water: It’s for the birds

    When Brock Mosley hits new water for the first time, he scouts … for birds.

    April 15 at 7:00am
    You can’t retrieve a MirrOlure too slowly; most strikes come when the bait is not moving.

    No need for speed; slow is good

    Lee Parsons emphasizes that many fishermen fish too fast, especially with stickbaits like MirrOlures. His retrieve includes plenty of twitches and pauses, with current providing most of the forward movement. The idea is not to see how much water can be covered, but to entice fish to strike.

    April 15 at 7:00am
    Pick a MirrOlure by size and shape to match baitfish in an area. From top, 14, 17 and 27 sizes.

    Match the hatch

    Guides Lee Parsons and Mark Dickson emphasize choosing lures that are the same body shape, size and color of the dominant forage in an area. Several of the Catch 2000 lures, plus the 52M and MR, TT and MirrOmullet, have the general body shape as a mullet, and all topwater MirrOlures have mullet shapes. The different sizes allow matching the size of the mullet that trout, drum and other predators are eating.

    April 15 at 7:00am
    In mid March, male crappie on Barnett had already turned black and moved shallow for the spawn. There's one lighter colored female in the bunch. Since April 1, both males and females are in deep water.

    Crappie yet to spawn on Barnett Reservoir

    It could happen today, but then, again, it might be tomorrow.

    April 13 at 2:50pm
    Paul Elias recommends that you fish the Zara Spook, pictured here, or the Whopper Plopper, at first light.

    Fish for Bogue Homa post-spawn bass in April

    April is a post-spawn bass month at Bogue Homa. The females will be coming off the bed, and they’ll want to feed up to help recover from the spawn. But they will still will be holding fairly close to the spawning area in shallow water.

    April 12 at 9:00am
    Jigging is an effective way to catch crappie in flood-control reservoirs. Notice, in the background, the absence of cover needed for successful crappie spawning.

    How do young crappie survive the winter

    Good crappie fishing often depends on a strong year-class: an abundance of fish produced in a given year. When those fish grow to a size of interest to anglers — what biologists call “recruit to the fishery” — the result is fast action, filled limits and full coolers. Fast growth and limited harvest often equates to super slabs for the next several years. 

    April 09 at 9:00am
    Crappie fisherman Hugh Krutz of Brandon recommends that Barnett Reservoir anglers pay their taxes early and target April 15 for a time to hit the peak of the crappie spawn on The Rez.

    April 15: Taxes or slabs at the Rez

    Most people mark April 15 on their calendars as a reminder that their income tax forms are due.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Brock Mosley grabs a bass while fishing an Elite Series tourney last season. Being versatile has helped the young pro advance, and it’s his best advice for other anglers.

    Don’t forget those post-spawn Mississippi bass

    Brock Mosley had cast a swim jig across a shallow flat, was working it through the pads stems, and …

    Wham!

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Guides Lee Parsons and Mark Dickson emphasize choosing lures that are the same body shape, size and color of the dominant forage in an area.

    Make mine a MirrOlure

    Fish can be caught any number of ways, but MirrOlures hold a special place with a number of saltwater fishermen, especially those who spend time in inshore waters.

    April 01 at 7:00am
    In April, cobia arrive in Mississippi’s coastal waters for their spawn. Fishermen take advantage by chumming for the curious fish.

    Visitors from the east: Here come the cobia

    One of April’s greatest gifts to Mississippi’s coastal anglers is the cobia, aka ling or lemonfish. Called “brownies” by some of its most avid pursuers, this delicious, feisty fish has been a traditional treasure on the Gulf Coast.

    March 27 at 1:00pm
    The new 15-inch size minimum on specks, combined with perfect timing of the Bonnet Carré Spillway openings, has boosted Mississippi’s catch.

    Year 1: New speck regs encouraging

    Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources are generally pleased with the first year of the regulations that raised the minimum length for speckled trout from 13 to 15 inches in 2017.

    March 27 at 12:00pm