Fishing along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is great in October.

The air is cooling, water temperatures are still comfortable, and many different species of fish are feeding heavily. But something else that is prevalent this time of year — biting flies.

“Everything would be perfect this time of year if not for the bugs,” said Delvin Dubroc of Long Beach. “The weather and the fishing are great, but the bugs can make it tough on some days, especially when there is very little wind.” 

To combat the pesky critters, Dubroc uses Ben’s Insect Repellent with 100-percent DEET. 

“I used to use the 30-percent formula, but the 100 lasts much longer and just does a better job,” he said. “For some reason, these bugs seem to love my ankles more than anything else, so I spray them down real good. And I lightly spray everything else, including my face and head.”

Other fishermen in Mississippi and Louisiana have different formulas, many made and concocted at home with either a vanilla base, or with scents from stores like Victoria’s Secrets.

Perhaps the best protection is clothing, long sleeves and long pants.

Dubroc wears lightweight performance fishing shirts with hoods, often wearing the hood throughout the day.

“Its main purpose is to keep the sun off my neck and bald head, but it helps keep the bugs away, too,” he said.