GMM Vacation at Home: Adventures on the gulf

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - People come from miles away to visit South Mississippi. One of the main attractions – fishing our rich gulf waters.  Yet how many of us who live and work here, can say we've ever taken time to charter a boat for a day?

"I just wish they'd all get out and see what this place has to offer," Captain Tom Becker said.

Becker has been chartering boats for 27 years. Most of his customers are from out of town, but Becker says he's trying to change that. His message to locals is simple: 'We're here and we're available.'

"Whatever they want to do, whatever type of fishing, whatever type of sightseeing, or whatever, we're glad to do it for 'em," said Becker.

He and his crew make it easy, especially for the inexperienced fisher. All you have to do is fish. They take care of taking your catch off the hook and cleaning it.

When asked what people are missing out on by not taking advantage of this opportunity, Skipper replied, "An experience of a lifetime for a lot of people. Because there are so many different types of fish you can catch here.  It's something you read about, but you never do."

Becker says the possibilities are endless the farther you go out.  Jack Crevalles, redfish, snapper, even sharks.

"They're having a ball with these things because they're big. They put up a fight, and we stand and watch," joked Becker.

Becker said his customers are just looking for a good time. And that's what they get, whether they catch a fish or not.

"It's just something they can experience once in a lifetime maybe. But just to get out here and enjoy a day out on the water is just, you know, it's something if you've never done it, it's something you may want to look at," Becker said.

Becker is president of the Gulf Coast Charter Boats Association. He said there are about 75 licensed charter boat captains in south Mississippi. If you'd like to learn more about scheduling a trip, click here.

Another option for families this summer, is a Biloxi shrimp tour.  Shrimping is a major part of our seafood industry.  So why not climb aboard, and see what it takes to catch the coast delicacy?

The crew gives you a complete history lesson and demonstration of the art of shrimping. You get to see first hand what it takes to get shrimp from the water, to your plate.  The tour lasts about 70 minutes, and leaves from the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

To learn more about the Biloxi Shrimping tour, click here or call (228) 392-8645.

And finally, it's been a coast favorite for decades. Ship Island Excursions offer families a relaxing ride out to the beautiful barrier island. The Skrmetta family has been operating their island excursions for 85 years.

Ship Island is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and boasts miles of natural beach and a rich history.  Enjoy a stroll around Fort Massachusetts, or a dip in the clear waters as they gently lap against the beach.  And be on the lookout for dolphins!

Ship Island Excursions offer short, half, or full-day trips.  To learn more about departure times and prices, click here or call (228) 164-1014.

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