Bridge pilings attract spawning black drum

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Welcome to the online version of the Fish and Game Report on WLOX. Our goal is to bring you, the readers and viewers, the latest on fishing and hunting from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula and all points in between.

This will include fishing tips and hot spots for the weekend and we encourage emails of photos showing off a catch or two with the name of the person, the age and the general location where the fish was caught, since most anglers do not like to give away exact locations. Just email them to and we'll post them on

Nonetheless, welcome aboard as we explore the excellent fishing that the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi Sound and the river systems of South Mississippi have to offer.

Personally, I experienced a first this week while fishing with my friends Captain Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis and Johnny Marquez of CCA, Mississippi.

Basically, the old saying that you learn something new every day came true.

Throughout my many years on the water, I've experienced a one-on-one battle with a 750-pound blue marlin off the mouth of the Mississippi River, landing a 190-pound yellowfin tuna and a three-hour fight with a 500-pound Mako shark.

But the targeted fish on this trip were black drum and redfish with an eye on a possible speckled trout. It was fun and different and an experience that anyone with a boat can enjoy, especially if you're a parent.

During the month of May and into the first two weeks of June, black drum move toward the pilings around the many bridges in South Mississippi, including Bay St. Louis and the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge, to spawn. That means easy access and no long boat rides to fish the barrier islands or the offshore waters.

More importantly, its fast-paced and certain to peak the attention of young anglers. This trip featured hook ups within every four or five minutes.

The best bait during this time of the year for drum is fresh dead blue crab. Take the shell and claws off the crab and cut the body into four sections.

When using dead crab for bait, chances are the strike on the other end will be a black drum or redfish. In comparison, when using cut bait or dead shrimp, anglers must deal with hardhead catfish, croaker and pinfish among others.

Next, equip a fishing reel with at least 15-pound test line and attach a 25-pound mono leader and use a small circle hook.

The middle section of the Bay St. Louis Bridge has a water depth between 10 and 13-feet. The key is to anchor the boat under the bridge and cast toward the pilings. Then hold on because it's that easy.

Like many other species, you will lose a few fish in the pilings and you will land a few, so have plenty extra tackle on hand.

There are no creel or size limits on black drum, but the fish that weighed more than 10 or 15 pounds will likely have worms and are often released.

Give it a try and you will be hooked – just like me.

Buckle up and take a kid fishing.

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