The 2013 recreational red snapper fishing season isn't over just yet. The Gulf Council recently voted to extend the season up to 21 days starting on Oct. 1.
This comes after the Council awarded the recreational industry a 44-day season in June only to reduce the it to 28 total days. The total number of fishing days for the extended season will be announced in mid-August.
The extended season is good news for South Mississippi charter boats since October traditionally marks the beginning of a slow down period following the summer season. It also comes when water temperatures began to drop and red snapper fishing is at its best around the shallow water oil rigs and reefs built by the Gulf Fishing Banks and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources in Biloxi.
The limit remains at two-fish per person and a minimum size limit of 15-inches.
"I love it," said Jay Trochesset, captain of the Silver Dollar II out of Biloxi. "Some people say September is better, but that is not true. October is much better because the water is cooler and the fish feed better. I wish they would open the [red] snapper season every year in October.
"The fall is the best time for charter boats. We're going to run trips in June anyway. October is a win-win situation for everybody. It's great news for the anglers because fishing is better and it's great news for charter boats all along the Gulf Coast because it creates trips we would not have had. It's excellent news.''
Despite periods of heavy rainfall in the Pascagoula and Bay St. Louis areas, nearshore fishing continues to be solid. In Pascagoula, the small islands near Ingalls have been steady on large redfish as well as speckled trout along the rock piles at the mouth of the Pascagoula River.
The waters around Pass Marianne Light continues to be solid on speckled trout while the Jourdan and Pearl River remain steady for bass despite muddy water conditions.
Also, reports continue to be strong for bull redfish around Dog Keys Pass near Ship Island and on the outside of the barrier islands. Sharks, the larger species like blacktip and spinners, have been spotted behind shrimp boats anchored on the south side of the islands.
Trochesset said the water temperature around Horn Island had dipped to 80.3 degrees late Tuesday due to the recent rainfall.
"It should be 84 or 85 degrees right now," he said. "The rain has dropped the temperature and the salinity level, too. We need better weather but we are still catching a few fish."
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