BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi anglers are coming off a slow weekend due to high winds and rainfall that directly impacted fishing from the beachfront to the barrier islands. But the Labor Day Weekend looks promising from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula as nearshore fishing continues to rebound.
And live bait – such as shrimp and croakers – should be plentiful even though anglers are urged to prepare for long lines at bait shops with a busy weekend expected.
"It [live bait] is getting better," Kenny Dinero of Ocean Springs Marine Mart. "We were blown out on Sunday because the weather was so bad and didn't do very good on Monday."
On Tuesday, we caught plenty of live shrimp and croakers and we're doing alright with dead bait, too. We caught 50 pounds of live shrimp on Tuesday and that was in three hours. We should be fine for the weekend."
In terms of fishing, captain Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis, said anglers should concentrate on speckled trout, redfish and white trout off the beachfront reefs during the early to mid morning hours.
The south side of Cat Island remains solid for speckled trout and white trout have been abundant in Smugglers Cove on dead shrimp and cut bait.
"Go early or go deep because it is going to hot," he said. "Speckled trout fishing should be great in an around the man-made reefs off Hancock County. The Taylor Reef, Jail House and the Bayou Caddy reef should all be holding good size trout. Fish the breaks and points where the moving water is and use live shrimp on a Carolina Rig for the best action.
"Do not be surprised if a big bull red or huge black drum shows up to the party either. If the water is calm and clean, diving birds off the beach should have white trout and all the action you could ever stand. A simple popping cork with a soft plastic under it, is all it takes."
Schindler said the afternoon hours is a great time to target tripletail, especially around the western edge of the Mississippi Sound. Tripletail have also been reported back to the east near the Pascagoula channel.
"For those leaving later in the day, why not give tripletail a try?" he said. "The hotter the better for these delicious and hard fighting fish. Look for anything floating [buoys, markers and debris] and watch for a large dark blob around it.
"If and when you see one, simply a pitch a live shrimp near it and hang on! Tripletail must be 18 inches and you're allowed to keep three [fish] per person in Mississippi waters."