SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - South Mississippi's brief encounter with Tropical Storm Karen and this week's cold front is expected to shake up the fall fishing along Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, starting this weekend.
The late season tropical storm clipped the mouth of the Mississippi River before heading to the east along the Florida Panhandle. In return, a southeast flow pushed water along with baitfish and shrimp into the Mississippi Sound as it shifted to the east.
Matt Hill, fisheries bureau director for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said Karen and the sold front should have a positive impact on fishing through the weekend and the end of the red snapper season on the 14th.
"Tropical disturbances seems to stirs things up [bottom of the Gulf of Mexico]," Hill said. "In the past, we've seen baitfish school up tighter, especially with menhaden. But we usually do not follow that [tropical weather] up with a cold front like we've had.
"I think the cold front will have a big impact on fishing. I think we're going to find out because a lot of people are going to take advantage of the last few days of snapper fishing. With the weather as nice as it is and following the storm and cold front, I can't see how fishing can't be good."
Hill also noted that fishing was at a standstill for the eight-to-ten days due to Karen and the impact of stiff north winds associated with the cold front that invaded South Mississippi early Monday morning.
"Another factor is the fish haven't been pressured [by anglers]," Hill said. "There hasn't been a lot of pressure because of the weather and now that's about to change. With the storm, the cold front and little fishing pressure it will be good for fishing."
The weekend also looks solid for the nearshore fishing scene based on a strong tidal range starting on Friday.
On Friday, low tide is set for 2:37 in the morning with high tide at 3:14 pm with a rage of 2.6 feet. On Saturday, low is at 3:33 am with high tide at 4:21 pm and a range of 2.5 feet. Low tide on Sunday will be at 4:20 with high tide set for 5:46 and a range of 2.3 feet.
"Storms also bring in cooler water temperatures," Hill said. "Anytime the water temperature drops two-to-three degrees, you will have [fish] activity from that alone. With seas at one foot or less, great tides and water temperatures down, it's going to be a great weekend to fish.
"Regardless of the storm. But that adds to it."