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Big Fish=Big Smiles

It has been one heck of run the past few months. The guides are having more trouble finding time for repairs, maintenance, and family then anything. The only thing that has remained constant the last week has been the heat. We have gotten flat calm seas, with no wind one day, and breezy/choppy the next. As usual, the calmer days have found the boats way to the south in the LA Marsh. We have had some familiar Shore Thing faces around the dock all week. My dear friend Scott Emmel, his wife CJ and his Dad Joe were in town. Scott usually takes his R&R from the Army back home in Bay St Louis. We have been on some "interesting" trips over the years. One trip many years back, involved a trip to the ER for yours truly. I slipped getting off the boat and busted my chin wide open(5 days before my wedding). This go round, it was much more fishing than bleeding. I did take a split shot weight to the forehead, but it only left a scratch.
In the nice calm seas, we covered 70 miles that day. His wife CJ caught her first ever speckled trout, shark, and bull red. Scott an I have tried for years to get him a triple tail. Happy to say, he got his first and second. Both were tagged n released, but still cool to finally scratch that one off the list.
With the unbelievable amount of bait(rain minnows, pogies, mullet) in the marsh, the fish seem to have too much to chose from. When you find fish, they are both fat and stacked up. Capt Kenny got to enjoy an all out bull fish feeding frenzy with the Kitchens Crew. Mrs Cynthia and her grandson Guydon got treated to big fish knuckle busting brawl. Luckily Guydon, now in his mid teens is bigger than almost of our guides. Fighting big bull reds on light tackle is just up his alley. The bull reds have been rather thick inside the bays and around the shell islands of the marsh. Most of the guides have been seeing them crashing through schools of mullet and pogies. The bulls reek havoc on the speckled trout fishing, but lord are they fun to catch.
With the younger anglers heading back to school shortly, the next generation has been represented well on all the boats. Capt Darren had a lil fella on his boat earlier in the week that even brought his own pole. Capt D found a mess of school trout and put that lil dude to work. He chuckled pretty good telling the story. The reel ratio on those "snoopy" type poles is less than 1 to 1, meaning you have to reel like a 100 times to get a couple of feet of line back. Capt D said lil man could cast his bait as far as the adults but about wore himself out cranking in trout because his line was so far out. The entire crew was tickled pink seeing the lil guy put in work.
The Mikell crew had a good one earlier in the week too. They mainly fresh water fish in central MS, so when Mike, Erin and Sam got introduced to our saltier fish, it was something to see. Sam did most of the work on the trout and drum. Mr Mike was able to grab a nice slot red, but Mrs Erin got big fish honors with her huge sea monster. Fish du jour, had to be the huge triple tail we saw on the surface on our way home. Sam wrestled the big fish in, an I told him he was probably the only person in his school that can say they did that today. 
Capt Matt was treated to an oldie but goodie this week. "Tugboat" Joe was in town with his friend Roxy. Joey has been fishing with us for over 8 years, and was on the first few trips the Late Great Uncle Jessie McMicheal (RIP) made with us. Joey is absolutely ate up with red fishing, and Capt Matt is one of our go to red fish guides. Even though the slot red fishing on the east side of the marsh has been on the slower side, they made it look easy. Joey never leaves home with out his Matrix Shads and Boat Monkey Corks.
Somehow got hoodwinked into working a double on Tuesday with the bunch from Guice Offshore. Brothers Nathan and Billy Guice booked the date, but both thought they were both fishing and the other one was off. Billy wanted to fish the morning and Nathan could only bring the kids in the afternoon. Long story short, I topped the boat off with fuel and  ran both the morning and the afternoon trip. The weather was awesome on both outings. Billy's crew dropped out, so it would just be he an I. We set up on some trout, in a shallow lagoon (2 feet) over some shells. The lagoon was one giant moving ball of bait. The trout were right against the banks of the points and smaller islands. I can only assume the reason for that was because of the big fish slashing through the bait fish. All around us were: dolphins, bull reds, jack crevalle, and sharks. We were working on some stud trout. I was throwing the Boat Monkey over a Matrix shad and Billy was throwing live bait under his Boat Monkey. One 3 foot spinner shark put an end to our fun when he ate my soft plastic and freaked out against the bank. We did find some gigantic bull reds tailing in shallow water. Billy had caught one earlier in the morning, and wanted nothing to do with them. He was fishing away from the bank and had just put a hearty flounder on ice. "If your gonna do it, just get it over with", was all he had to say and I launched a big finger mullet right in front of a brute. I have caught a few big ones over the years, but this one kicked my butt. I was fishing with my Okuma Ceymar 30 on a very light rod. Pretty certain, I was the weakest link in that chain. We got the big girl in the boat, snapped a few pics and let her go to fight another day.
That afternoon Nathan brought is youngest son Deacon and his lil buddy Carter. Glass calm seas, I think we only saw 1 boat in the marsh all afternoon. We were drifting big live baits through the big schools of pogies and rain minnows for big fish. What a freaking day! We had big sharks actually circling the boat, big jacks and bull reds smashing the pogies right next to us, and massive tarpon rolling in every direction. Nathan an I were trying like made to get one of the tarpon to eat one of our mullet, but the other critters would give them a chance. If the baits were in the water more than a minute, the sharks or jacks or bull reds were nailing them.  It was non stop big fish action, but very very frustrating not being able to get those tarpon. We will be back to settle the score with the silver kings...
Capt Matt an I ran a 2 boat trip thanks to a blast from the past, Joey Beattie. The winds kept us in close but this crew had me and Matt in stitches all day. This rowdy bunch, led by Brett "The Cajun Buddah, or T-Buddah" kept things interesting to say the least. Joey an I were catching up from our high school and USM gossip while some big ole fat keeper trout were coming over the rail. Our crew Noah and Jeb did fantastic drifting big live baits over some of the structures without snagging up. Had to break out the net more than the fish ruler, and that is always a good problem. Capt Matt crew housed our boat on the big fish, they stayed hooked up on the drums. One of the guys on his boat, Marcus, had never caught a fish. When Matt introduced him to our resident black drums, he made a friend for life. We sent the merry band of misfits with several bags of fillets to The Blind Tiger in down town Bay St Louis to have their fresh trout cooked. Another day in paradise...

ESTABLISHED IN 2003. The Largest inshore fishing company on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Specializing in
speckled trout, redfish, flounder, tripletail, black drum and more! We fish the Louisiana Marsh, the Mississippi Barrier Islands and many other areas. Our full-time fishing guides are extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and professional. We have many boats available - small and large groups are welcome. Anglers under the age of 13 fish for free! All of our boats and guides are licensed to fish in Mississippi and Louisiana. We supply rods, reels, tackle, snacks, drinks, ice, fuel, bait, and fun. No charge for fish cleaning and bagging. Be sure and ask about our all inclusive overnight fishing packages to the Cat Island House. www.shorethingcharters.com or 228-342-2206.
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