Spent the first part of last week out at the Cat Island House, and the last part of the week down in Florida for a lil R&R. Of course the second I leave town the boys have one of the best hauls of the year.
Tuesday through Thursday me, Capt Matt and Chef Frank "The Real Deal" McNeil had a great trip out to the Cat Island House. Joining us was a group from Coca Cola. Mike Delaney was nice enough to set up the 3 day 2 night trip with five VIP's. Before the crew got out to the island, The Mayor of Cat Island himself, Walter Gaudin gave me a quick tour of where the brush fire occurred two weeks prior. It was amazing to see how much land the fire covered, but it actually looked like a good thing. The underbrush was so thick, it was probably a blessing. Two short weeks later, and green grass was already growing 6 inches high everywhere. From everything we saw, Cat Island is going to be just fine and the raccoons appear to be fat and happy.
We did all got a little nervous after the first afternoon of fishing. The conditions were very nice, but the fishing was a little slow. Capt Matts crew came in with a couple of reds. Besides a big Jack Crevalle and a couple lady fish and catfish, my boat pretty much struck out. The next morning, the winds were honking and the water was high and dirty. We did not have many options, but we had to try. Turned out to be one heck of a morning bite. Capt Kenny even showed up out at the island with the Hauler crew on their last day of their 4 day adventure. All three boats started grabbing specks, whites and red fish, but it was Capt Kenny's crew that landed on an absolute parade of slot reds. The parade would not quit for the next two days.
Before we could get to the shoreline Kenny was working that first morning, his crew already had their limit and they were releasing fish. We picked up right where they left off, and were well on our way when Capt Matts crew joined us. Counting what we released, I think the three boats caught close to 50 reds that first morning. With the dirty and high water, we were only using the Boat Monkey Popping corks, 16 inch leaders and 3/8 oz jig heads with Matrix soft plastics. Tipping the baits made all the difference, but took a little experimenting. The pinfish, lady fish, catfish and croakers would rob the live or dead shrimp tips instantly so we had to use cut baits. One good throw with the cast net and we had a all the mullet we needed. A small postage stamp sized piece of cut mullet lasted much longer on the hook, and caught way more red fish and flounder than a shrimp tip.
As usual the food was off the charts out at the island, thanks to Chef Frank "From da West Bank" McNeil. The jumbo boiled shrimp, boiled crabs, gumbo, fried trout, pastas and his endless desserts of Chef Franks "Cajun Southern Cooking" were out of this world. Not much in the way of trout on this trip, but we sent the boys home with two big ice chests full of red fish and flounder.
I put my boat away on Thursday and jumped right in the family truckster, headed for Destin, FL. The rest of the Shore Thing guides were busy in coal mine. Friday, we had a three boat trip in close with the Intercontinental Hotel Group. They ran the entire trip out of Old Town Bay St. Louis. The group stayed at Mrs Nikki Moons Bed n Breakfast, "The Bay Town Inn". They requested to get picked up at the the new BSL Harbor, across the street, so they could simply walk to the boats. Even after a great day of catching speckled trout, red fish, flounder, and sheepshead, they had their fresh catch prepared at The Blind Tiger Restaurant next to the Harbor. No one ever had to crank a car, the entire day was done with in the same small city block.
From the looks of the pictures I kept getting on Saturday, many fish died. I promised my family I would not talk on the phone while on vacation, so it was not until Sunday night I got the scoop (it was killing me). The unbelievable pictures did not do the story justice either. Capt Kenny told me about how 7 boats returned to the dock with over SIX HUNDRED FISH!!! The boats were all down in the LA Marsh throwing double tight lined soft plastics for white trout and speckled trout. He said the bite was soo good that he had a guy on his boat loose one of his plastics on the double rig. He told the angler to cast back out and see what would happen. Kenny said the guy caught 5 big white trout in 5 casts on a bare jig head! Capt Darren sent a picture with one of his guys that had 3 trout on a double rig. From the looks of the picture, it seems as though two trout hit the hooks and one trout got greedy and got snagged in the swivel. In between the white trout and speckled trout massacre, the boys also did a number on the slot reds and big bull reds.
It is safe to say that fall fishing is here. Cooler temperatures and red hot fishing should be on the menu for the next several weeks. If yall wanna join us, simply call, text or email. Thanks
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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