Good gosh did we have to work for it the past couple of days, but we got it done. We have had everything thrown at us weather wise. If it hasn't been rain, it has been wind, ultra high water, and heat. Despite the conditions, we have been enjoying our time on the water, and have had some awesome trips.
The near shore fishing was our go to route earlier in the week. We either had crews that wanted to get in early, to beat the heat, or weather that limited where we could go. No matter the reason, the near shore reefs have saved the day. Even in the dirty rough water, we were able to find speckled trout, red fish, puppy drum and sheepshead. The go to rig was a Boat Monkey popping cork with a live shrimp under it. Got broke off and snagged off more times than I would like to admit, but the juice was worth the squeeze. Been nice to see the slot reds around. Last year in late summer, it was a lot of bull reds or rat reds. Hopefully those tasty slot sized fish are gonna make a big push in close early. Regardless, it has the makings of a banner fall bite, very close to the dock. This should make things much easier on those windy fall days when we cant make it down south to the LA Marsh.
Several of our crews last week took full advantage of The Blind Tiger Restaurant's partnership with Shore Thing Charters "Kill it and Grill it Special". I had two crews literally walk off the boat in the BSL Harbor with their cleaned fish directly into the The Tiger where their cooks expertly prepare it, and be eating it in less than 30 minutes!!! Where you gonna get a fresher fish dinner than that?!?!
We were able to sneak down to the LA Marsh a couple of times in the last few days. The ungodly amount of 11 1/2 and 11 3/4 speckled trout down there is almost too much to conceive. Those fish are feeding like mad and should all be fair game in the next couple of weeks. We are trying not to jinx it, but it has the makings of one heck of a fall trout bite. Capt Alex and I were able to get down there and do a little damage. We both got tired of picking through undersized trout, so we put our efforts into the reds. I had my old pal Mitch Merrell from Hattiesburg, along with our friends Riley and his wife Georgia. We knew we had a very small window in the weather, so we took it. In the 3 hours we got to fish we were able to have fun with some bull reds and bring home several tasty slot reds. We tangled with some big gars not once but twice that day. We made it in right ahead of nasty line of storms pushing through.
Alex was able to do the same, but he did more damage on the slot reds and was able to find more keeper trout. Keeping his triple tail streak alive, he was able to bring home some fatties before the storms chased him in. We have done a horrible job of keeping track of how many triple tails each of boats have been catching. None of our guides are that upset, because we know we would ALL be far behind Alex's numbers this year. He has been enfuego!
Captains Matt, Kenny, Chef Frank and myself just spent the last three days out at the Cat Island House with Sonny McAuthur. "Other" Sonny and his 10 buddies were back again this year and this trip was a challenge from the get go. We spent the first hour waiting at the Long Beach Harbor for a storm to pass. We were all a little nervous with that disturbance about to enter the Gulf of Mexico. We were on the phones constantly, getting any and all info we could, making extra sure we were well ahead of any serious weather. When we got to the island, another storm came through. The best thing about being out there though is that once the weather passes, you are fishing in a couple minutes. The rains quit, the winds dropped out and we were able to get in a couple of hours before the sun set. We got to play with the trout, jacks and bull reds before a big feast of boiled shrimp compliments of Chef Frank "The Real Deal" McNeil.
Day 2, we were greeted with a stiff east wind. Thankfully, you can hide from just about any wind at Cat Island. Once we got into calmer water, we were able to find the speckled trout and red fish. The bull reds and big jack crevalle visited a few of the boats. The trickiest thing of the trip was fishing the mega high tides. The water was super high first thing in the morning. Chef Franks food and the midday heat brought us back to the house for lunch time. The evening trips were on the end of the low tide and the water was very low. Luckily all three boats worked together every step of the way. When one boat found an area or a tactic that was producing, we would call each other in. Capt Matt seemed to always run into the big schools of bull reds and jacks so he would call the other boats in to chase the schools when they were hooked up. Capt Kenny and Matts crew were able to stay with them for long time working together. If we found a shore line that had flounder on it we would let the other crews know.
My boat spent most of the days either drifting grass beds at low tide or getting deep in the bayous on the high tides. The best set up for us was either live bait under the Boat Monkey popping cork or a Matrix soft plastic tipped with dead shrimp. The small lady fish, croakers and pin fish just about ate us out of house and home, but we grinded through it.
In two days we had some fun with the reds, trout, jacks, sharks and flounder, but the last morning was the most memorable. We all started slow, with small trout, rat reds or jack crevalles. It was Capt Matts crew that found the mother load shore line holding the slot reds. He called Capt Kenny and our boat in for the fun. Right as "other" Sonny's cork hit the shore line, it kept on going. All three boats enjoyed an all out red hot slot red bite right up until it was time to leave. When the smoke cleared we had brought in almost 30 perfect slot fish for a photo finish!
Its just that time of year with this weather. We are just gonna keep playing the hand that mother nature deals. If we can find calm, fishy water we will fish it. If it is unsafe or unproductive we simply wont go. We will always play it safe, and have as much fun as the law will allow.... Thanks
****SHORE THING FISHING CHARTERS****
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. Check out our Youtube videos: