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AL’s REPORT Fishing is Getting Better: Deck Goes Rightyyy Here Here Hereyyyy

July 27, 2008

By Al Jones, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Jul. 27–The recent Midwest flood continues to dampen the South Mississippi fishing report, but things are getting better.

Toss in Hurricane Dolly making landfall near the Texas/Mexico border, and things should continue to improve through Labor Day.

Before Dolly and the arrival of flood waters through the Mississippi River, speckled trout were plentiful from the Louisiana Marsh through Chandeleur Island as well as Cat Island.

Chandeleur, one of the top trout fishing destinations in the United States, continues to be hit-or-miss around New Harbor and North Island.

Although redfish have been caught along the sandy bottoms near the island, the majority of trout are centered on the grass beds near Smack Channel.

Also in the mix are large schools or white trout, which can be caught on jigs, and lady fish and blue fish.

Since the area holds a lot of bait, including minnows and shrimp, sharks — mainly blacktips and bulls — are also in the area. Wade fishermen should use caution at all times.

The offshore scene, which is still nursing the effects of the flood waters, has been fair on king mackerel from the shallow water rigs near the bottom end of Chandeleur out to the deeper rigs back to the east.

Other fish being caught are mangrove snapper, red snapper, grouper and a few cobia while bottom fishing.

During this time of the year when the surface temperatures soar past the 80-degree mark, red snapper fishing slows. Look for the fish on the up current side of the rig instead of the down current side.

Speckled trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel and sharks are being caught on the north and south sides of Ship Island.

There have been some reports of two- and three-pound trout being caught on live croakers near the east end of Ship Island near the tree line. Try the inside grass beds as well as deep drops on the surf side.

Sharks are being caught near the ship channel between Ship and Cat islands.

The inside of Ship Island near the fort continues to produce specks in the early morning hours and redfish and black drum under the pier where the ferry docks.

At Cat Island, white trout and ground mullet are being caught on dead shrimp and cut bait in Smugglers Cove with a few specks along the surf on the east side.

The nearshore scene includes specks, white trout, redfish, flounder and ground mullet off the piers in Gulfport and Biloxi using dead shrimp, cut bait and live minnows.

The best fishing time is on a falling tide in the early morning or late afternoon hours.

Bay fishing typically falls off during this time of the year for specks and reds due to rising water temperatures and bait fish concentrating along the front beaches. But reports have been solid around Fort Bayou for specks and a few reds near the mouth of the Biloxi River.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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