Coastal Angler Magazine | September 2022 | Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition

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The water can be a little warm this time of year, and it makes bass finicky. When the bite gets tough, a drop shot flat out gets bit. It catches fish everywhere I go, and every angler should have the technique in their arsenal.There are a few reasons a drop shot can out-perform other techniques this time of year. The first of these is because of how versatile you can be with it. I have thrown a drop shot around rock, wood, grass and even in completely open water. Smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass will all pick up a drop-shot rig, so it’s a great option regardless of what part of the country you fish or what species you target.Another factor that makes this technique excel when other things aren’t working is it’s effective on heavily pressured and sluggish fish. Sometimes getting these fish to bite calls for light line and a smaller profile bait. The dropshot rig consists of a fluorocarbon leader leading to a hook of your choosing then, below the hook, about 12 inches of line tied to a drop shot weight on the end. This creates a rig that keeps your bait up off the bottom and drives finicky bass crazy.

There are a few different styles of baits you can use on the drop shot, depending on what your fish are feeding on. This is what I usually base my bait and color choices off of. I usually throw a small finesse worm like the 13 Fishing Joy Stick Ultra Thin or a baitfish-style bait like the 13 Fishing Vertigo minnow. Both baits are small in size and can really pick up some bites when the fishing is tough.Bait color is important, but I like to keep things fairly simple. I typically throw a green pumpkin or a black-and-blue worm style bait. For the baitfish-style lure, I stick with whites or natural baitfish colors. Remember, you are trying to be as finesse as possible to trick a bass that’s not hungry into biting, so something simple and natural will excel. This technique has worked wonders for me all across the country. From down South in Florida all the way up to New York, bass eat this rig up everywhere. Next time you’re on the lake and the bite is tough, downsize your presentation and drag a drop shot around. It will pick up a few more bites.

Drop Shot Gear: Picking the right setup for a drop shot doesn’t have to be too difficult. I like a rod around 7 foot with a medium or a medium heavy action like the 13 Fishing Omen Black 7’1M. Pair up a 3,000 sized reel with some 10lb. Seaguar Smackdown braid and a 10-lb. fluorocarbon leader. Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website


You raise the flags of the fish just caught to show you weren’t skunked.


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Agiant snook should be on every angler’s bucket list. They’re big, they’re strong and they’re aggressive. Southern Florida boasts the most prolific snook fisheries in the world, and Capt. Patrick Smith, of Swamp to Sea Guide Service, operates in the heart of one of the best. Swamp to Sea fishes throughout Palm Beach County up to Stuart, Fla. At times, the snook fishing can be so good that the prospect is almost mundane for Capt. Smith. “If I’ve got clients who want to catch the snook of a lifetime, we’ll go out to the inlet and let them catch one or two. Then we’ll go do something else,” he said. “It’s cool to check a big snook off the list, but light tackle is”Smith’s nonchalance about catching snook 35 to 43 inches long and up to 25 pounds is an attitude geared toward conservation of a species he loves. When big females congregate in the inlets to spawn around the full moons of summer, they are easy targets for anglers armed with big live baits like perch and croakers.

By Nick Carter

“They’re not smart fish. If they’re turned on, they’re going to eat. If they’re not, it may be five hours before they do,” he said. “But there’s going to be 30 to 40 minutes on the tide when those snook are eating. There’s not a lot of thought that goes into it. If one is interested, they all are.”

Throughout the summer, snook are catch-and-release-only to protect spawning fish. On the Atlantic side, snook harvest opens Sept. 1, with a 28- to 32-inch slot limit. Capt. Smith said the spawning pattern lasts well into September most years, but the big females are over the slot and must be released, anyway. He is more concerned with the beatings these fish take all summer long. His solution is to limit the number of fish he targets and to gear up heavy. Smith fishes 10,000 size reels on 50- to 100-lb. rods. He runs 80-lb. braid to a 60-lb. fluorocarbon leader and locks down the drag. The weakest link is an 8/0 thin wire circle hook, which is easier on the fish but must be changed out Heavyfrequently.gear combats a big snook’s propensity for bulldogging into structure. It also shortens the length of the fight to lessen the likelihood of fish succumbing to exhaustion or sharks. Smith said these large spawners can be 25 years and older. He urged anglers to handle them carefully for release and never to hold them vertically by their mouths.Ifyou’re looking for a snook to eat, there’s plenty of opportunity for that also. Between the moons some of the snook spread out to the bridges, docks and deep holes. The smaller, slot-sized males become more interested in feeding. Also, the mullet run will kick in toward the end of September. When mullet schools show up, everything from the fish to the anglers switch over to chasing bait. Contact Capt. Patrick Smith through his website

Before the Transition


Although I prefer lures over bait, success rates lean toward live shrimp or finfish this time of year. Depending on conditions, these can be free-lined, Carolina rigged, or fished under a loud popping cork. A free-lined shrimp tossed near a granite jetty is a good bet on any day. Stepping away from the live version, cut mullet or shad can be winners for a big pull from a red, black drum or shark. A circle hook Carolina rigged on the bottom can entice those large predators to strike. This is a great method if you have kids aboard.

As always, the jetties are a favorite. The high current and cooler Gulf water attract every fish species that swims in our bays and nearshore waters. It’s not uncommon to catch some offshore fish there as well; it happens every year.

Capt. Michael Okruhlik is the inventor of Knockin Tail Lures, Controlled Descent Lures, and the owner of


By Capt. Michael Okruhlik

Work with what Mother Nature gives you. Here on the upper Texas coast, we’ve had about seven years of excessive rainfall which, in general terms, made some of our bays unfishable for most of that time. Due to excessive fresh water, those of us who like to fish where the tributaries enter into the bays had to seek new areas where the salinity levels were suitable for speckled trout. This year, things are back to normal, and we need to relearn old patterns and work with what Mother Nature is giving us.


The Texas heat and drought are one for the record books and can make a day on the water unpleasant if you plan to stay much past noon, but there are some methods to help you be productive until things start to cool off. Many of the estuaries that were impacted by the floods are some of our deeper bay systems, and that is a good thing this time of year. Heading out early will greatly increase your odds and give you more time on the water while it is cool, relatively speaking. I have found these bays have been forgotten by some, and they’ve never been fished by those new to our sport, which makes for less crowds on the water. I target the deeper reefs in the upper stretches of the bay near the rivers. Locating new washouts can also pay off, and those are not on the maps or public knowledge, so doing a little recon before you head out on each trip can make for a more productive day.

Although the temps are still high, you can have a successful day on the water if you modify your techniques. Remember to apply sunblock before you leave the dock, wear appropriate protective clothing and drink plenty of water. Stay safe and have fun!

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3 Tips for Night Fishin g

S eptember is one of the hottest months here on the Gulf Coast and spending those long days out on the water can really take it out of you. This time of year, I really like to focus my efforts fishing lights around docks and marinas, lights can provide many awesome opportunities to catch a variety of inshore game fish. Here are a few tips that are sure to increase your success out on the water.

By Nathan Rich will also give you the opportunity to work your lures through the strike zone longer, which is directly next to the dock. The last tip is all about tackle. When fishing lights you want to go light! Remember that these smaller baitfish are higher up in the water column and the trout and redfish are feeding up on the baitfish. A heavier presentation will put you lower in the water column and may reduce the number of bites you get. I try to stay with a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. jig head for fishing lights. I hope you all find these tips helpful, get out there, and land some biggins. If you have any questions or want to find more helpful tips for fishing around the MS and AL Gulf Coast please feel reach to reach out to us on YouTube at Southern Salt Kayak Fishing. Until next time tight lines and stay safe!! and maintains the U.S. Navy and National Security Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard. Employing more than 11,300 employees, Ingalls is the largest manufactur ing employer in Mississippi and a major contributor to the economic growth of Alabama and Mississippi. As the larg est supplier of U.S. Navy surface combatants, Ingalls has built nearly 70 percent of the U.S. Navy fleet, and is the only shipyard simultaneously building 4 classes of ships.


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The first tip is to pick the right time to go. The best time to target lights will be after midnight. The later into the evening it gets, the more bait fish will start to appear near the lights which will attract your trout and redfish. It is also important to note that things begin to get quieter after midnight, the boat traffic slows down, and the neighborhood cookouts and parties have shut down, the only noise to be heard is caused by nature itself. This will bring the big guys out to feed. The next tip is have the right approach to the docks. The one thing you do not want to do is pull up to a promising light just to throw out your first cast and hook the dock. To prevent this always stage up where your casts will be made parallel to the dock instead of throwing directly at the dock. This

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Fishin' inSeptember

The biggest hurdle this month is avoiding storms. If and when we get to close to a tropical system, it usually slows down the fishing for a couple days, then it gets really good. Hopefully it's just a boring month, weather wise.September fishing wise is awesome. A lot of people are switching to hunting mode. Our beloved SEC football takes a lot of folks out of the equation too. The fish have a lot less pressure and that makes a big difference. Some of the biggest trout lake I've ever caught the past few years, have been in September. It was never big numbers of the big fish, but when I say big I'm talking 27-29

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM september 2022 mississippi gulf coast 7 inch fish!!! The last couple of years we've caught these monsters, they were all in around 2 feet of water, loners, all females, and had little to roe in their bellies. If and when that first hint of cooler weather makes it way down, the fishing goes into overdrive. We have focused very little on redfish this year since April. Then trout fishing has been too good to ignore. The majority of our friends and fellow charter guides have done the same. In years past, with low salinity from spillway openings, we focused heavy on the reds the majority of spring and early summer. Now that those reds have had a much needed break, we are looking forward to stellar fall redfish and flounder bite. The LA Marsh should be slap loaded, along with Bay St Louis, and Heron Bay. The triple tails, sharks and jacks will likely start thinning out, if cooler temperatures arrive. If you're wanting to tangle with any of the big critters, your window is closing, so get er done this month. It's been an amazing year, and we hope things stay the same. Keep what you need and leave some for the next trip. As always, have fun and be safe. COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM NOVEMBER 2021 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST 9 Edgewater Mall Near the Foodsunglassworld.netCourt228-388-8619 Call or Email Us for Details:


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12 mississippi gulf coast september 2022 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM IngredIents: • 1 package thin spaghetti • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 5 cloves garlic, finely sliced • ¼ cup dry white wine, we use an Oregon Pinot Grigio • ¼ cup butter • ½ cup chives, chopped • ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated; plus extra for topping finished dish • 2 lbs fresh Gulf shrimp, peeled and headed • Herb and Spice Blend • ¼ teaspoon oregano • ¼ teaspoon basil • ⅛ teaspoon thyme • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt • ½ teaspoon White Pepper Spaghetti Bordelaise with Shrimp is a deceptively simple quick side dish that is full of flavor Thin spaghetti tossed in a Creole Italian version of Bordelaise sauce, which derives its flavor from lots of butter and garlic, plus just the right amount of parsley, chives, herbs, and a splash of white wine make this dish bright and suitable for any occasion. In the amount of time a pot of pasta takes to reach al dente, you can have this dish ready to serve. Something so delicious, should not be so easy. Mississippi Kitchen d elights Contributed by: Sean Varone Spaghetti Bordelaise with Sautéed Gulf Shrimp 10 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NOVEMBER 2021 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THEANGLERMAG.COM 10437 Lamey Bridge Rd. Ste. E D'Iberville, MS 39540 (228) 388-3353 -Inshore -Offshore -Corporate Trips -Multi-Boat 14 MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NOVEMBER 2021 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM DocksideTV

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Scenic City has three captains who specialize in guiding anglers to catfish. They’ve encountered four of these white catfish since 2018. Simms keeps records of his catches, and he estimated Scenic City catches about 5,000 catfish a year. While one white catfish in 5,000 caught is hardly good odds, it’s a lot better than one in a million. This one stretch of river is producing more of these strange fish than anywhere else we’ve heard of.


Contact Scenic City Fishing Charters via

On June 28, 15-year-old Edwards Tarumianz caught a gorgeous, almost pure white blue catfish on the Tennessee River near downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. It was the latest in a string of such fish to come from one small stretch of river. While catching a white catfish has been likened to winning the lottery, it seems the odds are much higher on the Tennessee River below Chickamauga Dam.“It’s become pretty clear to us that we’ve got a little recessive gene floating around in the river right here in the Chattanooga vicinity,” said Richard Simms, owner of Scenic City Fishing Charters. “I actually saw another one just a week or so ago. A guy, just a regular fisherman, caught a piebald. So, yeah, we’ve got a recessive gene floating around.”

White catfish are rare anomalies that never fail to set social media abuzz each time an angler catches one. In most instances, biologists attribute the looks of these beautiful pinkishwhite fish to leucism, a genetic trait that results in reduced pigmentation and the pale, sometimes patchy coloration they display.

The Tennessee River’s WHITE BLUE CATS

Paylor said a rule of thumb is to troll live baits at around 2 miles per hour. When you get a bite, the rod slams down and the reel starts screaming. Make sure your drag is not set too tightly or it’ll be over.You’ll get a nice long run when the fish is first hooked. The smaller fish of less than 20 pounds will run out of energy pretty soon. Bigger ones, from 30 to 50 pounds, won’t tire as readily, and the real monsters may do it a few times before they tire. Keep your drag set light and let the fish do its thing; follow it with the boat if necessary. A fish (besides sharks) that is the bane of king mackerel anglers is the amberjack. If you troll near any high spot, usually the top of a shipwreck, there may be a school of them there. Their detractors call them “reef donkeys” with disdain. When you are trolling with a carefully prepared trolling rig and putting in hours looking for trophy kings, one of these bad boys can mess you up. Tournament anglers especially dislike them. If you are out trolling for kings and a school of amberjacks show up in your trolling spread, don’t get mad. Have fun! These fish are a blast and hit topwater plugs with abandon. Cast soda-bottlestyle poppers in the 5- to 6-inch-long range such as the Rapala Magnum Xplode or the Yozuri Bull Pop, retrieve them with a big pull and a pause to make a huge splash, and be prepared for an amazing display. Often a group of them will come up together and slash at it with reckless abandon until one finally gets hooked. Be prepared with a heavy casting rod. I’ve caught them on 12-weight fly rods with the biggest popper I could make. They can show up at any time over any wreck or reef. You just have to be ready. If you’re not fishing in a tournament, why not go have fun with them instead of cursing at them. They will come in fast, hit hard and then keep you occupied for about 20 minutes while they try to pull you out of the boat. This article was reprinted from

Gamefish Royalty

“They are so consistent with their yearly patterns that if you caught them in a spot in previous years, they are probably going to be there again,” he said.


He recommends using a sea surface temperature chart and seeing where the water is hovering in the 70-degree range and starting your day at a reef or wreck in that zone. If you see bait working—and especially if you see kings feeding—give it a serious shot. If you have seen kings feeding in open water, you’ll never forget what it looks like; they skyrocket out of the water like a submarine-launched missile.

To get an idea of what a day chasing kings is like, I spoke Capt. Matt Paylor, of Sound-N-Sea Charters in Morehead City, N.C. For gear, he likes a 7-foot, live-bait trolling rod with a Shimano TLD reel filled to the brim with 20-pound line. Smaller, school-sized kings eagerly hit trolled spoons and frozen cigar minnows, and you can catch a lot of them.When 10- to 20-pounders are hanging out around a structure, such as artificial reefs, wrecks or ledges, casting to them with swimming plugs and topwaters can lead to fast action. For a challenge, try a 10-weight fly rod rigged with a sinking line and a big streamer fly attached to a wireAleader.20-pound king mackerel can make a fly reel sing, Paylor said, however, if you want to get the big ones, you have to use live bait. His go-to is live menhaden, but he also uses live bluefish in the 2to 3-pound range. For trolling live bait, tie 15 feet of 30-pound fluorocarbon to the end of your main line, and to that attach a double hook live bait rig made with No. 5 single-strand wire and size 4 “quad strong” trebleCapt.hooks.Paylor said kings are very predictable.

By Capt. Gordon Churchill

With their aggressive nature, willingness to hit almost anything, and ability to make drag screaming runs when first hooked, king mackerel are just a bunch of fun. Because of these qualities, there is a king mackerel tournament somewhere almost every weekend. Plenty of boats head out in pursuit of them from every port, and plenty of tackle dedicated to them is sold in coastal shops.


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For over 60 years, customers have trusted the innovation & quality designed into every Dexter product. Thoroughly proven in our world-class testing labs, our products are supported by a diversified & well-developed supply chain, strict manufacturing processes & over 350 distribution facilities nationwide. Our history, highly engineered designs, and authentic Dexter parts allow you to spend time on the water instead of working on your boat trailer.

An angler from New Jersey caught a North Carolina state record for cubera snapper on Aug. 3. Thomas Madsen caught the 58-pound, 8-ounce fish offshore of Hatteras while fishing with Capt. Tyler Fleetwood and Sea Dream FishingMadsen’sCharters.big fish measured 49.5 inches total length and had a 41-inch girth. He caught it using a Shimano jigging rod, and a Diawa Saltist reel with 80-pound test. It replaces the previous record, which weighed 58 pounds and was caught off Beaufort Inlet in 2016.The IGFA all-tackle world record for Atlantic cubera snapper was caught off Louisiana in June of 2007 by Marion Rose. It weighed 124 pounds 12 ounces. For more information on North Carolina state records, find the State Saltwater Records webpage at


A lot of good reputations are riding on Dexter, let us carry yours.

This is not someone’s escaped goldfish; it’s a bright orange smallmouth bass. Angler Josh Chrenko caught the rare genetic anomaly this summer from the Muskegon River in Michigan. Biologists explained that the fish’s odd coloration is due to a rare genetic condition called xanthochromism, which— like albinism or leucism—is usually caused by a recessive gene.

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“Until I caught this guy, I didn’t even know [xanthic bass] existed,” Chrenko wrote in a Facebook post. “For someone that lives and breathes fishing for smallmouth, this is one I’ll remember my entire life… I can only imagine that this little guy had to overcome crazy odds to survive the first couple of years of his life from predation. Being neon-orange would make for a tough life as a small freshwater fish.” Chrenko released his orange smallie after taking a few photos. For more weird fish, go to

Xanthochromistic fish are orange because the red pigmentation in their skin is replaced by yellow pigmentation.

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