Coastal Angler Magazine | October 2022 |Mississippi Gulf Coast Edition

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Landing a bull red this time of the year is easy. With the mullet running, simply free-line a mullet or drop one on a weighted rig to land a trophy! Before you experience the drag-pulling run, you should know how to properly handle and release your fish.

• TACKLE: I mainly fish inshore, so light tackle is the way for me. However, it’s important to be prepared to switch up depending on the size and species of game fish present.

To fish with the mullet, I just follow the pods, cast to the outside of the school and open the bail to let the bait swim. When you hit it right, you can hook-up on nearly every cast, with the species changing from one cast to the next. Big gamefish tend to seek out isolated or injured mullet, which is exactly what your bait is.

TARGETING REDFISH During the Mullet Migration

This time of year, any artificial that resembles a mullet will do the trick. I like Vudu Mullet Swimbaits, Rapala X-raps, Bomber Lures Mullets,

Atlantic Coast of Florida experiences one of the planet’s great migrations each fall. When millions of mullet push south in giant schools toward spawning grounds off the southern end of the state, it presents an exciting prospect for fishing. It’s an event anglers anticipate all year long.

• BAIT: Obviously, mullet is the bait to use this time of the year. Full-grown mullet are great for shark and tarpon fishing. I prefer freelining finger-sized mullet, because pretty much everything eats them.

• REDFISH REGULATIONS: Florida recently adopted new management plan for redfish. There are now varied regulations across nine different zones. Anglers need to understand those regulations because they’re intended to protect one of our iconic species in the face

The rigging is pretty much the same if I need to beef up for larger catches. With a 2500-size setup, I’ll fish 15- to 20-pound leader. I’ll bump that up to 25- to 30-pound test on 3000-size gear for bigger fish.

Handling them with care and releasing them safely is important to the future of our fisheries. The statewide slot limit from 18 and 27 inches is intended to protect the large fish, which are part of the spawning stock.

It’s heartbreaking to see breeder fish floating due to carelessness or lack of knowledge. Hauling a big redfish up vertically onto a bridge or pier, dragging it over the rocks on a jetty or tossing it back from up high severely limits its chance of survival. Get a pier net to fish from a bridge or pier, and do everything in your power to ensure the healthy release of your fish.


Most of the state now has a one-fishper-person daily limit in the 18- to 27inch slot. Some regions have a two-fishper-vessel possession limit and others have a four-fish-per-vessel possession limit. The Indian River Lagoon region is strictly catch-and-release only for redfish. For complete Florida redfish regulations, go

Keep up with Skye Burkhardt on Facebook Inshore Adventures with Skye and on @brassyangler87.Instagram

The mullet run doesn’t have an official start or end date. Large schools of mullet—some the size of three football fields—move south as temperatures cool. Tarpon, sharks, kingfish and redfish are just some of the gamefish that move with these pods. Most years the fishing is on fire in October and November.

By Skye Burkhardt

Here are some tips for anglers to take advantage of the mullet run.

Free-lining sounds simple, but where you choose to fish and what you’re targeting will play a role in the set-up and rig you should use.

• ARTIFICIALS: This backcountry lady angler enjoys sight fishing and scouting Mosquito Lagoon and the marshes of the Tomoka Basin along Florida’s central Atlantic Coast. I’ll target bull reds in the inlets, but I spend most days targeting snook, tarpon and slot reds in the backcountry. This style of fishing is perfect for throwing artificials on light tackle.

In the backcountry, I like a light- to mediumaction 2000 size spinning set-up to fish 10-pound leaders and 3/0 circle hooks. I prefer Mustad hooks and tie them on with a simple loop knot. I use an FG knot to connect my leader to a braided main line. This creates a true free-line, without the added weight of a swivel.

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Starting this month, the larger gags will be so close in that it’ll shock you. Don’t run too far, or you’ll run over some of the biggest fish of the year. Go wherever you jig up your cigar minnows and sardines, and the gags will be right there. When you get a few baits in the well, it’s a good idea to have at least one person put a bait right back down.



Hanapa Marlin

I also like to take pinfish from the marina as a “bird in hand” for bottom fishing. The beauty of putting a live sardine on a jig and sending it to the bottom is that EVERYTHING down there eats them. The beauty of sending a pinfish, grass grunt or sailors choice to the bottom is that everything down there would love to eat them, but can’t. They can’t get their mouths around the bigger baits, but the ones that can are the fish you want to catch. Go enjoy the bounty of the season!

Once onshore you can take it a step further showing your fellow anglers your catch of the day wearing “slippahs” from Scott Hawaii.

After all, that is why the gags are there. They are eating the same baits that you’re catching. They come inshore to a place that holds bait, so all the smaller females have plenty to eat while they are discussing


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‘a - Ahi

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

the possibilities of spawning. The same places will hold large seabass, as well. I love to eat grouper, but the way I grouper fish also produces large seabass, which I think are even better than grouper in texture andScampsflavor.

This is the time of year that can make even me look good. The large male gags have started staging up on nearshore structures, wrecks and traditional bait-holding bottom. The scamps and large snappers have started a transitional move to their deeper wintering grounds. Water temps will soon draw a line in the water that clearly shows you where to fish.

Ahhhh, yeah! This is the time of plenty. Now is the time of year to have a community-sized fish stew to clear out all the vacuum-sealed stuff in the freezer. You’ve got to make some room for freezer-stuffing grouper, snapper and seabass.

and snappers hold a special place in my heart. Starting right now, they should be going off! It’s time consuming to stop on the way out a jig up bait. However, a 15- or 20-minute bait stop could make the difference between a good day and a great day. When you find bait in numbers, it doesn’t take long to rack up. I like to keep a Sabiki angler on each side of the boat handing me baits to dehook into a bucket in the center of the boat. Once I get 20 or so baits in the bucket, I pour them into the livewell and repeat until there’s enough.

Tim Barefoot

love spring and summer fishing, but let me say this loud and clear: I live for fall and winter fisheries!

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The key components to any good setup include the rod, reel, line and leader. The rod serves as the back bone and selecting the right one for the job will increase distance and accuracy all while ensuring enough power to bring in the fish! The reel gives you the right amount of drag and line capacity all while keeping the weight of your setup low enough as to be comfortable and not fatigue the angler. Choosing the right line and size also plays a huge role in getting further casts all while ensuring enough power to direct the fish to the boat. The leader is the lifeline of your inshore setup making sure that your line does not get broke off from toothy fish or sharp barnacles around pilings, all while keeping your line undetected by finicky fish.


For Speckled Trout, our setup is going to be much lighter than that of a redfish setup. For this setup, we are going to use a 7’ medium light, fast action rod. We are throwing a lighter rod here because the weight of our lures will be much smaller and it takes a lot less force to turn the head of a Speckled Trout. The reel size here will be a 2500, which is the perfect size for catching any size trout. The line size here is going to be 10-pound braid paired with 10-pound fluorocarbon leader. 10-pound test provides enough strength to get these fish to the boat, all while allowing us to cast significantly further and having a more natural presentation on artificial lures. The fluorocarbon leader here should be approximately 3-4 feet long and attached to the mainline with a uni to uni knot. This setup is perfect for throwing soft plastics and jerk baits weighing between 1/16 - 1/4oz, as well as free lining live bait.

You can also visit our Youtube channel, where we have several videos going in depth about these rigs and setups. southern salt

Speckled Trout



For the setups mentioned above, this is gear that I use and recommend. For rods, it is hard to beat the value you get from the Fenwick HMGs. The Fenwick HMG is a high modulus graphite rod that is super light, sensitive and durable and comes in at right under $100. For reels, I prefer the Shimano Stradic CI4. These reel pack over 20 pounds of drag, have insane line capacity for their size and are incredibly light! For line, I highly recommend Suffix 832 braid. Suffix 832 is an 8 strand braid which is extremely smooth and is smaller in diameter than traditional braid. This causes you to get further casts while lengthening the life of your rod guides.

Using the right setup can mean the difference in hooking and landing these fish or going home and telling everyone about the one that got away. Be sure to check us out on YouTube at Southern Salt Kayak Fishing where you can directly reach out to us and ask any questions that you may have. Until next time tight lines and stay safe!

he foundation to fishing for any species starts with the proper rigs and setups. There are thousands of articles and videos out there that highlight different rigs and setups for targeting inshore species. The setups that I am going to discuss are the rigs that I use daily to target Redfish, Flounder and Speckled Trout around the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast.

For Flounder, my favorite setup is one directly in between my Redfish and Speckled Trout setups. For this setup, I am going to go with a 7’ medium, extra fast rod tip. The medium rod strength here gives me a large range of options for jig head weight, allowing me to throw anything from a 1/8-1/2oz jig head accurately. The extra fast tip allows me to get a very quick and hard hook set which is essential for getting these fish in the boat. The reel size here is going to be anything between 2000-3000. Line size for flounder will be 20-pound braid paired with 20-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to the mainline with a uni to uni knot. This setup will cover almost any range of style for flounder fishing, as well as serve as a good back up redfish setup.

By Nathan Rich


Preferred Gear

The main setup that I use to target Redfish starts with a 7’ medium heavy, fast action rod. This rod gives me plenty of backbone to pull in upper slot reds, as well as bull reds. I find that 3000 – 4000 size reels are perfect for redfish. They provide enough drag and spool capacity to fight almost any size redfish. The line that I prefer here is 20 – 30 pound braid paired up with 20 – 30 pound Fluorocarbon Leader. The size of the line will depend on the areas you plan of fishing. If you are fishing Flats and marsh systems 20-pound test is plenty. However, if you plan to fish structure such as docks and bridge pilings you might want to use 30-pound test to winch those fish out of the structure. This setup is great for throwing artificial lures such as Spoons, crankbaits, and soft plastics on a 3/8 oz jig head. This setup also works exceptionally well for live bait on popping corks and Carolina rigs.

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Fishin' inOctober Forecast

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Those first few chilly days towards the end of October send the trout and redfish into the marsh for a feeding session before winter. The trout tend to by Sonny Schindler

ctober and June are still are most popular months. Truth be told, I believe October has more to offer. The crowds on the water are thinned out, thanks to school, hunting, and football. The first part of October, assuming the tropical weather isn’t bad, is dynamite for triple tail. They have been piling in all summer, and will be everywhere from thebarrier islands, into lake Borgne. The first few cold snaps will send them south, but with that comes other things.

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This a month you need to enjoy when you can. The weather is typically pleasant and the fishing should be fantastic!!!


As always, have fun and be safe.

Itneed.looks like we may have a pretty good flounder run this fall as well. And they will start moving once the cooler temperatures arrive. We usually focus on shorelines that are near drains. A good falling tide is probably my favorite. Bouncing tight lined soft plastics maybe with a tip of cut bait or shrimp if the catfish aren’t too bad.

congregate over the oyster beds in 4-6 feet of water. It’s usually feast or famine, so keep moving till you find the schools. Live Bait works well, but a simple Boat Monkey popping cork with 2 feet of leader and a good soft plastic shrimp imitation does wonders.The redfishing gets awesome as the slot reds start pushing deeper into the canals and ponds. The sight fishing really starts getting good near Halloween. On the windy days with high murky water dead shrimp against the bank is all you


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• For sauce:

• 1 lemon juiced

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

• 4 tbsp butter

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Flounder Wilted

• Flour for dredging

Sauce can be poured over fish and rice pilaf w/spinach. Wilted spinach can be made by adding a package of fresh spinach to the same skillet that was used for the fish and the crab sauce. Simply sauté a package of baby spinach from the salad section. Add a squeeze of lemon juice along with salt and pepper after the spinach wilts and place cooked spinach atop your rice pilaf. Then add the flounder filets and cover with the lemon butter crab sauce.

• 2 or 3 shallots, finely minced

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• 4 flounder filets

• Blackening seasoning or creole seasoning

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on the Mississippi and Alabama Coasts are familiar with flounders' yearly migrations. This time of year is the beginning of their fall trip offshore to restart their breeding cycles. Unlike the spring cycle of moving inshore, fall's migration is distinct rather than chaotic and a great time to catch flounder. The fall run continues through November, so go on out and catch some of these delicious flat fish before cooler weather arrives. Pan seared flounder over a bed of rice pilaf is a great way to use some of your catch! Seared Spinach Butter Crab Cream Sauce

and a Lemon

• 1 cup dry white wine

• 1 sweet onion, finely chopped

• 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

2. While stock is heating, add oil and butter to large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and oil is hot add rice and cook until it's lightly golden. 2-3 mins, stirring occasionally

3. Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften

5. When rice is golden brown and onions are soft, add them to the warmed stock and bring to a simmer.

6. When rice and stock reach a simmer, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and let it be for 20 mins.


Make sure to use long grain white rice for this recipe for texture and absorption purposes. Do not lift the lid or stir the rice after the lid is on the pot.

• 3 cups seafood or chicken stock

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste; taking into account the saltiness of the broth

1. Bring the stock to a low simmer in a large saucepan


Rice Pilaf

• 1 tbsp butter

• Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

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8. Rice can be fluffed in the pan or turned onto a serving platter then fluffed before serving.

7. After 20 mins, remove from heat and let it stand, COVERED, for another 10 mins.



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again. It was so fun!

Gary Turner is a long-time contributor to The Angler Magazine. Contact him at

We also fished from a boat on the Kenai River, where anchored to deploy small Kwikfish. These lures settle into the current near the bottom and vibrate. Fish swimming upstream see them and attack. Unlike the red salmon, which aren’t interested in eating, the pink (humpback) and silver (coho) salmon jumped all over this setup.

Second only to the Kenai’s fishing is the scenery. There is a majestic feel to this area. The views are beautiful, there is amazing wildlife and tons of stuff to see. We saw it all as we drove all over the place chasing fish.


Our lodging was in Soldotna, near the mouth of the Kenai River on Cook Inlet. That’s where we fished the Kenai River for red (sockeye) salmon. The famous king salmon season closed before we arrived this year, or we would have been fishing for them. We “flossed” for reds, which is a technique used in rivers to catch salmon that are more interested in their spawning run than they are in feeding. Basically, you use a weighted leader. As pods of fish swim upstream, the line threads an open mouth and you snag the fish when the hook pulls tight. This was combat-style fishing. We stood a rod’s length from other anglers, and it was mayhem when someone hooked up.

If you ever get the chance to fish the Kenai Peninsula, you will love it. Get a group of friends, do some research and go. Fish with a guide or on your own. There are so many options and so many fish that it’s hard not to have an amazing adventure.

Catch Amazing Action on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula

By Gary Turner

Twice, we traveled northeast by van to Hope, Alaska, where we fished for pinks in Resurrection Creek. They were so thick that we stayed busy catching and releasing them after we all caught our limits. On our second trip to Resurrection, we went in search of silvers but they had not arrived yet, so we caught pinks

We also ventured south from Soldotna to the Kasilof River and caught salmon and trout. We crossed the peninsula to Seward and fished the Resurrection River for silvers, pinks and dog (chum) salmon. The river was full of fish, so we fished until it was too dark to see the bears and called it a day at midnight.

laska’s Kenai Peninsula is a world-renowned fishery, known for all of its salmon runs, of which the Kenai River king salmon run is the most famous. The saltwater fishing out of Homer, Deep Creek and Seward are also amazing. I’ve been to Alaska fishing several times, and this year I fished the fresh and the salt with five friends who were all on their first trip. Here’s a quick look at what we did in freshwater. I’ll write about our saltwater adventures in the future.

Last, but not least, we fished Skilak Lake, which feeds the Kenai River from the center of the peninsula. This was my favorite place to fish. It is as beautiful as it is full of fish. We stayed 18 days in Alaska and spent our 17th on Skilak, where we slayed the fish. We landed and released more than 100 reds, silvers and trout that day! It was a great note to end our trip.

While the females become preoccupied with cutting nests, called redds, on shallow gravel bars in moving water, the males put on bright colors to

ust and jealousy make males of many species do stupid things they wouldn’t normally do. This is true for humans and whitetail deer, and it’s also true for brown trout, which grow aggressive this time of year as they gear up for the spawn.

Nick Carter is author of “Flyfisher’s Guide to North Carolina & Georgia.” It is available on Amazon or by contacting the author at

advertise their suitability as mates. The big boys spar with each other for the opportunity to fertilize eggs. They become ornery, and are cocked to lash out at anything that catches their eye.


“If I have that fish that’s two feet or larger, I’m feeling really confident having that fish on 20-pound as opposed to having it on 2x,” he said.


On large or small water, pre-spawn browns will hit bigger flies than you’d think they would. This could be a 2- to 3-inch-long Woolly Bugger on a mountain stream or a 6-inch-long articulated pattern on a big river. Either way, it’s a game of covering water persistently and presenting the fly to as many fish as possible.


On a big tailwater, McCrickard gears up with 250-grain sinking line and runs a short 3-foot leader of 0x tippet. If the water is dingy, he’ll fish 3 feet of straight 20-pound monofilament.

Across the East, brown trout spawn in a window that runs from midSeptember into December. Males and females of the species leave their summer lies to strike out upstream in search of spawning habitat. They are on the move and more visible to anglers than at any other time of year.

The timing is different on every piece of water, but October is thought to be the peak of pre-spawn behavior for most streams and rivers. Since big browns are more aggressive than they are at any other time of year, anglers who target them should fish aggressively.

Alex McCrickard has a go-big or go-home attitude when it comes to fall browns. He’s a former fly fishing guide and the current aquatic education coordinator for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. As the days grow shorter, McCrickard breaks out his heavy 6- and 7-weight rods to sling big streamers.Onsmaller streams, he’ll fish floating line with a 9-foot leader that tapers down to no lighter than 2x tippet. The long leader allows a weighted streamer to get down in the water column, and 2x has a breaking strength of about 10 pounds. It’s more than enough to handle the 14- to 20-inchers you might encounter in a creek or stream.

“A productive day is relative. When you’re throwing a 10-foot 7-weight and a 250-grain full sinking line with 3 feet of 20-lb. monofilament, you’re not really going for numbers anymore,” said McCrickard. “You’re looking for one, maybe two fish. You kind of have to go out there with the mentality of, ‘I might get skunked today, but I might catch my best fish of the year… or the best fish I’ve caught in the last five years.’”

By Nick Carter


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The angler, 59-year-old Cary Carney, was fishing aboard the 32-foot Willow B, which was captained by his son Brandon Carney. They were fishing in about 1,300 feet of water on Aug. 21, when the big broadbill ate a strip of albacore belly. They had the fish on an electric Diawa MP3000 reel, but a blown fuse rendered it inoperable. Carney buckled down and cranked the fish in by hand on 65-pound test line.

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Two hours later, the big fish was boatside. They roped its tail and used the T-top as a pulley to bring it onboard. It measured 104 inches fork length and had a 53-inch girth.

“He’s one of those old-school guys,” Brandon Carney said of his father for an article in the Raleigh News & Observer. “His arm might be hanging off, but he won’t let you know it. After about 30 minutes, it rose to about 20 feet below the surface and we could see how big it was.”

Carney’s swordfish crushed the previous state record by more than 60 pounds. The old record of 441 pounds had stood since 1979. The thing is, if they had hauled it in with the electric reel, it would not have qualified for the record.The


IGFA all-tackle world record swordfish weighed 1,182 pounds. It was caught off the coast of Chile in 1953 by Louis Marron.

8-ounce swordfish caught 55 miles off Morehead City, North Carolina was recently certified as a new state record.

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Berkeley County is a wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts, sports buffs, adventure seekers, and water lovers.

From exemplary fishing for striped bass, or a trophy largemouth bass, to our hiking trails and water activities, along with scenic outdoors where you can catch a glimpse of white tail deer and gators, Berkeley County has activities to fit all visitors and families.

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