- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On January 10, 2019
Last fall, I tripped out to Mississippi to fish the Bay St. Louis Sound in an effort to break out the light tackle for spotted seatrout.
Seatrout can be found all throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coasts, but magic was definitely happening in the Mississippi Bayous. I joined Captain Sonny Schindler of Shore Thing Charters www.shorethingcharters.com as he motored up into the channels that funnel out of the big bay. Specks were breaking the surface at sunrise, sucking down grass shrimp as they outflowed with the tide. We started off fly rodding with 6 weight Temple Fork long rods, stripping shrimp flies in quick short bursts. One after another, speckled trout came over the gunnel, shrimp fly panted firmly between their spiked teeth, until I could literally not care anymore if another hit or not, landing well over 30 specks in 40 casts. It was that easy.
“We don’t get the real size of trout back here,” said Sonny, “But we do get incredible numbers in Mississippi. The biggest trout you’ll see is about 3 to 4 pounds, but you’ll get hundreds of the 1 to 2 pounders, hands down.” Sonny wasn’t kidding. Mississippi has liberal limits on seatrout, 15 fish at 13 inches minimum size and you don’t have to feel bad about scoring your limit because there is more than enough to go around.
We switched it up to the light tackle spinning gear, outfitted with 6-6 St. Croix Tidemaster TIS66MM rods Fin-Nor LT30 Lethal reels spooled with 8-pound Power Pro braid and a 10-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader. First, we fixed clack floats baited on a 3-foot leader with indigenous “cockahoe” minnows, commonly known as killifish or mud minnows on size #4 Mustad Baitholder hooks. The commotion of the clack float was like a signal for all trout in the area to feed. Switching up to target larger specks lower in the water column, we tied on a 1/4-ounce jighead tipped with an Electric Chicken Bull Minnow soft plastic and DOA CAL Paddletails. The largest trout we encountered that day went about 4 pounds, which is pretty large by Mississippi standards, but without a doubt the true attraction was the sheer numbers of fish available as we literally released hundreds of fish before noontime. If seatrout is your game, book a flight to the Mississippi Gulf, you won’t be disappointed.