Mississippi Madness at Cat Island

Mississippi Madness at Cat Island

Cat Island, lying some 8 miles off Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi, in the Gulf of Mexico, is an overlooked angling jewel of our southern coast. It's alive with fish life, from trophy speckled trout over 5 pounds to various species of sharks that provide half-hour battles on medium-power saltwater tackle. Best of all, you fish with rarely another boat in sight, unlike hot spots in Florida and Louisiana.

Cat Island is one of a series of barrier islands in the shallow waters of Mississippi Sound, a highly fertile bay that extends from the Louisiana marshes east toward Alabama. This island has a long and colorful history: as a hideout for rum-runners from Cuba, temporary refuge for privateers like Jean Lafitte who anchored in its labyrinthine canals, and a U.S. army training ground for dogs during World War II.

Last summer, my old friend from Cabela's, Chuck Smock, arranged an exploratory trip to the region, bringing along Mike Jones, a local angling expert and Program Manager for the tourism agency, Visit Mississippi. We stayed on a spacious house on Cat Island and fished with Capt. Sonny Schindler and Capt. Kenny Shiyou of Shore Thing Charters, which offers various fishing packages, including lodging on the island, kayak trips, and inshore fishing.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2017/04/Bull-shark.jpg
A bull shark is released to continue feeding on the vast schools of mullet in Mississippi Sound.

In clear, shallow inshore waters, we sight-fished for outsize redfish and trout, and worked topwaters over sandflats on calm summer mornings. Closer to the open waters of the sound, huge Jack Crevalle and sharks ruled the waters, along with pods of dolphins that continually herded vast schools of mullet. We tangled with three species of shark: the acrobatic spinner, speedy black-tip, and powerful bull shark, using cut pieces of ladyfish, always a favorite snack for big toothies.


The area also offers incredible action for big black drum, that live beneath a bridge at the mouth of the Jordan River, where it enters the gulf at Bay St. Louis. Along with my personal best jack of 40 pounds (landed after a harrowing 59-minute battle), I was fortunate to wrestle up a 45-pound black drum. Hiding among the rubble of a bridge demolished by Hurricane Katrina, this fish was landed with just a few remaining strands of 40-pound-test Spectra after a prolonged tug-of-war. Though a change in weather during our visit had the tripletails scarce, the countless old crab pots and navigational markers in the sound represent prime cover for these curious fish that sometimes top 20 pounds here.


With a lack of fishing pressure and bountiful marine life, this area is destined to become a mecca for marine adventurers.


Contact: Shore Thing Charters, 228/32-2206, shorethingcharters.com; Visit Mississippi, visitmississippi.org.

//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2017/04/Smock.Jack_.jpg
Chuck Smock of Cabela's enjoys a hot surface bite for Jack Crevalle.


[navionics zoom="8" long="-89.1" lat="30.2"]


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures. Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

Which of the ten is the best? You decide. Bass

10 Best Bass Fishing States In America

Matt Straw - November 01, 2017

Which of the ten is the best? You decide.

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum. News

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading to its Platinum+ and HotMaps Platinum cartography

In-Fisherman - April 29, 2019

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

What

What's New from Cummings Nets?

There's more than meets the eye with new Cummings Nets Red Line. Find out what. With Mike Powell of Cummings and Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

In order to sustain good fishing, it's important to understand which to release and fish you should for a fine meal.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman - January 11, 2018

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

See More Stories

More Adventures

Fantastic fishing, food, and fun awaits in the Florida Keys. Adventures

Florida Keys Fishing

Chris Schneider - June 13, 2019

Fantastic fishing, food, and fun awaits in the Florida Keys.

Lake of the Woods might well be the finest multispecies fishing lake in North America. Adventures

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota-Ontario Multispecies

In-Fisherman - May 26, 2016

Lake of the Woods might well be the finest multispecies fishing lake in North America.

The Coosa River offers bass anglers a plethora of habitats to fish. Adventures

Coosa River Alabama

Dr. Hal Schramm - March 16, 2016

The Coosa River offers bass anglers a plethora of habitats to fish.

See More Adventures

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×