Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Fantastic Summertime Fishing with Captain Kyle Jarreau
Day 1: Bet on the Redfish in the Summertime on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast
Editor’s Note: Captain Kyle Jarreau, a guide for Shore Thing Charters based out of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is one of the finest chefs on the Upper Gulf Coast. He can turn a mess of speckled trout, redfish and flounder into cuisine that will have fishermen fighting for second helpings. This week, Jarreau will tell us how he catches speckled trout, redfish and flounder on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. I always look forward to going to Biloxi, Mississippi, staying at the Isle of Capri Casino and Resort, and fishing with Shore Thing Charters Captain Sonny Schindler, also with Shore Thing, has been my guide and a friend for several years. He’s always glad to see me coming. We have a good time fishing and fellowshipping while I’m there, and as I’m packing-up to leave, he’s always grinning and saying, “Now, when can I book you to come back?” Shore Thing Charters is growing and has added more guides and a new, spacious, luxurious lodge on Cat Island that boasts some of the finest fishing on the entire Gulf Coast. On this trip, I primarily fished with Captain Kyle Jarreau, who was a fishing guide when I met him and became a friend before I left.
Question: Kyle, how do you catch redfish here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast?
Jarreau: The redfish have made a tremendous comeback since the federal government put length and bag limits on them. We can catch good numbers of redfish all year long, regardless of the weather. I prefer to fish the Strike King Redfish Magic along the edges of the grass in the marsh, using two-different types of retrieves. I like to pump the Redfish Magic, let it fall and then pump it up again. I’ve found this retrieve to be the most productive when the tide’s high, and there’s a little-more water for the Redfish Magic to fall. On a low tide, I may be swimming the Redfish Magic in less than a foot of water, so that retrieve won’t work well. However, on a high tide, redfish and speckled trout will eat the Redfish Magic when it falls. I’ll also use a shallow-water tactic. I’ll cast-out the Redfish Magic and reel it slowly over a shell bottom or slow-roll it over the top of grass.
Question: What color Strike King Glass Minnow do you put on the back of the Redfish Magic?
Jarreau: I prefer the electric-chicken-with-chartreuse-head-colored Glass Minnow, whether I’m fishing it the on the back of a Redfish Magic or a jighead. I don’t know why that color excites the fish, but I know it has chartreuse in it, and speckled trout and redfish like chartreuse colors. It also has an orange-pinkish color that may resemble a shrimp. Until fish can talk, I don’t guess we’ll ever know why they like one color over another.
Question: Shore Thing Charters has a lodge on Cat Island, one of the Barrier Islands on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. What’s the best day of fishing you’ve had on Cat Island with the Redfish Magic?
Jarreau: In Mississippi, our limit on redfish is three per person. I usually can catch a limit fairly quickly and then start catching and releasing redfish. I’ve had clients that have caught bull redfish that weigh 20- or 30-pounds each on the Redfish Magic. When my clients catch a fish that big, I like to sit back and watch them enjoy the fight. Most of the time we’ll use 12-pound-test line and set the drags on our reels, so those big reds won’t break the lines when they attack the Redfish Magic. If we know we’ll be fishing for redfish, we may fish with heavier line, like 20-pound-test PowerPro line. But many times those bull reds will come from out of nowhere, and my clients will have to fight them on 12-pound-test line.
Question: How many days a week do you fish?
Jarreau: I guide about 5 days a week. We start fishing in the spring and usually stop fishing around Thanksgiving. Although I like to fish with artificial lures, we do fish with a lot of live bait. We use live shrimp, live pogies, mud minnows and a wide variety of live bait. Oftentimes, live bait is easier for anglers to fish with, because we’ll either rig it on a Carolina rig or we’ll suspend it below a float. We use whatever method it takes to enable our anglers to catch the redfish. We fish children and grandparents and everybody in-between. Our job is to find the redfish and help our customers catch them, while showing them a good time and feeding them some good food.
To learn more about fishing in salt water, contact Captain Kyle Jarreau at Shore Thing Charters at (228)324-5990, or visit www.shorethingcharters.com, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on fishing in Mississippi, call 1-886-SEE-MISS (733-6477), or go to www.visitmississippi.org.