John's Journal...

Catching Redfish and Speckled Trout off the Mississippi Coast with Captain Sonny Schindler

Book Now for Big Trout in the Fall

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you live in the North and you’re tired of shoveling snow, wearing heavy coats and running your heaters, come to Biloxi, Mississippi, in October, November and December for some hot fishing speckled trout and reds. Captain Sonny Schindler of Bay St. Louis, Miss., guides anglers to specks and reds then.

Question: Tell me about fall trout fishing here in Biloxi, Sonny. How will you find and catch them?
Schindler: In the fall, we’ll leave out of Bay St. Louis and go to the marsh in Louisiana. We generally have one big run of speckled trout on the grass beds in the fall - usually in October and November - and we catch numbers of really nice-sized redfish as well as speckled trout. Generally the fish are sitting there in the grass, spawning anClick to enlarged feeding as much as possible. If we can find the fish, we catch a lot of specks and reds on top-water lures in the fall. We catch numbers of big female trout. The Skitterwalks, Top Dog and Zara Spooks seem to be the baits that really turn on the big trout. We also catch quite a few on the Chug Bug. But any bait that makes a lot of commotion on the surface and has a rattle in it will produce big trout and reds in the fall. Where you’re casting your bait is actually more important than what bait you’re casting.  As long as your top-water lure lands in a spot where the big trout are feeding, you’ll catch them.

Question: What kind of places are you fishing those top-water lures?
Schindler: I like to find a backwater pond with a sloping bank and fish it on an outgoing tide. On a high tide, the bait move into the pond and into the grass. Then when the water starts to fall out of those ponds, all the predator fish like speckled trout and redfish will come to the mouth of that pond and wait there for the tide to bring the bait to them. So, if you can reach the spot you want to fish in the morning when the tide starClick to enlargets falling out of those ponds, the bite will last longer. Too, the water doesn’t heat up as quickly as it does later in the morning.

Question: What’s the magic water temperature for catching big trout?
Schindler: My fishing mentor, Mike Thompson, taught me that 72 degrees was the best temperature to catch big trout on in the fall. Normally we have really-mild winters here, and we rarely get hammered by cold fronts.

Question: What will the air temperature be in the fall on the Mississippi Click to enlargeGulf Coast?
Schindler: Sometimes we go out in the mornings in the fall, and the air temperature will be 45 degrees when we leave the dock. Then by mid-morning, the temperature will be about 75 or 80 degrees. We have some really-strange weather here in Biloxi. You can go out for one week in 42-degree weather, and then by the weekend, a warm front will move in, and you’ll be fishing in shorts and t-shirts in 70- to 80-degreeweather.

Question: What’s your average-size trout in the fall?
Schindler: Our average trout will weigh 2 to 3 pounds, but we’ll get some bigger trout weighing 5 to 6 pounds.

To fish with Captain Sonny Schindler, call him at (228) 342-2295, email him at, or visit For accommodations, contact Bobby Carter at the Isle of Capri at (800) 843-4753, or go to To learn more Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, check out, or call (866) SEEMISS (733-6477).

Tomorrow: Fall’s the Hottest Time of the Year for Specks and Reds in the Biloxi March

Check back each day this week for more about "Catching Redfish and Speckled Trout off the Mississippi Coast with Captain Sonny Schindler"

Day 1: Speckled Trout All Year Long
Day 2: How to Catch Speckled Trout
Day 3: Redfish Magic
Day 4: Book Now for Big Trout in the Fall
Day 5: Fall’s the Hottest Time of the Year for Specks and Reds in the Biloxi Marsh


Entry 468, Day 4