John's Journal...

Summer Fishing off Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

Spanish and King Mackerel

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Mississippi’s Gulf Coast has some fantastic fishing, and although you may want to target a particular species of fish on your fishing trip, you never really know what you’ll catch. Let’s take a look at offshore fishing in July out of Biloxi, Mississippi, with Captain Mike Foto of the “Fish Finder” charter boat.

Brian Jones of Starkville, Miss., grabbed the rod dancing in the rod holder. As he began to reel, we could see a patch of white with brown spots bouncing in the boat wake. After grinding in more than 100 yards of monofilament line, Jones boated a nice-sized Spanish mackerel. In only a few short minutes, his brother Michael Jones of Jackson, Miss., was on a different rod withClick to enlarge another Spanish mackerel. “This has really been a good year for catching both Spanish and king mackerel,” Captain Mike Foto of the charter boat “Fish Finder” explains. “We can come out of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor and within 1 mile of shore start catching both Spanish and king mackerel and an occasional redfish by trolling Drone spoons on downriggers. The Spanish mackerel is a great fish to eat if you fillet it, cut the red line out of the center of the fillet, marinate it in Italian dressing and then cook it on the grill. Spanish mackerel is a fish we always can bet on catching.”

Because netting is prohibited in Florida and some parts of Alabama, more Spanish mackerel now are being caught on the Upper Gulf Coast. And apparently, the two-fish limit and the length limit on king mackerel hClick to enlargeas increased their numbers. Fishermen out of Biloxi quickly and easily can catch their limits of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel and then fish for redfish, sharks, cobia, snapper and/or other species. “Many times, we’ll catch a limit of king mackerel and all the Spanish mackerel our party wants to catch,” Foto reveals. “Then we’ll get behind a shrimp boat or go to one of the passes and fish for sharks, jack crevalle, cobia and bonito. You never can tell what you’ll catch. When the shrimp boat is picking through their catch, they’re throwing a lot of bycatch in the water, which attracts large numbers of fish. However, if there’s not a shrimp boat anchored-up and cleaning its catch, we can go to some of the passes, use the Chum Churn, put out a chum line and chum in sharks, redfish and cobia. Here in Biloxi, there’s always something biting, some type of fish tClick to enlargeo be caught and a place and a way to keep rods bent and smiles on fisherman’s faces.”

On a day of fishing, Foto says he usually will bring-in a limit of king mackerel, a good number of Spanish mackerel, a limit of red snapper and some triggerfish and grouper. “We primarily catch gag grouper, which have to be 22-inches long for us to keep,” Foto mentions. “But we catch and release a number of small grouper.”

For more information on fishing with Captain Mike Foto, visit, call
601-528-9562 or 228-860-0314, or email To learn more about Mississippi’s great vacation opportunities, go to, call 1.866.SEE.MISS (733-6477), or email For a great place to stay during your trip to Mississippi, call the Isle of Capri in Biloxi, Mississippi at 1-800-THE-ISLE (843-4753), or visit

Tomorrow: Take a Family Shrimping Trip

Check back each day this week for more about "Summer Fishing off Mississippi’s Gulf Coast"

Day 1: Summer Cobia with Captain Mike Foto
Day 2: Sharks and Porpoises
Day 3: Spanish and King Mackerel
Day 4: Take a Family Shrimping Trip
Day 5: Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill


Entry 520, Day 3