John's Journal...

Summer Fishing off Mississippi’s Gulf Coast

Take a Family Shrimping Trip

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. Your entire family also can enjoy shrimping out of Biloxi, Mississippi.

On the first day we arrived in Biloxi, we fished with Captain Brian Drilling on Mike Moore’s charter boat, “Strictly Business.” Moore runs two businesses. Along with operating his own charter boat, he also runs Biloxi Shrimping Trip, which takes visitors who come Click to enlargeto Biloxi on a short shrimping trip. He puts out a shrimp net, drags it for 10 to 15 minutes, brings in the catch and teaches the visitors about all the different species of crabs, shrimps and fish he catches in the net. This is a great introductory trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast because Moore explains how all the different species of fish and crustaceans work together as a total ecological unit under the protection of the Barrier Islands to produce a tremendous amount of bait that feeds the speckled trout, the redfish, the flounder and other species of fish in the Gulf of Mexico. The shrimping tour is a 70-minute expedition conducted between Deer Island and the Biloxi shoreline. This is a great trip for youngsters and oldsters alike to learn how a shrimp net operates and see a wide variety of strange and unusual fish.

Those interested in fishing can charter the “Strictly Business” charter boat, and fish with either Captain Brian Drilling or Captain David Powell. We opted for an inshore trip to catch Spanish and king mackerel, and there were plenty of fish to be caught and sites to see. We pulled up beside one boat and watched an angler fight the fish on his line for 15 to 20 minutes. We assumed he had a giant redfish on the liClick to enlargene. But when the fish came on top of the water, and we saw the long yellow sickle-shaped fins, we knew instantly it was a jack crevalle. Although these fish aren’t preferred for tablefare, they’re one of the sportiest fish that swims the Gulf. These fish will stretch your string, bend your rod and give your muscles a real workout.

Another boat trolling near us caught a magnum redfish weighing between 30 and 40 pounds. Captain Brian Drilling explains, “When the sun comes out, the redfish often will get on these shallow bars and start feeding on shrimp and baitfish. They’ll force the baitfish to the surface where the gulls can dive on them, and the gulls will direct us to the schools of big redfish. There often will be acres of redfish out here on these bars. Although we don’t keep any of the bigger redfish, they’re fun to catch, make great pictures and are fun to release.” Click to enlarge

But the king and the Spanish mackerel were our targets that day, and they were plentiful. The kings we caught kept the deckhand busy gaffing and bringing the bigger kings on board and hand-lining the little kings to release them. When the Spanish mackerel took our baits, they were hand-lined into the boat and deposited quickly into the cooler. If you’re looking for a double-down adventure for your family, children and adults of all ages will enjoy the shrimping trip, and if you want to catch some king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, sharks, amberjacks, cobia, red snapper, grouper, triggerfish or other fish that swim in the Gulf, plan a trip on the charter boat “Strictly Business.”

To fish with Captain Mike Moore at Strictly Business Fishing Charters, call 228-392-4047, visit 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: Shaggy’s Harbor Bar and Grill

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 4