There are ample opportunities for great fishing action this month along the gulf coast
June is here and so is the summer weather. It’s great to be out along the Gulf Coast enjoying the many blessings bestowed on us fortunate enough to live in the salty region. Let’s look at a few of the coastal options available this month.
Anglers who like to feel the cool temperature of a foamy, beachside adventure are eager to hit the shores on foot to do battle with multiple inshore species. Speckled trout always seem to be the preferred target when wade fishing, Dauphin Island or Gulf Shores. Plenty of nice specks will be roaming the surf in search of a meal and will be willing to chase down your offerings, especially early mornings.
MirrOlures are the wade angler’s favorites when chasing speckled trout. Trout will also be interested in top-water plugs like the Skitter Walk. Armed with a small belly box style tackle holder, the wade fisherman can be on the move constantly, searching for schools of trout. You’ll need a stringer to tow along your catch and a great pair of polarized sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays and reflection off the water.
Spoons are an excellent option for wade fishing. The throw well, especially in stiff southern breezes. Be sure to bring along some black steel leaders to help deal with bluefish, Spanish mackerel and small sharks that have super sharp teeth.
As waters warm in Mobile Bay, you can count on specks, white trout and flounder to start using the gas rigs as a temporary home. Live shrimp will entice all these species around the rigs. Fish move often, so be prepared to ‘rig-hop.’
All eyes will be on red snapper as the federal season is finally open. Catching a couple of snapper will be easy during the beginning of the season, but savvy snapper soon become spooky after so many lead weights are dropped on their heads. You will have to down-size your terminal tackle, using smaller hooks and smaller baits.
After catching your limit of red snapper, you can drift live baits over reefs in the 30-40 foot range to connect with king mackerel. You can also troll Sea Witches rigged with cigar minnows over these same reefs to stir up the kings. Blue and white or red and white combos do well in this situation.
Wade fishing will also be going on ‘full strength’ around the barrier islands of the Mississippi Coast. Horn Island and Cat Island offer great wade fishing opportunities for those with a boat capable of reaching them. Anglers fishing these islands will aim their efforts on the Gulf side of these islands. Out here, the silver spoon will be a favorite choice. Coupled with a black steel leader to fend off toothy species like Spanish and bluefish, you can encounter some of the bigger speckled trout referred to as “gulf trout.”
“There’s no doubt that you may also encounter some brawny redfish while surf fishing, so use a heavier test monofilament line or switch to a heavier braid.”
There’s no doubt that you may also encounter some brawny redfish while surf fishing, so use a heavier test monofilament line or switch to a heavier braid. Both upgrades will prevent ‘heart-ache’ as a big fish breaks you off.
Up in Biloxi Bay, you can count on seeing Capt. Robert Brodie chasing inshore fish. Biloxi Bay holds huge multitudes of inshore fish. White trout and ground mullet are there for the taking, with pieces of dead shrimp being the best bait. If you want a bigger pull you can venture out to the barrier islands of Horn, Cat or Ship Islands. Out there you can float live shrimp or croakers to do battle with bull reds.
“When I go out to the barrier islands, I like to fish the stumps along the banks. I often encounter very nice Spanish mackerel after chumming with ground up menhaden or fresh shrimp,” Brodie said.
Capt. Brodie also likes to fish some of the local reefs in 10 feet or more. One of his favorites in June is Katrina Reef.
“On and around the full moon in June you can count on some big Spanish mackerel showing up on Katrina Reef. We start using wire leaders and float live shrimp under a cork to target the Spanish. If we fish the bottom with fresh shrimp, we can do well on nice white trout in June,” Brodie said.
Down in the Apalachicola/St. George Island area it will be hard to beat the knowledge and experience of Captain Junior Holland. With over 40-years as a Captain, he surely knows the area well. During June, Captain Holland will target multiple species. Speckled trout, redfish, black drum, white trout, and whiting.
“We fish to the east towards Carrabelle and the Goose Island Marsh. We also target Bird Island and Little St. George Island. For bait, we have to stick to finfish baits, because of the nuisance catfish that eat all your live shrimp. We carry along plenty of pogies for live bait. We catch all of the species mentioned earlier in these areas,” Holland explained.
“Sometimes we encounter beautiful tripletail during the boat ride from place to place. The tripletail will be hanging around crab floats and any posts we encounter. A really big live shrimp is the bait choice for the delicious tripletails, Holland said.
Holland said June is a great month to target tarpon at the mouth of East River. “There is an area where we target tarpon called West Pass. A lot of folks call it ‘the playground.’ They call it that because so many tarpon are in the area it looks like kids on a playground, moving all about. We use live mullet for the tarpon, but if you want a real thrill you can try for them with artificials. They really like a broke-back type hard plug. The best color combination seems to be silver/blue back. It sure is exciting to see those tarpon crash that plug!” Holland said.
June is the jump off to the summer fishing season. Get out there and get in on the action right now.
See you on the water!
Captain Junior Holland
Team Brodie Charters