When people talk about saltwater fishing most people immediately have visions of Louisiana.. I’m not a saltwater guy, pretty much a bass fisherman and that’s it. I dream of 5lb smallmouth.
I recently had a chance to return to the saltwater to fish, but it’s in a location that probably not on many peoples radar scope, South Mississippi. Woke a 3am, 15 minutes later I was headed south. Stopped on the way in Hueytown to pick up my buddy Mike (The one that talked me into this salt stuff) By 5am we were headed south again.
We rolled into Shepard State Park at 10am on fire to setup camp and get on the water. Shepard is a nice place although it could use some work and could use some pest control for the mighty brave raccoons.
Not long after we got there the rest of the crew showed up from the morning fishing adventure, sadly the news wasn’t good. Fishing had been tough that morning and the temperatures had been close to freezing that morning. Not what we wanted to hear but still we were ready to persevere.
So by 1230 we were on the water ready to wear the fish out. Somebody forgot to tell the fish! This was a new place to me although we had passed it before. The bite was tough and very few came to hand, although what did make it in the cooler were nice ones. No one had the skunk; even I managed a dink flounder. Mike caught his best red to date and Matthew caught a nice red also.
The evening was spent around the campfire with hamburgers and hot dogs Steve was nice enough to bring us enough firewood for two nights! Mike cooked up a peach dump cobbler in the Dutch oven that was spot on for some hungry fisherman. That’s one nice thing about camping when you go on these fishing trips is sitting around the fire talking fishing and learning new things.
Day two we were met up with Steve at the boat launch. Mike had been here before but for the other three of us it was all new. The setup was perfect, it was an area that had not been affected by the recent influx of freshwater, the winds were nonexistent and the current was moving. That’s pretty much where it ended, it wasn’t meant to be. I did more paddling than I did fishing, recent dredging in the area may have affected the fish. Maybe it is just too early? I caught one legal flounder.
So we all pulled out and loaded up to fill our bellies. I had an idea for the perfect place to go for that all though I had never been there. So we pull in to Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli. You give your order to a lady at a back-corner table. She writes it on a white paper sack, which she plops on an adjacent counter. You help yourself to a soft drink from a cooler or the soda fountain and browse the seafood market in back or the shelves of spice mixes. Then you pick up that same sack, now filled with fresh seafood, or perhaps a po’boy, and eat at a paper-towels-equipped table against the opposite wall. It doesn’t get any more down-home.
After lunch we had a new plan; and we headed to the new launch point. It was not meant to happen, we arrived to discover the wind had picked up and was now blowing a steady 15 mph. The place we had in mind was in the wide open and there was no protection from the wind.
After a 5 minute discussion on what to do we decided our only option was to back up and punt. A new location with wind protection in mind was decided and off we went again. At the new location it was confirmed that we made the right choice, wind was being block, somewhat and the water was looking good. Fishing the rest of the afternoon everyone scored. Not too bad for a place that none of us had been to before. By the time I decided to head back toward the truck I soon discovered that I was the only one still on the water. I think everyone else was done for! Arms like jelly if you know what I mean.
We said goodbye to Steve and headed on back to camp. Cleaned up and headed to town for some good food cooked by someone else! We ate at the Country Gentleman restaurant. Good food if you are ever in the area!
While we didn’t kill them we all still had a good time, I think we are just a wee bit early for the fish to move up into the bayous. I think the recent influx of freshwater and cold temperatures has set back the movement of fish into the shallows by a few weeks.
To fish the saltwater there is not that much to invest; your bass rod and reels will work fine in the bayous. Tackle to fish with is a minimal investment too.
You might say why MS when I can go to LA? A MS out of state saltwater license is only $34.29 for a year compared with Louisiana at $90.