Biloxi, Mississippi, is located right on the Gulf of Mexico. Biloxi is located in the “Fertile Fishery Crescent,” the area of the North Gulf from Mobile Bay to the Sabine Pass on the TX/LA border. This area is considered one of the most fertile and most important fishing areas in the US. As a result, the waters host a plethora of fish both inshore and offshore. Biloxi is called “The Playground of the South” because of the white sandy beaches, the addition of world-class casinos, and outdoor activities like championship golf courses, and, of course, top-notch fishing.
Fishing the Waters of Biloxi
Many professional charters specialize in inshore and offshore trips for all ages and experiences. The waters of Biloxi are plentiful, with a bounty of fish just waiting to be hooked.
Two of the big fish to fish for are the redfish and the red snapper. The redfish is a year-round fish that gives you a real fight. They can get to be as big as 50 lbs. in the late fall/early winter. The red snapper has a small two-month or less season starting on June 1st and lasting till the end of July. But because this season is strictly enforced, when they feel that the fish has been fished out, to protect the numbers, they can shut down the season earlier than the July 31st date. This ensures that we will have more of this fun, hard-hitting, and tasty fish every year.
There is plenty of other fish inshore, nearshore, offshore and deep offshore. Many of them are available year-round, while others are only around for a part of the year. And a few have seasons that the government regulates.
The backcountry rivers, marshes, back bays, Biloxi Bay, Deer Island, the numerous structures like pilings and bridges, and the oyster reefs are some of the fishing destinations your experienced captain has to choose from. They will consider what you want to catch, the time of year, and the local fishing charts and chats from other fishing captains as to where the fish are biting to make your trip full of action and a full cooler at the end of the day.
Inshore is the trio of redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. These three species are found year-round in these waters. Other fish that you might catch depending on the time of year are Florida pompano, tripletail, white trout, black drum, and sheepshead, to name a few. In the Biloxi River and the other smaller rivers, big trophy bass and catfish can be found.
Many fish can be found near the close barrier islands and the wrecks and reefs just a few miles off the coast. You can target bottom feeders like snapper and grouper and sharks and fun fish like jack crevalle, cobia, king and Spanish mackerel, pompano, bull reds, bluefish, tripletail, and more. But you have to be aware of the seasons for some types of these fish. Your charter captain will know what is in season and what is not.
Red Snapper Season
Red snapper is only available, as stated before, from June – late July. Still, there are plenty of other kinds of snappers in these waters. Mangrove, or as they are also called grey or black snapper, lane snapper, and vermillion snapper, all make their homes in the reefs and wrecks and are available year-round.
Grouper have some restrictions as well. For example, gag grouper season is from June – December. But just like the snapper, there is plenty of other grouper in these waters that you can fish year-round too. Red, black, yellowtail, scamp, yellowmouth grouper are all found. They can be caught year-round except for February, where if you are in 20+ fathoms of water, you cannot fish for them. Also, you can hook the enormous goliath grouper and Nassau grouper, and they are a real workout, but harvesting them is prohibited.
Other restrictions are in reef fishing. There is a limit to the amount of fish allowed to take home. You can bring in a total of 20 reef fish. However, there are limitations to this as well. You can only bring home one greater amberjack and up to five hogfish. Otherwise, most of the other reef fish are fair game. Gray triggerfish also have a season from March-May and August to December. The greater amberjack season is only from August to December.
At the end of April and early May, the cobia are in significant numbers. Fishing off Cat Island and Horn Island are two great places to catch this hard-hitting fish. But you may have to fight the sharks to get them into the boat.
These restrictions mentioned above are followed further out to sea as well.
There are wrecks about 20 miles offshore that are a good option, especially when Horn Island is too crowded. You can hook up with snappers, groupers, and other reef fish as well as cobia until the end of summer. There are oil and natural gas rigs further out, 30-100 miles offshore. These are also great places for big snapper, grouper, cobia, amberjack, king mackerel, and large sharks. Further out, 75+ miles is the area where the monsters live. Marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna are found in these deep waters near the rigs.
There are no seasons for the billfish and other trophy fish found in the deep waters of the Gulf, but summer is the best time to find blue marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, and wahoo. Tuna is available all year in the Gulf, but the summer is when they are hot. However the late fall and winter months, the tuna come closer to shore and are larger, 100 lbs. on average, so you might want to think about a tuna excursion in December. As a bonus, most of the other fish are bigger too and hitting just as hard too.
Inshore most anglers tend to use light tackle with live baits or lures. This makes the hit of the redfish and trout that much more fun. Nearshore, they still use light tackle and live bait but can switch to heavy tackle if trying to land a shark or a giant grouper or snapper. Also, you may try chumming and drifting for cobia. Offshore trolling and bottom-feeding are the main techniques used with heavy tackle and live bait. You can also see kites attracting the sailfish.
Biloxi is in one-word fun. No matter what time of year, you will be ensured of action-filled days with hard-hitting fish that ends with a full freezer at home. Experience the waters Biloxi for yourself. You will be hooked!