Regional Reports-West

Mississippi Gulf Coast

With big schools of redfish swarming around the barrier islands, and the offshore oil rigs loaded with snapper, king mackerel and cobia, August is the hottest month on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in more ways than one. These torrid summer days provide the coast with the most stable weather pattern of the year, which means more calm days for making offshore runs. Short runs of less than 10 miles bring Horn and Ship Island into play, and that's where you'll find the bull reds. Plenty of other species are available in the same areas, including Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, shark and an occasional ling. Add another hour of running, and the first rigs come into view. The farther you go, the more fish and clear water you find. At the first rigs, look for snapper, kings and cobia. As you hit blue water, look for tuna, dolphin, wahoo and amberjack. Contact: Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (601-432-2400).