By Craig Nyhus, LSON
Biloxi and Ocean Spring, Mississippi, don’t look like they used to. Casinos hover over the bay and new houses line the bayous.
The fish likely never left — and are worth a morning trip.
The group of eight fishermen piled into two boats at Mikey’s bait shop and restaurant in Ocean Springs, before attending a conference at Biloxi’s Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, hosted by the Ocean Conservancy.
Captain Mike Adams led one group through a few miles of bayou, headed toward Biloxi Bay.
“We might catch anything in here,” he said.
Soon after the live shrimp behind a popping cork was tossed toward the bank, a largemouth bass was brought in.
“There are quite a few bayou bass here,” Adams said. “They love shrimp.”
Several stops on the bayou brought a few redfish, puppy drum and a nice trout, along with more bass.
“Do you want to keep any fish?” Adams asked.
The group was made up of all out-of-staters and initially declined.
“I cook them up at the restaurant if you want to stay for lunch,” Adams said.
Next, the boat headed for the bay, with Biloxi’s casinos in the background. A group of pilings was the destination.
“This is a pretty good spot,” Adams said.
Tossing shrimp below only a split-shot weight, several good-sized black drum and sheepshead were landed, along with a nice red and a flounder.
The morning fishing ended, but not what may have been the best part of the trip. While Adams cleaned the fish, the group had fresh oysters on the half shell. Then Adams cooked blackened and fried fish, excellent fresh fillets from the sea.
“I have the boat launch, bait shop and restaurant all right here,” he said. “I’m the only one around here that has that.”
Some gamblers and convention attendees take the five-minute drive to catch some fish. And Adams can usually talk them into eating some of what they catch.