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Barrier island angling action - Cat Island, Mississippi

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Cat Island is a barrier isle in the Gulf of Mexico, located offshore of Harrison County, Mississippi. The island got its name from Spanish explorers who mistook raccoons they saw there for cats. But today, it is the fishing around the island that attracts visitors.

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The western and southern portions of the T-shaped island are in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The rest of the island is private property. It is the most westerly of the four Mississippi barrier isles that are part of the national seashore.

Accessible only by boat, Cat Island has marshes on the southern side and offers good fishing for both redfish and seatrout. The marsh is especially accessible to wading anglers near the southern tip in the national seashore at the Smugglers Cove area.

Shore Thing Fishing Charters out of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi has a house on the island in which they host The Cat Island Experience. Anglers can book either two-day or four-day all inclusive trips that provide guiding fishing from boats, kayaks or wading. The angling can take place around the island or during excursions to the Louisiana Marsh to the southwest.

The main method of fishing for the reds and trout is using live shrimp suspended beneath popping corks. Soft plastic trailer threaded onto leadhead jigs also can produce fish. For fly-casters Clouser Minnows, Lefty’s Deceivers and Seaducers are a few of the patterns that catch the trout. Redfish are susceptible to flies that mimic small crabs or shrimp.

A good jumping off point for anglers running their own boats to the island is at the small craft harbor in Long Beach, Mississippi.

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