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Recreational Fishing Making a Strong Comeback on Mississippi Gulf Coast

By Rhonda Miller | Published 09 Jul 2012 08:07pm | comments
Robert and Jane Clare Edwards at D'Ibervielle Marina.

Recreational fishing is making a strong comeback on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports small charter boats are getting more of the business.

At the D’Iberville Marina, Captain Robert Brodie pours buckets of water on the dock and tosses out the morning catch.  

"Today we caught Florida pompano, that’s sort of like an exotic species we catch at the barrier islands. Also, we caught southern kingfish, which are commonly called whiting. Today we also caught some really big flounder."

Brodie’s business, Team Brodie Charters, charges $375 for half a day and $475 for a full day. He can take up to four people.

"The fishing has really come back strong. Doing little boats like we do, we do the inshore. So we can fish no matter what the weather."

"Oh, the fishing was great.  We got rained on, but we made it work and we had a great time."

That’s Jane Clare Edwards of Brandon.

"We live on the reservoir, so we fish a lot at home. This is our second year. We came last summer and had  a great time and caught a lot of fish. And so we’re back this summer. We went out further this time, and so we caught bigger fish this time."

Other people are coming back, too. Last year 65,000 people bought recreational saltwater fishing licenses. This year, it’s up to nearly 70,00, according to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

"Alright, it’s $43.75."  "OK , we can handle that."

At the marine supply store, President of the Mississippi Charter Boat Captain’s Association Tom Becker is buying a new rod holder for his boat. 

"Recreational fishing, if you’re talking strictly fishing, the fish are out there, believe me, they are out there. The problem is, the people, to my type boat, which is a big offshore boat, they don’t have that kind of money."

Becker charges $750 for half a day and $950 for a full day.  Fuel alone costs at least $200 for a trip, then he has deckhands to pay. Usually about 10 people charter the boat, to cover the cost. Becker says with the cost of fuel and the weak economy, in the past few years, he’s lost about half of his business.






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