It is against the law for charter fishing guides in Mississippi waters, to keep their limit of speckled trout on a charter trip. Did you know how this law came to be? The law was proposed by our own Mississippi Charter fishing guides, in the Dept of Marine Resources Charter for Hire Task Force. This all happened 2 years ago. We just wanted to help out, and not kill any more trout than necessary. It was a surprisingly effortless and speedy event. It hasn’t hurt our business at all. Our fifteen trout per person, per day limit is plenty fish for most folks.
Our guides catch plenty of fish. Some days it’s good, and some days it’s astonishing how many fish we bring in. Don’t ever think for a second I’m not in favor of keeping fish. I’m just a big fan of protecting our incredible fishery. I want everyone that fishes outta of Mississippi to have a great time.
I had a crew in town last week, and we didn’t keep one single fish. We caught fish all day too. They released trout, reds, drum, and flounder. These guys were flying back up north the next day, and didn’t have a place to store, or desire to fool with the fillets.
Too often we catch and kill fish, simply because we can. We come in with way more fish than we will ever need. I’m just as guilty as anyone.
So I want to challenge y’all, and myself. Just keep what we need, and let some swim to be caught another day. Release a couple to spawn, or be caught another day. Take a picture, maybe tag some, or just turn a few back for “seed”. They only get bigger and make more fish. There is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving it better than you found it.
As always, have fun and be safe.