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Posted on May 26, 2011 in Get Reel
The Gulf is Back

Welcome to my blog. As you may remember, I used to do a video blog here on saltwatersportsman.com, but I've decided to branch out and do a traditional blog with video and photo elements mixed in, a combination of mediums if you will. Anyway, here we go.

For my first topic, I want to tell you about last week. A group of us traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi as guests of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Tourism folks. My good friend Bobby Carter of the Isle Resort and Casino in Biloxi put us up, and we all got to ride a float and throw beads in the Biloxi Mardi Gras parade on Fat Tuesday. Many people don't know that Biloxi has the third oldest Mardi Gras festival, after Mobile, Alabama (the original), and New Orleans (currently the largest). This was the 103rd year of Biloxi's celebration. What a trip that was! SWS field editor Karl Anderson came along for the ride, as did Chris Fischer, my buddy who catches 4,000-pound sharks on the National Geographic Channel for fun.

While Mardi Gras was a terrific party, the Mississippi tourism folks were attempting to get out a serious message — that the Gulf coast has rebounded from the double body blows of hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, and is open for business. The people of the Gulf coast are a resilient bunch, and we came away impressed by their infectious optimism, and their sense of humor.

After our stay in Biloxi, we traveled down to Venice, Louisiana for a few days of offshore fishing, where we enjoyed great action for yellowfin and blackfin tuna, wahoo, grouper, snapper and more. The legendary fishing in this part of the world is back, and you'll be reading all about it in detail in a future issue of Salt Water Sportsman.

We finished the trip with a night in New Orleans, where we caught the incredible Rockin' Dopsie (pronounced "DOOP-see") and the Zydeco Twisters at the House of Blues. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities, and the crowds of people in the streets, fresh off Mardi Gras and anxious to begin celebrating St. Patrick's Day, made it hard to remember the horrors the city suffered through a few short years ago.

The bottom line is, the Gulf is back! You owe it to yourself to get down there and see it again, or for the first time, for yourself. You'll be glad you did.