Biloxi anglers had the winning ticket if they were at the Isle of Capri Resort Hotel Friday, September 28 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. That’s when the Sport Fishing/Yamaha ”Learn from the Experts” Saltwater Fishing Seminar visited the Gulf coast.
For the ticket price of $15, an entire family enjoyed detailed presentations on how to catch locally hot species. Besides valuable tips on fishing wrecks and rigs offshore, guests also heard the correct methods for rigging for snapper, cobia, king mackerel and marlin, and how to stalk the flats for redfish and trout.
Yamaha Outboards and Cobia, Century and Contender boats were on display in front of the Isle of Capri Resort Marina in support of the Southern Kingfishing Association, which held its pro division competition there. Inside, Mark Schaferkotter, New Orleans regional sales representative for SIMRAD Electronics, presented his company’s CE40-DGPS, one of the grand prizes to be awarded at the conclusion of the 2001 seminar year.
Speakers included popular Biloxi-area experts Capt. Steve Shook, Golden Meadow, Louisiana; Capt. Scott Simpson, Pass Christian, Mississippi; Capt. Rich Schmidt, Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Capt. Dave Ballay, Venice, Louisiana.
Capt. Shook and his team weighed in the best fish on the tournament’s first day, a 52-pound 4-ounce king, then joined the seminar crowd in the Isle of Capri’s ballroom for his perspective on king mackerel fishing. Capt. Simpson then spoke on light-tackle techniques for local inshore species and where to find them. Capt. Schmidt of Chandeleur Outfitters gave numerous practical tips on fly casting (remove your shoes and file down your hook barbs, for example), as well as where to find reds and trout. Capt. Ballay of Venice Marina spoke extensively on how to fish offshore rigs and bottom structure (stay up-current instead of down-current from the rigs, he instructed), and on the proper use of chum lines and bait.
The seminar wrapped up on Friday night after Sport Fishing magazine hosts gave away a generous quantity of door prizes provided by the seminar’s sponsors. The prizes ranged from free lures by Yo-Zuri, Headstart, D.O.A. and Todd’s Lures to marine paint, a 12-weight graphite fly rod by Scott, and lots, lots more.
Registered guests also received a certificate for a free ROFFS fishing forecast for Biloxi-area waters, an invaluable tool for both tournament and recreational anglers.
Biloxi was the eighth of nine locations scheduled for 2001. The final Sport Fishing/Yamaha seminar is to be held December 6 at the Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, where captains will discuss how and where to fish on Florida’s gulf coast for tarpon, snook, cobia, grouper, snapper, redfish and trout.