The Magnolia State is a Southern Man’s Paradise
Mississippi offers abundant recreational opportunities for anyone who wishes to step outside and appreciate nature.
On the Gulf Coast, anglers can enjoy fishing for many freshwater and saltwater species all year long in diverse habitats. All Mississippi rivers and lakes teem with largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegills and other fish. In many places, like the river deltas, anglers frequently catch fresh and saltwater species, including redfish, speckled trout, flounder and bass, at the same time on the same baits.
In the nearshore waters of Mississippi Sound, fishermen catch trout and redfish, but the catch might also include Spanish mackerel, bluefish, cobia, tripletail and other species. Head offshore to fish for several grouper and snapper species, king mackerel, mahi mahi, wahoo, tuna, sailfish, swordfish and marlin. Depending upon the location and season, the catch might include more than a dozen species in a day.
East Pearl River forms part of the Louisiana-Mississippi line and creates a fertile marshland between the state line and Waveland. Farther east, Bay St. Louis covers 27 square miles near Pass Christian. Several feeder streams, including the Jourdan and Wolf rivers, feed into it. Besides fishing, the bays, rivers and bayous offer outstanding kayaking opportunities.
“People fishing Bay St. Louis don’t need to travel far to catch fish,” explained Sonny Schindler with Shore Thing Fishing Charters. “People can catch several species near the bridges crossing the bay entrance.”
Between Biloxi and Ocean Springs, the Back Bay provides a variety of incredible fishing opportunities. The Tchoutacabouffa and Biloxi rivers and several bayous flow into the system. Throughout the entire estuary and adjacent waters, anglers often find excellent fishing for several species.
“Fishing around Biloxi is really awesome,” reported Robert Brodie of Team Brodie Charters in Biloxi. “People can fish in the Gulf of Mexico, the rivers, around the islands, off the beaches and in the bays for many different species.”
Several barrier islands provide abundant recreational opportunities to include fishing, swimming, hiking or just sunning on the beaches. History buffs might tour Fort Massachusetts, a Civil War fort on Ship Island.
The Pascagoula River creates a vast wilderness of streams when it flows into Mississippi Sound near Moss Point. These streams offer excellent paddling and fishing prospects. Just to the north, people can hunt deer, small game and waterfowl in the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area and other WMAs.
Six national forests cover more than a million acres of Mississippi, preserving diverse habitats for future generations. These lands allow hunting, hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding and other recreational activities.
The largest national forest in Mississippi, De Soto National Forest covers 518,587 acres south of Hattiesburg. The Black Creek Wilderness covers 5,052 acres. Popular for canoeing, camping and fishing, Black Creek flows into the Pascagoula River. The Leaf River Wilderness covers about 42,000 acres in Greene County.
People can hike the Black Creek Trail, the Tuxachanie Trail and other trails. The first five miles of the Tuxachanie allow easy access for people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities. People can also hike trails in the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge near Gautier.
On any day of the year, people living in South Mississippi can find something to do outdoors with just a short drive. The problem comes in deciding what to do!