Step Outside - Mississippi WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Mississippi 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Sun, 18 Nov 2018 23:18:00 -0600 SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Tishomingo State Park You can’t put a price on memories, but some memories are made more inexpensively than others. Some of your best ones come from family vacations, and there’s arguably no better place to travel than a state park. State parks usually have everything you could want inside park boundaries, from land and water sports to picnics and hiking and more. Best of all, it’s usually much cheaper to vacation at a state park than blowing your vacation fund at the beach or resort.

Tucked in the northeast corner of Mississippi lies Tishomingo State Park, a hidden jewel of sorts in the Mississippi landscape. This amazing state park isn’t your typical state park. The whole area is steeped in culture and history, offering a glimpse into the past of Paleo Indians and the stories they left behind. Visitors can view the giant rock formations and other natural wonders not found anywhere else in the state, along with hiking trails, disc golf, canoeing and fishing, rock climbing, a swimming pool, playground, and other amenities. 

This homey little American eatery isn’t far from Tishomingo State Park, and has something on the menu that’s likely to suit every appetite. They specialize in favorites like burgers, chicken fingers, and all the fixings to make your meal complete. 

If you’re looking to feed a crowd, Hometown Pizza is sure to please. This treasured pizza joint has all your favorite flavors, including their very own pizza sauce, along with pasta and wings.

Mmmmm

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Brush up on local culture and history at this great history museum. Located in the old courthouse (a piece of history on its own), the museum displays several artifacts from the Civil War, Native Americans, and other cultural items. The architecture alone is worth the trip.

This little piece of history is located in the midst of Iuka, but is still considered one of the state’s most hidden gems. The park features three of its original six natural springs, which have been rumored to have healing properties. Local legend says an ailing chief drank its waters and his health was fully restored. You can take a taste for yourself (the St. Louis World’s Fair once touted it as the best water in the country). The park is also home to a playground, covered bridge, and log cabin.

For rainy days at the park or simply as an alternative to hiking and all things outdoors, head north about 45 minutes to Corinth, Mississippi, and challenge your mind and wits. The Corinth Escape Rooms are interactive games that put you in the center of the action. Solve puzzles and find clues to make your way out of the room before time runs out!

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http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-tishomingo-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-tishomingo-state-park Fri, 02 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Clarcko State Park With 24 state parks spread out all across the state, Mississippi offers plenty of opportunities to plan an exciting outdoor adventure. With the state’s temperate weather and opportunity to view an abundance of stunning flora and fauna year-round, any time is a good time to get outdoors. Clarcko State Park, not far from Meridian, makes for the perfect spot to start an adventure. Here are the best things to do in and around the park!  

Clarkco State Park is located south of Meridian and north of Quitman off of Highway 145. The park is 815 acres of beautiful woodlands and gently-sloped hills, with a 65 acre lake, disc golf course, picnic pavilions, splash pad, and more. 

#thelmaandlouiseofthebayou our morning coffee view #clarkostatepark

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Clarkco State Park features a five-mile nature trail that circles the park. Stroll the trail at your own leisure—it's sectioned into half-mile segments, so you don't have to commit to the whole five miles at once if you don't want to. With wooden bridges and well-marked paths, this is an ideal hike for the whole family.

Here at my second favorite place on Earth. (GCBC still holds #1)

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As you're strolling along the nature trail, make your way to the north end of the lake. Here, you'll find an observation tower that allows you a bird's-eye view of the entire park. You'll absolutely love the stunning perspective of Ivy Lake from atop the tower.  

One of the best features of Clarkco State Park is the wide variety of camping options available. Whether you enjoy primitive tent camping, RV camping, or you'd prefer to relax in a a furnished, air-conditioned cabin or cottage, Clarkco State Park has exactly what you're looking for. 

If you're looking for something to do outside of the park, consider heading to the Causeyville General Store in Meridian. The site began as a Native American trading post in 1869 and opened in 1895 as a general store and gristmill. Many of the original fixtures are still in place, and the gristmill is still used to produce corn meal that is sold on site.

Meridian, Mississippi.

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Trail mix and hot dogs over the campfire are fun for awhile, but if you're going to camp for a couple of days, you might want to venture into town for a meal or two. Mimmo's Ristorante Pizzeria is known for having authentic, delicious Italian food. Their extensive menu covers pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and more. 

Dunn's Falls Water Park is about 20 minutes away from Clarkco State Park. This stunning park lies on the Chunky River and features a 65-foot waterfall that was created by John Dunn. The park is named in his honor and is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, hiking, and more. 

Fans of country music and history buffs alike will love visiting the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian. Jimmie Rodgers is often called "The Father of Country Music" and he was one of the first people to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Take a trip back in time as you view special artifacts from this influential musician's life.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-clarcko-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-clarcko-state-park Fri, 02 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Mississippi Here in Mississippi, we love to grab a few friends and take a spin through the mud. Whether you call it mud ridin' or mud boggin’, you'll need an ATV, plenty of mud, and maybe a friend with a big truck just in case you get stuck. Check out these five awesome spots to enjoy ATV off-roading in the state. 

Red Creek Off Road provides you with plenty of trails to run, from sandy roads to muddy bottoms. There's plenty of available lodging to accommodate anywhere from 2-20 people, so plan to stay for a day or two. Be sure to keep an eye out for special events!

Burden's Creek is located on a 400-acre park, so you and your friends will have plenty of privacy as you explore the trails. They're open seven days a week, so it's always the perfect time to head out to Burden's Creek. There's even a concession stand for when you get hungry.

Rocks Bottom in Forest is made up of 30 miles of trail spanning a breathtaking 550 acres. Although you're not far from Jackson, you'll feel like you're in the middle of nowhere as you trek through the swamplands at Rocks Bottom. Feel free to camp on-site!

Another Jackson-area park, Crossroads in Clinton is 170 acres of mud-riding fun. They have areas which are specific to both motocross and ATV riders, along with primitive camping, a snack bar, and a beautiful lake. They're only open on weekends, so plan accordingly!

Warfield Point Park is one of the Mississippi Delta's best places for ATV-style mud bogging. Warfield Park offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River as you cruise along the natural ridges created by the water. In addition, Warfield Park offers rider safety classes. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Mississippi Although watching the leaves change is usually thought of as an experience reserved for the Northeast, here in Mississippi we have some stunning foliage as well. These hikes will take you through some of our beautiful forests, giving you plenty of opportunities to see what nature has to offer. Here are five stunning foliage hikes in the state. 

The Little Mountain Trail in Jeff Busby Park is located off of the famous Natchez Trace Parkway near Ackerman, Mississippi. Little Mountain is one of the highest elevations in the state, and on a clear day you can see out about 20 miles. This is the perfect spot to see a variety of colors as the weather starts to change. 

Homochitto National Forest is a sprawling protected area about halfway between McComb and Natchez. The Clear Springs Trail system is well-maintained and offers beautiful views of a spring-fed lake and surrounding foliage. 

Easily one of the most beautiful parks in the state, hiking options are plentiful at Tishomingo State Park. The park has won 12 national awards and has been named the “Best Hiking Trail in Mississippi.” You'll be astonished at the variety of flora you find here!

Wall Doxey is a public area in North Mississippi near beautiful Spring Lake. The Wall Doxey State Park Nature Trail is a 2.5-mile loop around the lake. It's rated as an easy hike, making it perfect for taking the family to spot the colors as the leaves begin to change.

The Shockaloe Trail at Bienville National Forest is a 23-mile trail winding through dense Mississippi forest. Service roads allow you to shorten the trip, but why not bring a tent and camp along the way? You'll be able to experience the foliage of South Mississippi up-close and personal!

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ATV Off-Roading Adventure at The Park Looking for a fun and exciting adventure away from the norm? Try this overnight off-roading trip in the heart of the Pine Belt. We've picked a few recommendations for things to do in the area, plus one of the state's best destinations for off-roading—especially if you like it muddy!

To kick off your adventure, you need to have a good breakfast. The Sawmill Family Restaurant in Wiggins is a family-owned buffet restaurant that's been serving up home-style cooking for nearly 20 years. A rustic home-cooked meal is the perfect start for a day out in the woods!

After breakfast, it's time to hit the trails. About half an hour south of Wiggins you'll find the Park New Beginnings, formerly known as Muddy Joe's. This is a family-friendly destination in Perkinston featuring ATV trails, bogs, pits, and more. If you get tired of getting dirty, the park also includes a clubhouse, saltwater pool, video arcade, and more. They regularly have fun events like concerts, benefits, and mud races, so check their schedule!

This is the ultimate spot to fuel up after a long day of riding. Herrin’s features everything from seafood platters, to po’boys, to hot dogs, to delicious milkshakes. Try the classic catfish or shrimp po’boy for a truly traditional Southern bite. You will leave here full and satisfied. 

Lazy Magnolia Brewery is the oldest craft brewery in Mississippi. Take a tour and see how their famous brews are made, or just hang out and sip a couple of Southern Pecans or Jefferson Stouts in their taproom, known as the Porch. This is a great way to unwind. 

It’s time to rest your head for the night. After a long day, you can count on Econo Lodge to be reliable and comfortable. A stay here includes free Wi-Fi, a free continental breakfast, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a picnic area. 

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5 Best Fishing Spots in Mississippi In Mississippi, veteran anglers and inexperienced fishermen and women alike will find no shortage of incredible fishing spots to discover. From lakes covering over 1,000 acres to magnificent reservoirs, you’ll be catching crappie, bass, and catfish in no time. The Mississippi's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) estimates that there are more than a quarter of a million acres of freshwater fishing in the state. Here are the best fishing spots in Mississippi. 

Grenada Lake was created by the Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control lake on the Yalobusha River. The area is known as a particularly good spot to find crappie, but anglers also find bass, bream, and catfish in the waters. Set up camp in Hugh White State Park for a real outdoors experience.

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Lake Tangipahoa is a 490-acre lake in Percy Quin State Park southwest of McComb. It is formed by the Lake Tangipahoa Dam, which was built on the Tangipahoa River in 1940. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks reports that the crappie and bluegill are especially well-sized, but bass and catfish fishing are also popular here. 

The Okhissa Lake is a beautiful 1,075-acre lake located in the sprawling Homochitto National Forest. Okhissa Lake holds the unique distinction of being the first lake in the country endorsed by legendary bass fisherman Bill Dance, who was involved in developing the fishing habitat.

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Pickwick Lake is a reservoir in Mississippi's northeastern corner, and it joins Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Fishermen here often find black bass, crappie, catfish, and paddlefish. Even if you don't catch anything here, the scenery will be worth the day spent on the water! 

Located in Lafayette, Panola, and Marshall counties, Sardis Lake covers an amazing 98,520 acres on the Little Tallahatchie River. Anglers will enjoy fishing for catfish, crappie, and bass. In fact, many say that Sardis Lake boasts some of the best crappie fishing in the state. You won’t want to miss out on the abundant opportunity provided by this incredible lake.

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5 Awesome RV Campsites in Mississippi In Mississippi, there are plenty of beautiful places to camp, explore, and enjoy the outdoors. From national parks to privately held campgrounds, this state offers incredible diversity. For both a relaxing and thrilling weekend of travel, check out these five awesome RV campsites in Mississippi. 

The Tupelo area is home to some of the state's most beautifully secluded woods, making it an ideal spot for camping out. The Campground at Barnes Crossing is close enough to the city of Tupelo to be convenient, but you'll feel like you're a million miles from anywhere as you relax and enjoy the scenery!

River Town Campground is one of the most well-maintained RV campsites you'll ever find. You'll love the spacious feel of the park, the convenient amenities, and the friendly service. But the real star of the show comes when the sun goes down—you don't want to miss the legendary Vicksburg sunsets!

Paul B. Johnson is a sprawling park nestled in the heart of Mississippi's Pine Belt. Enjoy a day of fishing and boating on Geiger Lake, take the kids to the splash pad, or cool off in the game room. Whatever you're into, you'll find it at Paul B. Johnson!

Wallace Creek Campground is known for being peaceful and relaxing, with incredible views of Enid Lake. The staff here discourages loud music and partying, so it's the ideal place to escape if you're looking for a quiet retreat. There's also a large picnic area that's perfect for big groups!

Little Black Creek Campground stretches along the banks of a 640-acre lake. Enjoy fishing, biking, kayaking, or just relaxing and watching the sun set over the lake. Plan a visit on a holiday to enjoy their special firework shows!

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5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Mississippi Fall in Mississippi is a beautiful time of year for camping. The crisp autumn air is a welcome relief after a long summer, and it's the perfect opportunity for bonfires, s'mores, and sleeping bags. Here are five perfect fall camping spots in Mississippi. Get outside and enjoy!

The campgrounds are well-appointed at Lake Lincoln State Park, with a bath house, laundry room, playground, boat launch, hiking and biking trails, and excellent fishing. Located just northeast of Brookhaven (and south of Jackson), Lake Lincoln State Park is the perfect place to watch the leaves fall. 

The beautiful Clear Springs Recreation Area is located on an eight-acre lake in the Homochitto National Forest. This campground is secluded, making it the perfect place to get away from it all and relax. This isolated campground includes hiking trails, hot showers, a playground, and more. 

The Blue Bluff Campground and Recreation Area is located near Aberdeen on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, offering plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, and other water sports. The real draw, though, is the clay and limestone bluff overlooking beautiful Aberdeen Lake—the perfect spot for a view of the beautiful fall colors. 

For a family trip that's as rich in history as it is natural beauty, there's no rival for Grand Gulf Military Park. This landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it commemorates the early Mississippi town of Grand Gulf, an important location occupied by Union troops during the Civil War.

North Mississippi is the perfect place for viewing fall colors. George P. Cossar State Park is a sprawling area tucked into the trees, with 83 campsites and amenities including a putt putt golf course and an 18-hole disc golf course. Enjoy fishing on beautiful Enid Lake—the world record for crappie was caught right here!

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9 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Mississippi Being on the gulf coast and home to several lakes and rivers, there’s no doubt Mississippi has some of the best fishing in the country. Largemouth bass is a particular favorite in the state, along with sea trout, redfish, and catfish. However, you won’t win the day’s best catch without the right bait and gear. Stop by one of these best bait and tackle shops in Mississippi if you don’t want to go home empty handed.

As the local fisherman’s best friend, the staff here know the area well and help you find the best fishing spots for a successful day on the water. They’ve always got a high-quality selection of bait, lures, and other necessities in stock so you can get in, get out, and get on with your fishing goals.

Featuring both live and dead bait, you can find exactly what you need here without having to make a second trip elsewhere. Located right on the water, you won’t have to travel far to find a good fishing spot.

Fishermen dropping lines in Lake Washington know there’s no better place to shop than Bait-n-Thangs. This place offers a full-service fishing experience, from bait and tackle to camping cabins and RV hookups. They also have a fish cleaning station on site, plus they sell hunting and fishing licenses. 

This small yet sturdy shop is brimming with the greatest fishing gear in the area. They also carry all the extras you may have forgotten, like sunglasses, coolers, ice, and extra clothes.

Whether you’re planning on fishing in the marina or launching your boat here, you’ll want to first stop by the on-site shop for bait and other necessities to make your experience complete. It also helps they have some of the best views of the bayou, too.

Clay’s has earned its reputation among local fishermen and vacationers alike. They know their stuff, especially when it comes to finding the best gear to fish in the area. Regardless of where you’re fishing, be it the river or the lake, this shop has you covered.

There are lots of one-stop bait shops in Mississippi, but only Tommy’s offers a full suite of bait, tackle, gas, beer, snacks, and an on-site kitchen where you can fill up before you start your day on the water. They’re confident in the service they provide to you—if you don’t agree, they’ll refund your entire purchase price.

First stop on the #mississippihillcountrytrail #klr650

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Unlike many bait stores, McComb’s has a large retail area that makes it easy to shop for what you need. Because of their spacious size, they’re able to offer a variety of bait types and other accessories most shops simply don’t have the room for.

Folks love Bryant’s because it’s a no-frills shopping experience with hometown service. They’ve got just about everything you could want from a bait and tackle shop, and a little extra.

#lakelife #lake #cat

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-mississippi Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Archery Outfitters in Mississippi Mississippi is well known for its outdoor lifestyle, especially when it comes to archery. The state plays home to several top-notch archery stores that aren’t just selling archery supplies, but helping you know how they work and making sure you get the best gear for your needs. Whether you’re a seasoned archer or just starting to enjoy the sport, you’ll want to prioritize a visit to one of these 10 best archery outfitters in Mississippi for all your archery needs. 

Specializing in Mathews bows and other name brands, this archery shop is a favorite throughout the state. They offer financing to help you get the bow and gear you want at a price to fit your budget. You can also rely on them for all your servicing needs, even if you didn’t buy your gear from them.

There’s no greater shopping experience than knowing you’re buying from fellow hunters who share your love of archery. They have all the knowledge and expertise to help you get the most from your investment, and can help you find the right gear to suit your skill level. Their selection is huge, making them a one-stop shop for all your archery needs.

Catering to all things hunting and outdoors, locals agree you won’t find a better archery store in the area. They’re your single source for bows, arrows, and accessories, plus they have an on-site indoor range with lounge so you can test your new purchases. This place is massive, and you may never want to leave.

The staff here knows their stuff, and their fans have taken notice. They’re among the best archery shops in the state because they don’t just sell bows—they take care to ensure you’re getting the best products for YOU. As a result, you get all the products, service and support you need to improve your skills.

If you’ve never been here before, it might just become your new favorite place. They help you get the full hunting experience, everything from choosing the right bow and other equipment to processing the deer you scored with your new purchase to keeping your bow looking and working like new.

This shop specializes in a little bit of everything outdoors, but their archery pro shop isn’t to be missed. Their staff knows the sport well, and can help you get your bow in perfect working order, even if you didn’t buy it from them. They sell a variety of archery equipment, but their customers know them best for their speedy bow services.

If you’re looking to test your archery skills, there’s no better place than this epic indoor range. With over 45 targets to shoot in a climate-controlled environment, it’s the perfect place for archers of all ages and skill levels. They also have an interactive VR experience that lets you practice with lifelike hunting scenarios to get you field-ready faster.

Had some fun tonight with my lady. Oh and @kaitlin226 tagged along too =]

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Carrying some of the best brands in archery, you can expect to find Bowtech, PSE, Elite, and others in their inventory. The team here is dedicated to helping every archer get the best experience in the field or at the range. They offer products for archers of all skill levels and ages, even kids!

Southern Sportsman is known as the bow expert in the area, offering tunings and other services to ensure you never miss a shot. They know their stuff here and never fail to put it to work for you.

If you need your bow tuned, you can expect perfection at Stan’s Outdoor. Their fans love them because they know they’re in for high-quality gear and industry expertise that isn’t just another sales pitch.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-mississippi Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Best Places to Fish in the South This Fall Redfish are starting to move inshore and set up at the mouths of bays, inlets and deltas as their annual spawning run commences. The bottom line for fishermen is outstanding fishing from late September through November in the northern Gulf.

Likewise, bass fishing is starting to pick up again as the weather begins to cool. Huge schools of threadfin shad are starting to filter away from open-water ledges into bays and tributaries where feeding conditions and water temperatures are more optimum.

Bass follow the food, first setting up on ledges at the mouths of inlets and creeks to waylay shad, then migrating back toward shallower water to keep up with their quarry.

Fall Script for Southern Bass

Bass rule in Dixie and cooler weather brings out an army of anglers who go after them. Whether largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass, they’re available in most waters and sometimes all three varieties are present in a fishery, ready to aggravate or gratify those who seek them.

Hot Spots To Fish: When it comes to the South’s best lakes for fall fishing, the big TVA impoundments fit the bill. Because this is bass tournament country, dozens of YouTube videos and Facebook sites of pro anglers offer useful advice on where and how to catch autumn largemouths. Likewise, guide services are plentiful; just Google “fishing guides” for the lake you’re visiting or type in the town nearest the lake you wish to fish on the interactive map on this page.

Tackle You’ll Need: A 7-foot medium/heavy rod such as the St. Croix Premier Cranking, a baitcasting reel like the Abu Garcia Revo Winch and 10- to 14-pound-test monofilament makes a good combination to fish downsized lures.

Quick tip: This is strictly a match-the-hatch deal. Use lures that are about the same size as wandering shad. If young-of-the-year threadfins are on the bass menu, try small swim baits fished on drop-shot rigs.

 

Best Lures/Baits: Shad-colored, shallow- and medium-diving square-billed or coffin-billed crankbaits are autumn standouts. Popular lures include the Strike King 6XD, Bandit 100 or 200, Duo Realis M65, Livetarget Magnum Shad BaitBall Squarebill, Megabass S-Crank, Lucky Craft Squarebill 2.5, Storm Arashi and Rapala Shad Rap.

Fish them around shoreline cover and on the flats between creek drop-offs and the bank. Other fallback baits include spinnerbaits like the Booyah Super Shad, Stanley Vibrashaft and Nichols Pulsator. Good buzzbait options can be found from Lunker Lure, Damiki, Santone and Dirty Jigs.

Rendezvous With Redfish

Along the northern Gulf Coast from Carrabelle, FL, to Grand Isle, LA, the redfish season begins in late September and continues in stages through December. Some anglers fish in the surf with cut bait, while others station themselves on area piers or in boats on relatively shallow flats near channel cuts.

Hot Spots To Fish: For boating anglers, a couple of spots stick out. Pensacola Bay Pass is a must-fish for boaters. Anchor up on the broad flat between old Fort Pickens and the channel, set out lines as the tide changes to incoming, and hang on. Need more help? Redfish University Pensacola Fishing Charters (850-748-4368, redfishuniversity.com) specializes in the big drum.

At Grand Isle, LA, book a trip with Gotta Go Fishing Charters (225-921-3642, gottagofishingcharters.com). The marshes and inshore waters around Venice, LA, are primo redfish haunts as well. Captain Mike Frenette (504-782-0924, laredfish.com or (mike@venicefishing.net) is a top guide here.

Photograph Courtesy of Strike King Lure Company 
Louisiana’s coastal waters are ground zero for the hottest autumn redfish action along the northern Gulf Coast. A variety of natural baits and artificials get the job done.

Tackle You’ll Need: “Rat” reds of 3 pounds and up, or real bruisers weighing in excess of 20 pounds require a range of tackle options. Bass fishing tackle – whether spinning or baitcasting – is perfect for handling smaller fish and for casting jigs or swimbaits that weigh less than an ounce. A Shimano Stradic spinning reel and 7-foot medium-action Shimano Compre rod with 14-pound-test monofilament.

For bigger fish, consider a Penn Battle II BTLII5000 with 20-pound-test monofilament or 40-pound-test braid, and a 30-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. A 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod (such as the Penn Battalion BATIN1220S70) should handle any bait rigs or lures and wear down a bull redfish in short order.

Quick Tip: Incoming tides in late evening or at night are primo times for reds as the fish free-spawn then in the mouths of coastal bays and estuaries. If you can’t fish any other time, make sure you fish the incoming tides.

 

Best Lures/Baits: Redfish aren’t particular about their dietary requirements and will eat anything from blue crabs to halved mullet. Swimming spoons such as the Johnson Sprite (johnsonfishing.com), swimbaits and jigs or even topwater poppers, such as the Heddon Saltwater Spook, will elicit strikes.

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Photograph Courtesy of Strike King Lure Company Photo By Garrick Dixon Shallow- to medium-running crankbaits probably account for more bass than any other lure in the fall when the fish are on the prowl for shad in feeder creeks and coves. http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-south-this-fall http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-south-this-fall Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Mississippi Are you ready for fall foliage, bonfires, and cooler weather? Mississippi sees its share of hot summer days and fall is the perfect time to step outside and enjoy cooler temperatures. From breathtaking bike tours to awe-inspiring birdwatching opportunities, add these outdoor fall activities to your calendar. Here are the 10 best in Mississippi. 

Fall bike tours on the Natchez Trace Parkway are in high demand and usually sell out fast. The scenery is breathtaking, taking you through twists and turns through incredible fall scenery with no major climbing required. If you want to take advantage of this group ride, you better book early.

If you’re planning to ride the Natchez Trace Parkway this fall, get the food fuel you need with a breakfast stop at The Castle Restaurant. The name sets the right expectations - this place looks every bit of a castle and you’ll dine like royalty. Breakfast consists of elevated eats like croissants, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, and breakfast casserole, among other top choices.

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This long-time hiking outpost has everything you need for fall hiking. Family owned and operated, you can find top brands like Patagonia, Chaco, and Columbia, among others. And since the folks here are locals and fellow hikers, they can also point you in the right direction for some of the best trails to hike this fall.

Truly a gem in the big city, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is the biggest green space in Jackson and can make you feel like your miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park is largely frequented by golfers and fishermen, but their nature trails offer an enjoyable escape during the fall. You might also luck out on a campsite so you can extend your stay.

The world of watersports isn’t quite finished when fall rolls around. Okatoma Outdoor Post still offers kayak and canoe rentals through Halloween, and by all means you should take advantage. Set adrift on a simple day trip or extend your stay with primitive camping. It’s your last chance until next year, so book your visit soon.

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This pier is one of many hotbeds along the Mississippi coast that offer close looks at fall migration. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are usually spotted all along the coast toward the end of September. The pier is frequented most often by birders hoping to see water and wading birds that are popular in marshy areas. 

This local’s hotspot is a great place to unwind after a long day of bird sighting. Their menu is one of the most diverse in town, offering everything from burgers and sandwiches to steak and seafood. The food is tasty, the service is quick, and you’ll leave full thanks to plentiful portions. 

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Mississippi isn’t exactly a climber’s paradise, but the bluffs in Tishomingo State Park can satisfy the need for a quick climb. Climbing is only available by permit and you’ll need to bring your own gear, but there’s truly no other climbing experience like it anywhere else in the state. You also have the added benefit of being surrounded by beautiful foliage in the fall.

Whether you’re planning some climbing or just want to welcome fall with a campsite bonfire, this state park is among the best. The park is teeming with hiking trails, wildflowers, and amazing sights that make this state park stand out from the rest. Camping grants you access to it all, including disc golf, sports areas, and fishing.

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Featuring trails, sandbars, and a campground, Wild Country Off-Road is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Featuring 1,000 acres of space, this off-road park is a bit of a local legend. Not only is there opportunity for off-roading, but this park also has fishing, primitive campsites, an indoor concert hall, a restaurant, and an awesome mud race track. You won't want to miss out on this come fall.  

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-outdoor-fall-activities-in-mississippi Wed, 26 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Mississippi When you’re heading out into the wilderness to camp, it’s imperative to be prepared. Fortunately for those in Mississippi, you’re never too far away from an awesome outdoor store. From big-name chains that stock everything you could ever need to local shops with unique, marked-down options, here are seven essential outdoor stores in Mississippi. 

With over 230 stores spread out across 16 states, Academy Sports + Outdoors is a leader in camping supplies and equipment. They provide all the essential you'll need, from Coleman tents and lanterns to Off! bug spray.

Bass Pro Shops began in 1972, and today the outdoor retailer has over 100 locations across North America. Bass Pro Shops stores are designed to be an experience—the aquariums and elaborate displays are as much a draw as the extensive selection of camping gear. In addition to brands such as Eureka, Stanley, and more, Bass Pro Shops has their own brand featuring almost anything you can think of, including flashlights, outdoor furniture, tents, and sleeping bags.

Sacks Outdoors opened in 1951 as a military surplus store. The business is still family-owned, and today is run by the third generation of the Sackler family. Located in downtown Hattiesburg, Sacks Outdoors is dedicated to keeping prices low while providing excellent personal service to their customers. They carry camping gear such as coolers and bags as well as a wide selection of rugged apparel and accessories by brands like Timberland and Carhartt.

Buy any Patagonia backpack and get 50% off any trucker hat! More colors and styles are on the way!

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The motto at Sportsman's Warehouse is "the great indoors for those who love the great outdoors,” and when you visit them, you'll see why. They offer an incredible selection of almost anything you could need for a camping trip, all at reasonable prices. Some of their premium brands include Kelty backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags, and Yeti coolers and storage.

C & C Outdoors is a local family-owned business in Wiggins that specializes in carrying all the camping gear you'll need for your next trip. From Blue Rhino propane to barbecue supplies, tents, snacks, and mattresses, let the friendly staff at C & C Outdoors help you find everything you need for the perfect camping experience. If they don't have what you need in stock, they can often get it for you in as little as one day!

Green Canyon Outfitters is an outdoor sports shop based out of Mississippi. Originally, the store was operated entirely online, but eventually they opened a storefront in Bay St. Louis. A second location soon followed on the Square in Oxford. They focus on products which are high-quality, such as Grand Trunk hammocks and durable Silipint drinking cups.

Come see us this second Saturday in the Bay!

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If you're going camping in the Tupelo area, you must stop by Core Cycle + Outdoor. They provide high-quality gear for all of your outdoor needs, and their expert team can help you find exactly what you need to have a safe and memorable camping trip. They believe in promoting an active lifestyle, and they'll help get you ready to go in brands like Patagonia and Eagles Nest Outfitters.

Upgrade in progress! Thanks @corecycleandoutdoor and @theboardsnest for hooking @avery15barnett up for his bday! #bigair

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http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-mississippi Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Mississippi Camping on the water is an unforgettable experience. The combination of the sand, waves, and rustic landscapes make it seem like you're a million miles away from anywhere. In Mississippi, there are some great spots to pitch a tent in the sand. Take your camping up a notch with these five beautiful beach campsites in the Magnolia State. 

Of all the islands off the coast of Mississippi, Deer Island is the closest. It's only about a quarter-mile off shore, making it easily accessible to anyone with a boat. Despite its proximity to land, the island is usually not crowded. Camp on the north shore for a view of sparkling Casino Row, or trek to the south shore for a more isolated experience.

Buccaneer State Park near Waveland is a beautiful park overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Plan to stay awhile, because in addition to the stunning views, the park offers a number of activities and amenities, including a 4.5-acre water park, a nature trail, playground, disc golf course, and more. 

Davis Bayou Campground is a part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and is the only area of the park which is accessible by car. The campground is nestled among a saltwater marsh and two bayous and extends down to Ocean Springs' beautiful beaches, including the park's fishing pier. 

Not all beachside camping has to be on the ocean. At Little Black Creek Campground & Park in Lumberton, you'll enjoy all of the beautiful scenery of camping on the waterfront tucked away in a rural setting that will make you feel like you're really away from it all. For a more indulgent experience, rent a waterfront cabin or bungalow!

J.P. Coleman State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River and Pickwick Lake, which is a reservoir created by the Pickwick Landing Dam. The park offers some of the most stunning views in the state, making it a perfect spot for camping on the water. While you're there, enjoy swimming, boating, picnicking, and more. 

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Dasha Petrenko/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-gorgeous-beach-campsites-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/5-gorgeous-beach-campsites-in-mississippi Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Mississippi Mississippi is full of natural wonder, and there's no better way to enjoy it than by grabbing a backpack and spending some time immersed in nature. From the De Soto National Forest to Choctaw Lake, enjoy a truly primitive camping experience at these five beautiful backpacking spots.  

At over 40 miles, the Longleaf Trace is the premier trail in Mississippi for backpacking, horseback riding, biking, and more. Primitive camping is available at Jeff Davis Lake, and there is plenty of beautiful scenery along the way to make the trip interesting. 

Hiking the Black Creek Trail is an experience you won't forget, as it carries you deep into some of the wildest woods in the state. Located in De Soto National Forest, Black Creek Trail is 41 miles of wilderness, making it the perfect place for a weekend backpacking trip.

The Noxubee Hills Trail System is made up of about 30 miles of beautiful hiking. There's a nearby campground at Choctaw Lake and two trailheads for your convenience. Hikers should be aware that these trails are also used for mountain bikers, and anyone in the area must wear hunter orange during hiking season.

This 23.7-mile and relatively difficult trek is perfect for both backpacker and horseback rider alike! There are four loops here, ranging from five to 11 miles-long. There is primitive camping in the area with facilities such as hitching rails, chemical toilets, drinking water for the horses, picnic tables, and grills.

Recognized on the National Register of Trails, Shockaloe is 23 miles of beautiful hiking. There are two base camps, but only Base Camp I is available to set up for the night. There are primitive camping spots available at Base Camp I. So after you’ve taken your journey through the woods all day, relax under the stars.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-mississippi http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-mississippi Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500