The Gulf Council is comprised of fishermen and other experts in the fishery from states across the Gulf of Mexico. Drawing upon the expertise of these local fishermen ensures that federal fishing regulations are made with direct understanding of, and passion for, our fishery. The Council is pleased to welcome aboard its newest member Michael McDermott.
Michael McDermott has been a fisherman his entire life. His earliest fishing memory is reeling in a speckled trout that his father had hooked from the beach on Horn Island, off the coast of Mississippi. They used to boat over to the island and spend the day, or sometimes camp over a weekend. As he grew, his experience developed along with his passion for the sport.
Michael started taking offshore trips as a young kid to fish for snapper with his dad and his friends. They stated fishing blue water for tuna and sailfish when he was about seven and even though he got seasick, he loved every minute. Eventually, they started fishing big game tournaments in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Michael graduated to running his own skiff and fishing the bay on his own, as young teenager. He also did tons of trout fishing in the winter in South Louisiana at his family’s fish camp.
In high school, he worked as a deckhand on an offshore charter boat out of Biloxi. He also worked as a dockhand running ice and washing boats. Coincidently, his marina career started at the same marina he currently owns.
Michael spent his summers in college working on sportfishing boats in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and all across the Southeastern United States from Beaufort, North Carolina to Grand Isle, Louisiana. He went on to earn a law degree and currently works as an attorney in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Mr. McDermott answered the following questions to provide some insight on his perspective of the Gulf fishery:
As a Council member how do you hope to improve the fishery?
I had the incredible privilege of growing up fishing with my family. Fishing is part of who I am. I hope that as a Council member I can help ensure that people continue to have access to the fishery. I want my daughter to learn the water, just as I have. I understand how important fishing is to so many people’s lifestyles and livelihoods. I plan to support the science and ensure that we can harvest fish for years to come. I also want to ensure that as the dynamics of the fishery change, the Council is responsive and respectful to both the needs of the ecosystem and the needs of the fishing public.
What’s your favorite fishing memory?
As a little kid growing up in Biloxi it’s not unusual to attend the Gorenflo’s Cobia Tournament weigh-in and set your sights on winning someday. We all wanted that title more than anything, it represented the pinnacle of fishing success in Biloxi. In 2019, I had the honor of making that dream come true. I fished the tournament along with a group of close friends, who I’ve been fishing with since high school. We made a long run in tough conditions hoping to find good numbers. As the day progressed, we realized that we were having an incredible fishing day and that we might be contenders for the win. We started to get excited and the atmosphere on the boat was indescribable. The moment we were awarded the win was a moment I’ll never forget. As a bunch of local kids, we had won our ‘Superbowl’ and to this day, it’s one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had.