Photo: James Edward Bates for South Mississippi Living

Two Mississippi Gulf Coast charter boat captains Jay Trochesset and Kenny Barhanovich have recently been awarded the Legendary Captains and Crew Award. This high honor is distinguished by providing leadership, earning the respect of their peers and making a meaningful contribution to the sport of recreational angling over an extended period of time.


Only six captains of the 200 nominated in 2016 were selected for the award, and we had the great opportunity to chat with the Mississippi Gulf Coast recipients.


What does receiving this high honor mean to you?


Jay: It’s a pinnacle of my career. It’s a very humbling award to know that Kenny and I have been the only two inducted from the northern Gulf. It’s a pretty prestigious honor, I’m elated. I was given the award months ago and it still hasn’t sunk in yet. The award is from your peers. It’s from others that do this for a living, so to get nominated and inducted is mind-boggling.


Kenny: It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Jay and I are two out of only 36 people in the world that have gotten this honor and we’re from the same town! Some people plan their entire vacation off of one day of fishing, and it really means something to me to please my customers.


Where are you from?


Jay: My dad is from Biloxi and my mom is from New Orleans, but I was raised in Biloxi. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a nice place to live and grow. I spent a few years traveling, but this is home and I’m proud to call it home.


Kenny: I was born and raised on Point Cadet in Biloxi.


What has drawn you to building a life and career around the water?


Jay: My father was in the business. He’s been in the business since the late ‘50s, and when I was old enough I joined him. I went to USM, but I always wanted to be on the water. At a young age, I got my captain’s license and a friend of mine asked me to run his boat a year or two later. Soon after, he offered me the boat. I didn’t have enough money, so my dad helped me get a loan. And they rest is history! It’s now forty-five years later.


Kenny: You’ve gotta love it! When I got married, I worked at Ingalls for about nine years, and all it was to me was missing the water. Every weekend, I would be on my dad’s boat or running someone else’s boat. When my dad got the opportunity, he built a boat and asked me if I wanted to run it. It was really tough, but now I take out kids whose grandpas I took fishing when I first started.


Jay & Kenny are the first captains from the northern Gulf of Mexico to be inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame. We are very grateful to have these captains serving South Mississippi. Plan your next fishing excursion with these distinguished captains!