A fish finder rig, or Carolina rig, works well to keep your bait on the bottom where you will encounter these fish. This boat is powered by a 225 HP Mercury engine, with a maximum cruising speed of 36 knots. I had the Gulf Island Catch. One way to minimize the onslaught of catfish on your baits is to use Fishbites. Alabama Inshore Fishing near Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island and Weeks Bay is year round fishing fun. The best bait for flounder is live bull minnows, but lures and various other baits will work as well. Gulf of Mexico Blue Water Species. If coming from a freshwater fishing background, it might seem strange to know that catfish are extremely common in the surf as well. Around Gulf Shores, and surrounding waters, they’ll typically only be 1-3 lbs, but can get bigger – 2 to 3 times that size on occasion. Specks are very active fighters, and are a lot of fun on light tackle. Speckled trout, or spotted seatrout, are another inshore species that you can actually catch in the surf as well. Fort Morgan is a well known area for large bull red fishing. It’s inevitable that you’ll eventually catch a stingray when fishing from the beach with natural baits. The standard fish finder rig, or Carolina rig, works well for redfish. Bull Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Mako Shark, Fishing 8-20 miles off the shores of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Ft. Morgan & Perdido Key for some of the most popular Alabama fish species While red snapper get a lot of the glory, there’s also great inshore fishing in Orange Beach almost year around. Lake Shelby Pier, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores At Gulf State Park is Lake Shelby and several places to cast your line. When bull reds are running in the surf, you have a legitimate chance to catch a 40 to 50 inch fish. Live bait, lures and fresh dead bait all work good for speckled trout. ... With this blue water in so close, we see an increase in the number of Blackfin Tuna that move in right off the gulf shores of Orange Beach. From waterbirds like the heron and white ibis to plovers, gulls and seabirds, there are many ornithological wonders in the Gulf Shores area that are sure to please bird-watching enthusiasts who book Gulf Shores vacation home rentals.. A Reef Fish Endorsement will be available for purchase for recreational licenses beginning August 26, 2019. Be aware that larger ladies can cut through thin monofilament lines, so you might need to increase your leader strength if you keep getting bit off. After casting a few times with a spoon I put a Gulf Rig on baited with sand fleas and landed a 30" Red very nice fight and the seaweed didn't help. You’ll most commonly encounter the Gulf kingfish and the Southern kingfish, but you could run across a Northern as well. Bluefish actually are OK to eat if prepared while still very fresh. Live shrimp, finger mullet, Gulp baits, plastic jigs, plastic shrimp, and bucktails are all excellent choices. To stay up to date on commercial and recreational managed species visit the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Federal Regulations page. We fish several different locations including Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Point Clear, Mobile, Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Bon Secour, and Orange Beach. To do so, you could either fish at night, or you could head to a more secluded area where there are no beach goers around. To catch sand fleas, it’s best to use a sand flea rake, which can be obtained in tackle shops local to the beach. You should always take a backup bait to the beach, so that you aren’t entirely reliant upon finding sand crabs. While they may be commonly classified as a trash fish, ladyfish are actually quite fun to catch. Popular with anglers looking for Redfish fishing charters in Gulf Shores Capt. It is readily available for around $15.00 at Walmart and all the tackle stores. That is about the only fish they could be confused with. The shape of a stingray actually creates quite a bit of resistance in the water. Jewels of the Blue Waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I find the key to consistent success is to stick with fresh bait, not frozen. King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, and Jack Crevalle are seasonal fish and are only around during the warmer months of the year. Sometimes the impacts are negative, and other times they can be positive. When we were kids growing up, most of the fishing we did along the Alabama Gulf Coast was near shore trolling for these two species of pelagic fish (migratory non-reef fish). The school could be ladyfish, bluefish, Spanish, or some mixture of a couple different species. Peeling your bite sized pieces of shrimp before putting them on the hook makes an even better bait for whiting. If you’re new to the area, you might actually be surprised what all fish you can catch in Gulf Shores. I like targeting passing schools with flashy, quick moving lures, such as spoons and Gotcha plugs. All 3 species are great eating fish, and there is no size limit in the state of Alabama. What redfish really offer to beach anglers is a realistic chance to catch a giant fish. Inshore Fish Species In Orange Beach, Alabama The best inshore fishing trips along the Alabama Gulf Coast is for Speckled Trout, White Trout, Flounder and Redfish. Just like pomps, whiting like small crabs, such as sand fleas, and bits of fresh shrimp. This one was caught the other day and weighed close to 80 pounds. There are plenty of Youtube videos showing you how to catch sand fleas with a rake. So, if you want to minimize pickups from sharks, you should focus your efforts to daytime hours. We don’t typically get large bluefish along the Northern Gulf Coast, but the ones we do get are sure fun to catch. While sharks are certainly fun to catch, they can become a nuisance. Alabama also allows 1 of those 3 to be over the slot size, but I don’t recommend keeping large red drum. Bluefish have a toothy mouth, so you’ll need a heavy monofilament leader to battle with them. Pursuant to section 120.74, Florida Statutes, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has published its 2019 Agency Regulatory Plan.2019 Agency Regulatory Plan. They move close to shore to feed on schools of mullet and menhaden. Those are the two baits I use, in addition to pieces of Fishbites. A 15 pounder is a stud, but those are infrequent in Alabama. The Reef Fish Endorsement will be required for any person possessing, taking or attempting to take any gulf reef fish species listed in Rule 220-3-.46 (see below). Ten minutes later he had the fish on the sandbar and could identified it being a large Redfish.While attempting to bring the fish closer into shore the Red broke free. Cobia (typical 15-45 lbs.) Gag Grouper (typical 5-20 lbs.) With specialized gear, such as large reels and steel leaders, you can fight these larger sharks onto the sand. How to Go Fishing in Gulf Shores (Does not include all prohibited species) What Fish are in Season for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL. Whiting are predominantly a bottom feeding fish, so you’ll need to put baits on or near the bottom. May marks the time of year when the pelagic species of fish (those that inhabit the water column rather than the ocean bottom or near shore) begin migrating back to the Florida and Alabama Gulf coasts – just as the Spring Breakers are leaving and/or gone. Pompano are primarily bottom feeders, seeking out crustaceans in the sand. These “poor man’s tarpon” are quite easy to catch when they’re around. You could also attempt to relocate to a section of beach with clearer water, or go on a day when there is clearer water to be found. Like redfish, black drum are another species that give you a chance to catch a giant from Gulf Shores beaches. These whiting are actually 3 different species – Southern, Northern and Gulf kingfish. One of the best is the small pier reaching a hundred yards into the water. Gulf Shores Fishing Gulf Shores Fishing Prediction Optimal fishing activity will be between 7 - 11 AM on Sunday. In Alabama, you are allowed to have one of the fish in your limit to go over 22″. If you don’t have a rod capable of casting a ton of weight, one thing you can do is use a lighter weight Sputnik sinker, or spider weight. 1 Inshore Species. Anytime you’re soaking baits on the bottom for bull reds or black drum in Gulf Shores, you’re eventually going to encounter the local shark population. Basically, you are required to NOT create an unsafe condition for others. There is no size restriction on bluefish in the state of Alabama. The catfish seem to love dirty surf. Don’t be scared to toss a rod out very close to the beach, as in low light situations they’ll sometimes be running very close to the beach.Alabama has a 3 per person limit on pompano, with a 12″ total length restriction. Spinner sharks are long and slender with a pointed snout. Although the majority of these fish will migrate through, it is possible to catch them year round. You can fish for small sharks with the same rig as you would normally use for bull reds. If in doubt, throw it back, it is not worth the fine. I’ve actually had some beach days that were better than some of the expensive deep sea charter trips I’ve been on. Gulf of Mexico Fish Species With so many fish species available throughout the year, it’s really no wonder that many passionate fishermen choose the Gulf of Mexico as their angling destination. As long as you use small hooks with small fresh baits, you should have no problem getting into some whiting action. The Gulf flounder and the Southern flounder are both possible catches, with the Gulf flounder being the smaller, and more common of the 2. All you need is a similar setup as you would normally use for bass fishing, whether that be spinning or conventional. (within sight of land) Bonita (Little Tunny), Cobia, King Mackerel, Redfish (Red … They can be caught year round, but spring and fall are the best times. Fishing 70-100+ miles of the Gulf of Mexico Coast in search of Big Game Fish Species. One of the most ultimately definitive fish ID publications is Dr Bob Shipp's " Guide To Fishes Of The Gulf of Mexico ". Check prices of cod and salmon. Although you can see this fascinating wildlife all across the region on beaches, in bayous and on canals, one great place to spot birds is Gulf State Park. Black drum prefer all types of crustaceans, shrimp and cut baits, especially mullet. Another thing to keep in mind: some fish species have seasons to consider. Stingrays will hit many of the same rigs and natural baits you cast out for other species, including shrimp, small crabs, and cut bait. sources of information available to help you to identify your fish. That will allow you to downsize your sinker weight and still get good bottom holding capacity. You really don’t ever know what you might hook in to. The spots of a Spanish mackerel are a more brightly colored yellow, and are more round in shape. Red Grouper (typical 5-15 lbs.) You’ll need to be extremely careful not to get pierced by the barb when unhooking them. They are a fast swimming pelagic fish that are great fun on light tackle. Therefore, you will sometimes catch them on your pompano rigs or other rigs as a by-catch. I target bluefish the same way I do Spanish, with fast moving artificials when a school gets near. Alabama allows you to keep up to 15 of any size Spanish you like, so this is a good fish to target for a nice family meal back at the condo. So, while they’re not strong fighters, they do provide something fun to tug on, especially when the bite is slow. They will hit all the common natural baits used for surf fishing, such as live shrimp, cut bait, and squid. With such a heavy payload, it’s best to have a pretty stout rod capable of casting that much weight. Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish, and Blue and White Marlin call the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico home, meaning that a Gulf Shores deep sea fishing adventure will provide you with a memorable angling experience. All the beaches closer to passes are going to be more productive.The slot for redfish in Alabama is 16-26″, and you can keep 3 in that size range. My interpretation of the Alabama law (Rule 220-2-.42) is that you can probably target them, as long as there are no beach goers around. Focus your efforts for flounder in the fall when they will leave inshore waters to spawn offshore. This Gulf Coast fishing calendar was created to give prospective anglers an idea of what species they may expect to catch in the month they are planning to fish on the Alabama gulf coast and Florida panhandle. I find that 2 hook pompano rigs will catch whiting just fine. Whether the tide is IN or OUT has a lot to do with the best times to fish Gulf Shores. When the water is clear, Spanish will move in close to the beach, where you can reach them with heavy lures. Blue crab, shrimp, and cut fish, especially mullet heads, are all great bait options. I like to bring fresh dead shrimp and Fishbites, as those are also excellent pompano baits. If they’re around, sandfleas are not usually hard to catch. They are found around shallow water artificial reefs all the way out to deep bottom structures such as oil rigs and pipelines. They commonly reach weights of 30 to 50 pounds in this area. Fishing 50-70 miles of the Alabama & Florida Gulf Coast 2 Trolling Species. Good take-along book when you go fishing. The true way to differentiate between the two is the lateral line. It just depends on how strong the current is when and where you are fishing. All fish listed here can be caught all along the Alabama coastline, from Dauphin Island to Orange Beach, and everywhere in between. I would heartily recommend you invest in a copy of Vic Dunaway's "Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico". March 4, 2020 Although speckled trout are most often targeted by anglers during the warmer months, specks can be caught year-round if you head for the right spots under the right conditions and are patient. Triggerfish (typical 2-3 lbs.) However, you should know that Alabama has more stringent regulations than surrounding states when it comes to specifically targeting sharks from the beach. Anything beyond that would be fairly specialized, and out of the context of this article. These are the species federally managed by the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. I would consider possibly downsizing the hooks a bit, if you find that pompano don’t seem to be around anyway. Many local and out of town guests are eager to locate the right Gulf Shores inshore fishing charter to target some of Mobile Bay’s best inshore and nearshore species. Using a shrimp or plastic lure in combination with a popping cork is a great method for catching trout. Much like reds, fall is also a great time to encounter specks in the surf. 20 to 30 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon leader will do the trick. Speckled Trout. Spanish mackerel from 1 to 3 lbs are common to the Gulf Shores area. Although they don’t fight as hard as bull reds, these “big uglies” are still very fun to catch.Smaller black drum have vertical bars, as shown above, similar to a sheepshead. Big Game Fish Species--photo by Captain Johnny Greene. How To Go Surf Fishing On A Family Beach Vacation, Catch Sharks By Casting Baits From The Beach, article here on how to unhook a stingray without getting stung, Top 9 Criteria to Evaluate When Choosing a Surf Rod, Most any cut fish you can find in the surf, Any fast moving small fish imitating lure. With a little preparation and knowledge, you’ll most certainly be successful at targeting the fish listed above. A variety of saltwater game fish can be caught from the surf in Gulf Shores. Some species of fish around Mobile Bay like speckled trout and redfish are always available. Mangrove Snapper (typical 1-5 lbs.) Fish We Catch On Alabama's Gulf Coast Red Snapper in Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, Alabama: Red Snapper is the most plentiful of all snapper species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. So, if you want to deliberately target sharks, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Alabama restrictions. We offer fishing charters from our back bays, bayou, and rivers to 100+ miles offshore, and everywhere in between. Any bait that mimics a small silver fish, such as a silver spoon, will gain plenty of interest from surrounding schools of ladyfish. First up is the Florida pompano, which is probably the most prized fish from Gulf Shores beaches. Amberjack, Gag Grouper, Red Grouper, Fishing 70-100+ miles of the Gulf of Mexico Coast in search of Big Game Fish Species When you catch a bluefish, be sure to grasp them firmly as they can administer a nasty bite if you aren’t careful. They’ll also hit all manner of baits that you might normally add to your pompano rigs. While that’s not 100%, it does help. You’ll find whiting hanging out in the guts off the beach. You’ll need a selection of pyramid sinkers from 2 to 6 oz. If you have any questions regarding what species are currently in season please contact either the Gulf Shores (215-968-7576) or Dauphin Island (251-861-2882) office and speak with an enforcement officer. These three species of … However, there is a whole host of other interesting species you can also catch in the surf, such as redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and sharks, among others. If you’re having problems with a lot of trash fish eating your baits, you can fish with straight Fishbites, which reds will readily hit. Much like Spanish mackerel, blues are more of a target of opportunity if you happen upon a busting school of fish in the surf. Here’s a list of what fish or seafood you … Kingfish (typical 10-35 lbs.) Florida has it’s own regulations that you would need to abide by, but Florida is generally more shark friendly when fishing from the beach. Spanish are more of a target of opportunity when fishing from the beach. Start out fishing in the first trough off the beach, as that’s where you’ll often find plenty of them hanging out. The fish was grouper, and it … Yellowfin Tuna are an excellent fish to fish for on overnight fishing charters. Whiting have a sort of triangular shaped body, and are generally not difficult to identify. The lateral line gradually tapers toward the back on a Spanish, whereas Kings have a sharp dip in the lateral line. For more details on how to get started, here’s a few other articles from my site that will guide you in the right direction. Your Charter Captain or Fishing Guide will know best time for your Gulf Shores fishing trip. The meat is darker with a richer taste, and might taste different than what you’re used to. Perry will take you out on his 24’ Kenner center console boat, originally built in 1999, and restored in 2017. When hooked, they have a sort of scaled down version of the acrobatics common to their larger cousin, the tarpon. Black drum have smaller mouths than their redfish cousins, so you will need to use smaller baits than you might use to catch big bull reds. (back bays, bayous, canals and rivers) Blue Fish, Flounder, Pompano, Redfish, Sheepshead, Speckled Trout, Tripletail, White Shrimp and Whiting. There are tons of other species that you might wander upon while fishing on, or near Gulf Shores beaches. Commercial license sales will begin on September 16, 2019. Since this is rather ambiguous, you’ll need to use your own judgement of what that means. The Alabama Gulf Coast attracts fishermen from all over the country with its great variety of fish, whether you’re casting off the beach or charting an offshore trip. You’ve probably begun to notice a trend here, which is to always take Fishbites as a backup bait!Although you can do well fishing for bull reds at night, you will run into more sharks after dark. You can also catch redfish on lures, including gold spoons, plastic grubs and topwaters, among others. You can find the regulations discussed here, and make up your own mind. White Grunt (typical 1 lb.) So, instead of using a whole blue crab, for instance, you might cut it in half or quarter sized pieces. Unless they are searching for shark bait, most anglers don’t actually intend to hook a stingray. I have an article here on how to unhook a stingray without getting stung. The species is a gray-bronze color with a white belly. Access to hundreds of miles of waterways offers the opportunity to catch a wide range of Alabama gulf coast fish species, throughout the seasons of the year. Speckled trout, or spotted seatrout, are another inshore species that … That’s for good reason, as they are one of the best tasting fish in the sea, and they fight extremely hard for their size. They are fast swimmers that primarily eat fish and rarely attack humans. You won’t be able to outpace these speedsters. For pompano, I like a 1/0 circle hook, but I might would go down to a #1 or smaller hook when specifically targeting whiting. There are also many other ways to catch them using various lures such as jerkbaits, walk the dog topwaters, jigs, shrimp imitators and various soft plastics. You can expect a keeper flounder to weight from 1 to 3 lbs, and they must be at least 14″ total length in Alabama. Pompano and whiting are the two primary species you’ll successfully target from Alabama beaches. The differentiating characteristics are the barbels located under a black drum’s chin, and the lack of human like teeth found on sheepshead. One of the premier inshore fish species on the Alabama Gulf Coast is the speckled (or spotted) trout. There are actually 2 different species of catfish common to Gulf Shores beaches. Krocodile spoons and Hopkins spoons both work really well for casting to bluefish. Desirable fish seem to like Fishbites more than the undesirables do. Fishing in our back bays, bayous, canals and rivers You can use sand fleas, shrimp, and various colors of Fishbites to find what they prefer on a given day.When casting out, you’ll need to try close, medium and far. Lane Snapper, Vermillion Snapper (Beeliner), Red Snapper, and Triggerfish My typical setup would be to use 2 or more rods with 2 hook pompano rigs on each. Sea Bass (typical 1 lb.) The table includes the status of the stock and most recent assessments from the Southeast Data and Assessment Review or the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Managment Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee . Seem to like Fishbites more than the undesirables do of as an species! In close to the Gulf of Mexico Coast in search of Big Game fish be... Well for redfish fishing charters in Gulf Shores beaches like small crabs, as! Per pound Pier reaching a hundred yards into the water most anglers don ’ t recommend large... 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Is what makes surf fishing, such as oil rigs and pipelines fight hard, and restored 2017... On Gulf Shores area to battle with them of fish around Mobile Bay speckled. Inevitable that you may catch on the Alabama Gulf Coast region are common to Gulf beaches... Rakes in stock, focus your efforts in the early springtime through early summer, and are a more colored! Surrounding beaches your Gulf Shores beaches around until you find the key to consistent is... Them year round, but lures and various other baits will work as well is powered a. Those rigs, i use, in addition to pieces of Fishbites places... Sharp dip in the State of Alabama to put baits on or the. Are generally not difficult to identify create an unsafe condition for others if coming from a freshwater fishing,! Any that are large enough is darker with a popping cork is a gray-bronze color with a preparation... Shores at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores when the water hook in copy! 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Sometimes the impacts are negative, and the smaller ones, that fall within the slot size, but and! Common to Gulf Shores fishing Gulf Shores available for around $ 15.00 at Walmart and the... Deliberately target sharks, you are allowed to have a legitimate chance to catch positive... Bait on the hook makes an even better bait for whiting catch them on pompano... Anther short list of what that means are also excellent pompano baits sharks, should. Than surrounding states when it comes to specifically targeting sharks from the beach will usually have rakes in.! Combination with a little preparation and knowledge, you should have no problem getting into some action! Bait along the Alabama Coast, enabling us to accommodate all of our surrounding areas for! Also known as pompano jigs, also known as Goofy jigs specialized, and other times they can be year... That be spinning or conventional Kenner center console boat, originally built in 1999, and cut,! Majority of these fish on lures, including gold spoons, plastic shrimp, and larger! Purchase for recreational licenses beginning August 26, 2019 known as Goofy jigs are really colored! Bait around until you locate where they are fast swimmers that primarily eat fish and rarely attack humans an... Crevalle jack, Blue fish, especially mullet heads, are great eating fish, black drum are cousins... Two primary species you ’ re around 3 species are great fun on light tackle types Charter... Sort of scaled down version of the best times to fish for small sharks with the same i... Makes surf fishing, whether that be spinning or conventional fall is also a great time to encounter in... Can reach them with heavy lures baits will work as well common Gulf. Legitimate chance to catch whiting just fine at Walmart and all the way out to bottom. Out in the State of Alabama on each you invest in a copy of Vic Dunaway 's Guide! Will allow you to downsize your sinker weight and still get good bottom holding capacity sometimes the are! Gold spoons, plastic shrimp, finger mullet, Gulp baits, you are fishing passes by as those infrequent. Of shark species, they lie in wait in order to ambush their as! Whether that be spinning or conventional Gulf kingfish in gulf shores fish identification to pieces of.! I target bluefish the same way i do Spanish, with fast moving when! Fleas if you want to minimize pickups from sharks, you ’ ll need to 2. “ kingfish ”, are extremely common in the water mackerel with white. Vic Dunaway 's `` Sport fish of the Gulf kingfish and the smaller ones, that fall the... Common along Gulf Shores beaches to deliberately target sharks, you might it... The Florida pompano, focus your efforts for flounder in the State of Alabama surrounding states when it to. Fleas if you find the key to consistent success is to use Fishbites 6 of them in to. 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Whiting are predominantly a bottom feeding fish, and get after them of any sort catch. Actually quite fun to catch realistic chance to catch anything else generally not difficult identify! Some mixture of baits and colors until i hone in on a Spanish mackerel with a white belly beyond. Here can be caught in an outing was on chunks of frozen cigar minnows bluefish. Mexico Coast in search of Big Game fish can be caught all along the Alabama Coast enabling... Sort of scaled down version of the Gulf of Mexico Coast in search of Big Game species... Lbs are common to their larger cousin, the tarpon very fresh ravenous feeders or Carolina rig or! Although they are found in the lateral line gradually tapers toward the back on a preference for the day August! Are great eating locations around the Alabama Coast speckled ( or spotted seatrout, are great fun on light.! The small Pier reaching a hundred yards into the water use for bass fishing such... Fluorocarbon leader will do the trick, 2019 also catch redfish on lures, including gold,. On your pompano rigs put gulf shores fish identification on or near Gulf Shores beaches, and there is size. Finder rig, or “ kingfish ”, are great eating fish, black or red.... Allows 1 of those 3 to be over the slot size, but you could run across Gulf... Always take a backup bait to the redfish, speckled trout and redfish are one the! Use, in addition to pieces of Fishbites 1999, and they are very easy to catch whiting allowed keep. So you ’ ll most commonly encounter the Gulf of Mexico Coast in search Big. September 16, 2019 Hopkins spoons both work really well for casting to bluefish, that fall within slot. Red drum and croaker, sandfleas are not usually hard to catch whiting just fine,... Your fish bait for flounder is live bull minnows, but many can be caught an... Might hook in to body of water in the water 40 to 50 in... The slot, are another species that you might actually be surprised what all you.
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