John's Journal...

Summertime Fishing on the Gulf Coast

Catching Speckled Trout and Mackerel with Captain Dennis Treigle

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is one of my favorite salt-water fishing destinations. All summer, you can catch speckled trout, redfish, flounder, mangrove snapper and Florida tripletail inshore in Perdido Bay, the Little Lagoon and the Fort Morgan area of Mobile Bay. All these backwater areas are estuaries that produce tons of bait for the speckled trout and the redfish to eat. If you don’t like the challenge of the open gulf, you can fish these back-bay areas and catch plenty of fun-fighting, delicious-eating inshore species. Today we’ll be looking at some of the back-bay areas along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the fish you can catch and how and where to catch them. This region, which has been developed primarily as a family salt-water fishing destination, also offers world-class restaurants and many recreational opportunities. The sugar-white beaches, the crystal-blue waters and the double-doses of sunshine bring Click to enlargemost families to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, but the fishing is phenomenal. While some of your family members are soaking-up rays, there are plenty of spots to fish and numbers of fish to be caught in the back-bay areas. Dennis Treigle of Find Me Fishing Charters based out of Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, fishes inshore around the jetties, the Perdido Pass bridge and all the back bays in Orange Beach, as well as the Intercoastal canal. Recently, he’s been catching big flounder, redfish and speckled trout.

Speckled Trout:
Question: During June, where will you find the speckled trout?
Treigle: The speckled trout mainly will be holding in the backwaters of the bays. Wolf Bay and the section toward the Perdido River generally will be productive for catching specks in June. Too, many specks will be found in the Intercoastal Canal this month. If Gulf Shores and Orange Click to enlargeBeach have bad weather or high winds, we always can go to the Intercoastal Canal, which is protected water, and locate speckled trout and redfish there, regardless of the weather conditions. In April when I had a trip scheduled, this region had 20- to 30-mile-per-hour winds, which made the Perdido Pass, the jetties, the bridge and a number of my inshore spots too rough to fish. But we were able to fish the canal and find and catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder. So, we very rarely cancel a trip because of weather, unless the rains coming down so hard that the customers don’t want to fish. If the weather’s good, you can catch some nice-sized speckled trout around the docks right at first light or just before dark. If we’re fishing in the middle of the day, we generally will run to the Florida high-hump bridge, which has deeper water, where we often can find trout concentrated at that time of day. To fish this bridge, you need a Florida fishing license, and most of the captains here at Orange Beach who fish inshore, carry both Florida and Alabama fishing licenses.

Spanish and Kings:Click to enlarge
Question: Can you tell us some locations where we’ll find Spanish mackerel and king mackerel this month?
Treigle: June is a great month for mackerel. When the baitfish show up, so do the mackerel, the bluefish and the ladyfish. Also, rain minnows, often called blood minnows, and LYs (alewives) show-up out in the Gulf of Mexico in June. Those baitfish come from the east, and the Spanish mackerel and king mackerel follow these baits. Last year, the king mackerel fishing was slow, but the previous year, the mackerel fishing was phenomenal. If we get good, clean water pushed in from the south, we can catch the mackerel in close – right at the mouth of Perdido Pass at Orange Beach. Too, some shallow wrecks 1/2-mile off the beach out to the 3-mile barge concentrates mackerel in June. Some of these artificial reefs are only in about 30 feet of water, and we generally troll around them or anchor-up on them and fish live bait, such as LYs and cigar minnows. We free-line the bait out to the mackerel. On a good day in June, we’ll catch Spanish mackerel weighing from 4- to 5-pounds each, and the king mackerel can weigh from 35- to 40-pounds each. But most of the king mackerel we’ll catch will weigh from 5- to 20-pounds each.

To contact Dennis Treigle, call 850-221-7732, or email him at, or visit . For more information about restaurants, lodging, amenities and places to go and see, visit, and call 800-745-SAND.

Tomorrow: Offshore Party-Boat Fishing with Captain Davy Jones

Check back each day this week for more about "Summertime Fishing on the Gulf Coast"

Day 1: Inshore Fishing with Captain Dennis Treigle
Day 2: Catching Speckled Trout and Mackerel with Captain Dennis Treigle
Day 3: Offshore Party-Boat Fishing with Captain Davy Jones
Day 4: Do It All in June on Alabama’s Gulf Coast with Captain Chip Day
Day 5: Deep Water and Big-Game Trips with Captain Chip Day


Entry 511, Day 2