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Three Generations of Charter-Boat Fishing with Orange Beach, Alabama’s Walker Family

Charter Boat Fishing Has to Be in your Blood

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Captain Bobby Walker of Elberta, Alabama, is a third-generation charter-boat captain out of Orange Beach, at Zeke’s Marina. His personal history and his family’s history run deep in the history of bottom fishing off Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Because of Walker’s family and other charter-boat families in Orange Beach, today Alabama’s Gulf Coast boasts some of the finest snapper, grouper, king mackerel and amberjack fishing anywhere. This week, we’ll find out how the Walker family has helped to build the largest artificial-reef program in the world.Click to enlarge

Question: Bobby, what was your dad’s name?
Walker: His name was Bob Walker, and he had a boat called the “Thelma Ann” that he chartered out of Orange Beach. My dad was mainly a trolling captain for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel, and that’s where I learned the charter-boat business. I started cutting bonito strips and catching king mackerel as far back as I can remember.

My cousin Billy Walker and I were running buddies, and Billy Walker was Uncle Rufus Walker’s son. So I startedbottom fishing with them, and then I fished with my Uncle Roland, which is where I really learned how to bottom fish. My dad passed away when I was 13, and a captain named Arnon Annon ran my dad’s boat for the family. Arnon was a super guy, and I was his deck hand for several years. When I got my captain’s license at 18-years old, I took the boat over and ran that boat until I was 25. Then I had the “Bobby M” built, and I kept that boat for about 8 years. Next I had the “Summer Breeze I” built in 1983. So I’ve been charter-Click to enlargeboat fishing all my life.

Question: Why do you continue to be a charter-boat captain?Click to enlarge
Walker: Charter-boat fishing’s in my blood. My life is my boat. Many times, I’m on the boat 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. We may fish 20 or 30 consecutive days without a break. When you become a charter-boat fishermen, if it’s in your blood, you really love it. If I miss a day or two of fishing, I’m ready to get back out on the water. A charter-boat fisherman is what I am, not just what I do.

To learn more about fishing with Captain Bobby Walker, call 251-981-6159 or
251-747-3575, visit, or email For more information on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit, or call 1-800-745-SAND (7263). For one of the best places on the beach to stay that has nice amenities, check out Perdido Beach Resort. Go to, or call 800-634-8001.

Tomorrow: A Day in the Life of a Charter-Boat Captain

Check back each day this week for more about "Three Generations of Charter-Boat Fishing with Orange Beach, Alabama’s Walker Family"

Day 1: Red Snapper, the Walker Family and the Largest Artificial-Reef Program in the World
Day 2: Charter Boat Fishing Has to Be in your Blood
Day 3: A Day in the Life of a Charter-Boat Captain
Day 4: How to Get the Most Offshore Fishing for Your Dollar
Day 5: The Future of Charter-Boat Fishing


Entry 514, Day 2