John's Journal...

Alabama’s Gulf Coast Is Oil-Free and Open for Business

Catch Big Red Snapper and a Bounty of Other Fish Now off Alabama's Gulf Coast

Click to enlargeMost people never have caught a 20-pound red snapper, and even fewer have seen a 30-pound red snapper. But fishermen at Orange Beach, Alabama, catch these goliath-sized red snapper every week during snapper season, which started June 1. Alabama has the largest artificial-reef program in theClick to enlarge nation with over 5,000 public reefs offshore. Although the federal government has closed portions of the Gulf Coast to fishing, Alabama’s Gulf Coast is wide open.

“Often on a 4-hour trip, a party of six can catch their limit of red snapper, as well as quite a few vermillion snapper, lane snapper, triggerfish and other bottom fish as well as an occasional king mackerel,” says Captain Troy Frady of Distraction Charters, based at Orange Beach Marina on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The charter boats in Orange Beach will take sportsmen fishing for not only red snapper, but also marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin (mahi mahi). “There are still plenty of fish-rich waters in the Gulf of Mexico that we can fish,” says Captain Johnny Greene of the charter boat “Intimidator.” Snapper season opened June 1, and we’ve got plenty of big red snapper to go and catch.”

Sportsmen also will find June prime time for fishing inshore waters along Alabama’s Gulf Coast as large schools of speckled trout, redfish and flounder move onto the seven artificial inshore reefs built by Alabama’s Marine Resources Division (MRD). All of the back bays and estuaries teem withClick to enlarge fish, and there are plenty of boats and inshore captains to take fishermen on their trips of their lifetimes.

Those who choose not to fish on a boat can fish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala., the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. To make pier fishing even more pClick to enlargeroductive, Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has built three artificial reefs almost within casting distance of the pier. Anglers catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, whiting, ground mullet, redfish, speckled trout, pompano and flounder daily and nightly from the pier. The Gulf State Park Pier has a bait-and-tackle shop and a concession area with snack foods, as well as restrooms at both the pier’s base and midway down the pier. The friendly anglers on the pier will show you how to fish from the pier.

While many ports along the Upper Gulf Coast have scaled-back on fishing or have stopped fishing altogether, Alabama’s Gulf Coast is wide-open for both inshore and offshore fishing. To learn more about where to find captains, boats, and places to fish, visit, or call 1-800-745-SAND (7263).

Check back each day this week for more about "Alabama’s Gulf Coast Is Oil-Free and Open for Business"

Day 1: Fishing at Alabama’s Gulf Coast for Snapper, Mackerel, Triggerfish, Pompano and Inshore Fish in June - Y’all Come
Day 2: Red Snapper Time at Alabama’s Gulf Coast
Day 3: Anglers Come from Everywhere to Enjoy the Productive Fishing at Alabama’s Gulf State Park Pier
Day 4: These Ladies Teach Fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast
Day 5: Catch Big Red Snapper and a Bounty of Other Fish Now off Alabama's Gulf Coast


Entry 563, Day 5