John's Journal...

Let’s Go Fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast This Fall and Winter

Day 4: Plenty of Fish Offshore in Cooler Weather at Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Click for Larger ViewThere’s plenty of hard-biting, good-eating fish to be caught off Alabama’s Gulf Coast at this time of the year. Captain Randy Boggs of Reel Surprise Charters in Orange Beach, Alabama, offers fishing almost every day year-round for individuals and groups of people and explains, “You can call our offices and find-out for sure what days we’ll be fishing throughout the week. You also can make a reservation for yourself and one or two people. We offer family fishing at reasonable prices, as well as 4- and 6-hour trips where you can catch vermilion snapper, lane snapper, triggerfish, white snapper and king and/or Spanish mackerel. On the longer trips (6-10 hours), we’ll often catch grouper too.”

Click for Larger ViewEven though red-snapper season closed in mid-July, no one has told the red snapper that the season’s closed. Right now the red snapper is the most-dominant species caught off Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Even on 4- and 6-hour trips, you’ll more than likely catch and release large numbers of red snapper. Catching red snapper that weigh 5 to 10 pounds is quite common. This past weekend in mid-October, we were on a 4-hour trip with a group of writers on the “Reel Surprise” party boat. Everywhere we stopped, we caught fish, with most of them red snapper, because there’s just so many of them. However, catching snapper and releasing them is a lot of fun. These red snapper are aggressive, they fight hard, they produce great photos, and you release them to grow some more until snapper season starts again in June, 2012. Click for Larger ViewTo catch the triggerfish, vermilion snapper and other fish that you can keep and eat, you need to go out to deeper water, which usually involves a 6-hour trip. On the “Reel Surprise,” you can take your food and drinks and stay inside the large cabin, until it’s time to go-out and fish. When the boat stops, the fishing starts.

“We try to make sure that on our 4- and 6-hour trips, our fishermen have the opportunity to catch good-eating fish, so they can have them prepared for dinner that night,” Boggs says. “We also want them to be able to take a couple of fish home to put in the freezer. Those vermilion snapper and triggerfish are delicious to eat. To extend the fishing trip, I suggest having the fish cleaned and taking them to one of the many restaurants in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores to be cooked.” Click for Larger ViewSo, my fishing party and I took one triggerfish to Mikee’s Seafood Restaurant and had one fillet fried and the other fillet blackened. Between that and the side dishes that came with the meal, we weren’t able to eat all the fish that those two fillets made. I don’t believe a fishing trip can get any better than going-out and catching a good number of fish, cleaning them and then having them prepared for dinner. One of the big advantages of fishing in the fall and winter is that this is when the fish are most abundant, and the fishing pressure is the lightest. So, plan to come-down and catch a fish inshore or offshore. The people you’ve met this week can show you how to have several great fishing trips along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Watch the video below and Captain Randy Boggs will give you more information on just how good cool-weather fishing can be at Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

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For more information, contact Reel Surprise Charters at 251-981-7173, email, or visit To have your fresh fish prepared at the beach, go to, click on restaurants, and check box for “Will Cook Your Catch.”

Tomorrow: Learn the Secrets of the Flounder Lady at Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Check back each day this week for more about "Let’s Go Fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast This Fall and Winter"

Day 1: The Big Fish at Alabama’s Gulf Coast That Didn’t Get Away
Day 2: Enjoy the Best, Inexpensive Wintertime Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico at Alabama’s Gulf Coast
Day 3: Alabama’s Gulf Coast Inshore Fishing Heats Up in Cooler Weather
Day 4: Plenty of Fish Offshore in Cooler Weather at Alabama’s Gulf Coast
Day 5: Learn the Secrets of the Flounder Lady at Alabama’s Gulf Coast


Entry 636, Day 4