John's Journal... Entry 217, Day 4
FISHING AT ORANGE BEACH - THE SALT-WATER FISHING CAPITAL
Catch The Kings
Editor's Note: You'll find October the best time to go salt-water fishing with children in school, and most people thinking about football and hunting season starting, the beaches generally become deserted. Each fall in October, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on Alabama's Gulf Coast host the annual Shrimp Festival, featuring food, fun and fishing for me and my family as well as the opportunity to hear bands playing all types of music and to view artwork, sculptures and crafts for free.
One of the advantages of taking an 8-, 10-, or 12-hour charter out of Orange Beach, Alabama, this month is that you can catch a wide variety of fish. Most anglers prefer to take snapper first, then triggerfish, and then either amberjack or king mackerel.
However, you can double-down on king mackerel, if you fish with live bait or even dead bait and use spinning tackle. Most captains will let you cast a live bait out off the back of the boat so the live bait can free-swim down toward the reef. At this time of the year, big king mackerel often will be swarming above artificial reefs and wrecks and looking for bait. While some of the fishermen catch snapper and grouper, others can have a lot of fun catching king mackerel on light tackle.
When a big king takes a live bait (I've also caught them on whole dead cigar minnows) and begins to strip off drag, you'll usually have a fight on your hands. Often a big king will run 30 to 40 yards before it begins to slow down. Trying to stop the charge of the king rather than letting it get tired is one of the biggest mistakes most fishermen make. If you attempt to stop the king mackerel when it makes its first or second run by tightening up on your drag, more than likely you'll break the king off. Just let the fish run, and plan to take your time reeling. Half the fun of fishing is in the fight, so don't be in a hurry to boat your king. Get your drag set properly. The more line the king mackerel takes out, the better your chances of reeling it in and landing it. Also the further the king turns away from the boat, the more time you'll have for the other 12 miles, you have a good chance of catching a king mackerel that may weigh 20 to 40 pounds. Some of the biggest king mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico will be caught during October.
king mackerel is a delicious fish to eat, too, if properly prepared. Although
it can be cooked any way that you prepare any other type of fish, there
are a few secrets for cooking a king.
For more information on fishing in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area, call Stacey Tatum at (877) 783-3474, e-mail email@example.com. or go to www.alabamadeepseafishing.com. Also, contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitor's Bureau at (800) 745-7263 or go to www.alabamatravel.org or www.orangebeach.com.
TOMORROW: BET ON THE JACKS AND OTHER SALT-WATER FISH
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