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Fort Morgan Fishing: The Complete Guide

Jan 16, 2023 | 9 minute read
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Like your angling adventures to include a huge slice of local history? Then what is better than casting your line around Alabama’s most famous ancient masonry fort? Yep, we could only be talking about a Fort Morgan fishing adventure. You’ll be able to hook some first-class Fort Morgan fish and explore this mighty structure at the same time. One thing’s for sure: It’s an excursion that’ll go down in the history books!

An aerial view of Fort Morgan showing the pentagonal fort and the waters around it

Apart from keeping Alabama’s military past, Fort Morgan is also the dividing point between two of the state’s most impressive fisheries. To the south, there’s the mighty Gulf of Mexico, bustling with juicy reef species and big game fish. To the north, you have Mobile Bay‘s fish-filled shallow waters and its many tributaries. No matter what you want to hook, you have the best of both worlds at your disposal!

Before you head out on your Fort Morgan fishing trip, you’ll want to know what species you can catch, where you can catch ’em, and the best ways to cast your line. Luckily, we’ve covered all of this for you below. Keep reading, and get ready to explore Fort Morgan your way…

What fish can I catch in Fort Morgan?

Redfish, Kingfish, Cobia, Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Marlin – Fort Morgan has them all! With both Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico at your disposal, it’s no surprise that you can target an impressive number of species. Let’s delve in and see what’s on offer!


You’re in Alabama. You have one of the most notable inshore fisheries at your disposal. It only makes sense that Redfish fishing in Fort Morgan is what you’ll do. They inhabit Mobile Bay year-round. Depending on when you visit, you’ll be able to hook “rat,” “slot,” or Bull varieties. Basically, rats are the smallest, and Bulls are those trophy-sized beasts. Thanks to this diversity, you could say there’s a Redfish for every type of angler!

A man holds a large Redfish with the waters of Fort Morgan behind him

Fort Morgan is a legendary Redfish fishing spot, thanks to its proximity to Mobile Bay and a variety of the Gulf’s shallow water sand bars. A favored local technique here is fishing with light tackle, so why not cast a line like an Alabaman? Experienced anglers can also give fly fishing a go. There’s nothing quite like seeing the bronzed scales of your target fish appearing beneath these waters. And when one appears, more are likely to follow!


The clue is in the name when it comes to this reef-loving royalty. The Kingfish, otherwise known as King Mackerel, truly rules over Fort Morgan’s nearshore waters! Visit in spring and head south to the area’s Gulfside waters, around the many artificial wrecks and reefs. Fish the top columns, and Alabama’s Macks will greet you with some hard bites.

A child holds a Kingfish aboard a charter vessel with the Gulf in the background

Locals prefer to troll for these surprisingly hard-fighting fish using minnows as bait, and light spinning tackle. When Kings hit your bait, you’ll definitely know about it! The great news is, any angler can pick up the rod to battle ’em! You don’t need to be an expert-level fisher to enjoy reeling in a King or two. This means that targeting them is a great introduction to real Fort Morgan fishing for newbies and families alike.

Red Snapper

For many anglers, fishing along Alabama’s Gulf Coast (and Fort Morgan, of course) means one thing, and one thing only: Red Snapper. Not only is this fish delectable and hard-fighting, but it also grows to huge sizes here. This combination of factors means that Alabama’s state and federal waters both have strict regulations and open/closed seasons for this species. Let’s just say this: When federal waters open, and the bigger fish are biting, the race is on!

A man holds a large Red Snapper aboard a charter vessel with the Gulf behind him, Fort Morgan

Open season for Red Snapper takes place in summertime, and can close early depending on how many fish are hooked. So, keep a close eye on this to avoid disappointment. Heading out on a charter? Make sure you book your excursion as early as possible. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s heading out on a Snapper adventure, move your line as slowly as possible using squid or ballyhoo for bait – Reds can’t resist ’em!


At first glance, Cobia might not look like the most interesting of underwater species. However, we all know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t underestimate these hard-fighting fish! Preferring to inhabit the waters around Fort Morgan’s many reefs, wrecks, and rigs, your chances of coming across ’em on a nearshore adventure are pretty high. And when they hit your line, you’ll really know about it!

A man holds a Cobia aboard a sportfishing vessel, with the Gulf behind him, Fort Morgan

Cobia are famous along this stretch of the Gulf for their long and powerful runs. They sometimes may even put on a show for you by leaping out of the water. Their energy and hard-fighting spirit aren’t tempered once they’re pulled onto the boat, either. So, prepare for a long battle. Although bottom fishing is a common technique, Fort Morgan locals here like to use light tackle and sight cast for these fish. It makes the fight even more exciting!


Fort Morgan serves as the dividing point between Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Why not take advantage of its location by going after some real big game beasts? Yep, we’re talking about the Marlin species that inhabit the deep waters of the Gulf! You’ll find both Blue and White Marlin varieties on offer here. Both fish put up a serious fight at the end of a line. If you want angling action that redefines the term “rod bending,” look no further.

Two men hold a large Marlin aboard a sportfishing vessel with the Gulf in the background, Fort Morgan

You’ll have to commit to a longer day out on the water to reach the playgrounds of these beasts, as Alabama’s stretch of the Gulf doesn’t reach Marlin-friendly depths until around 60 miles out. This means that trips running around 24 hours (and longer!) are common. The payoff for this amount of travel time is more than worth it. You’ll be in for a unforgettable battle – and hopefully a trophy catch, too.

…And the Rest!

With inshore, nearshore, and offshore fisheries to explore, it’s no surprise that Fort Morgan fishing brings a number of prominent fish species to the table. Writing about them all would fill a book, and then some! We highlighted our favorites above, but there’s plenty more to target, too.

A family stand aboard a charter vessel in Fort Morgan holding a large Grouper with the Gulf behind them

Inshore, Speckled Trout and Flounder join Redfish, and you can hook ’em year-round. You can drop your lines around the wrecks, reefs, and rigs for Grouper varieties, as well as Lane, Vermilion, and many more Snappers. You can reel in that “reef donkey,” the Amberjack, too. Offshore, there’s Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, and Tuna varieties. It really is a (wonderfully) mixed bag!

How can I fish around Fort Morgan?

From a Boat

No matter where you choose to cast your line, the best way to go fishing in Fort Morgan is on board a local charter vessel. No fishery is off limits, as captains here are able to guide you anywhere from the inshore waters of Mobile Bay to the Gulf’s deepest, fish-filled hotspots. You’ll be provided with top-quality fishing gear, and something that’s really invaluable – your captain’s expert advice and native knowledge.

A group of five anglers crouch in front of a Fort Morgan charter vessel on a dock holding their Red Snapper catches

The actual vessel you’ll be fishing from will differ slightly depending on where you want to go, though. Inshore adventures usually involve a skiff or flats boat, perfectly built to navigate skinny, shallow waters. Heading to the reefs and wrecks further offshore? You’ll usually speed off on board a sportfishing machine, decked out with all the necessary amenities. There is something for every type of angler when fishing aboard one of the top-tier Fort Morgan fishing charters!

On Foot

If you’re looking for a relaxed Southern-style day out, then what could be more peaceful than getting to know Fort Morgan’s fishing opportunities on foot? There are plenty of places to cast a line on and around this island that don’t require any kind of fishing vessel. Head north, and you’ll be able to explore Mobile Bay’s offerings from the many Fort Morgan bridges and fishing piers that surround it.

An aerial view of Gulf State Park Pier stretching out onto the Gulf of Mexico

When it comes to fishing Alabama’s Gulf Coast on foot, you won’t quite be able to reach the big game species that call these waters home. However, you will be able to try out Fort Morgan surf fishing, which is the perfect way to experience this island’s gorgeous weather and maybe hook some impressive inshore species, too. Just be prepared to move around and “follow the fish” for a successful day out.

From a Kayak

Fancy your chances when it comes to wielding a fishing rod and navigating a kayak at the same time? Fishing Fort Morgan’s multitude of inshore waters is the perfect place to try out this method. There’s plenty of shallow bays, skinny rivers, and beaches to explore, all bustling with a host of world-famous inshore fish. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the area’s wildlife, nothing quite beats kayak fishing!

A kayaker travels across Mobile Bay as the sun sets

Something to be aware of, however, is that kayak fishing is generally a lot tougher than it looks. You need to be able to control your kayak while keeping an eye out for your catch at the same time. You’ll also be a little more limited when it comes to the species on offer – no big game battles here. However, Alabama’s Gulf Coast is known for its incredible variety of inshore fish, so you’ll still find plenty biting.

Where to fish in Fort Morgan?

Fort Morgan is something of a hidden gem along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. Make the journey here, however, and you’ll stumble upon an impressive number of fishing hotspots. This includes plenty of artificial reefs and wrecks and oil rigs. Despite its size, there’s plenty of places to cast a line! We’ve outlined some of our favorites below…

An infographic featuring the map of Fort Morgan and text that says "Top Fort Morgan Fishing Spots" and names of the hotspots against a blue background
  • Dixey Bar: This legendary fishing spot is located on the east side of the Mobile Bay ship channel, right by Fort Morgan. It’s a shallow sand bar famous for being a Redfish “dinner table!”
  • Gulf State Park Pier: Head east of Fort Morgan, and you’ll discover this whopping 1,500-foot-long pier, which stretches out into the Gulf. It boasts 2,448 feet of fishing space, which is usually bustling with local anglers trying to keep species such as Kingfish, Cobia, and Redfish on their lines.
  • Fort Morgan State Historic Site: Kayak fishing enthusiast? You’ll be thrilled to learn that Fort Morgan has its very own boat and kayak launch ramp. Located on the Mobile Bay side of the fort, it provides access to this fantastic fishery.
  • Fort Morgan Beach: Want to go back to basics and indulge in some good ol’ surf fishing? Head to the western end of Fort Morgan’s beach, right where it opens into the pass and makes a right angle into the bay. It’s known for being a Spotted Seatrout hotspot!
  • Navy Cove: Located immediately north of Fort Morgan, this small pocket of water is the perfect place for Redfish and Specks. It also tends to be quieter than Mobile Bay! You’ll likely find one or two local anglers lazily kayaking or canoeing around these waters, too.

Anything else to know about Fort Morgan fishing?

Now you have a taste of the incredible fishing opportunities waiting for you in Fort Morgan, you’re probably wondering what the legalities of casting a line here are. Luckily, legally fishing in the “Heart of Dixie” is a relatively simple and pain-free process.

An infographic featuring the flag of Alabama and text that says "Fort Morgan Fishing Regulations" and "What you need to know" against a blue background

All anglers age between 16–65 need a valid fishing license. Hopping aboard a local charter? Your license will be covered for you by your captain, so all you need to do is turn up and get your fish on! If not, you’ll need to purchase your permit. For more information on how to go about your fishing license, take a look at our handy guide to fishing legally in Alabama.

Although Alabama generally has pretty liberal open fishing seasons, some species here are subject to strict season, bag, and size regulations. Again, if you’re fishing alongside a captain, they’ll be able to inform you of what you can and can’t keep. Otherwise, you can keep an eye on our Red Snapper blog and fish calendar.

Fort Morgan Fishing: An Adventure That’ll Go Down in History!

It goes without saying that Fort Morgan is already a big feather in Alabama’s hat when it comes to historical landmarks. We think that the angling action this small-but-mighty location provides only contributes to its legendary status.

A view of several anglers standing in front of the Fort Morgan Marina sign and holding Red Snapper caught while fishing in Fort Morgan, Alabama

With Mobile Bay to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and a whole host of incredible fish species on offer, it’s easy to see why this tiny slice of fishing paradise is such a firm favorite with anglers. All that’s left is to grab your rods and reels, and come discover it for yourself!

Have you ever been fishing around Fort Morgan? Any tips, tricks, or favorite hotspots to share that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

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