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Top Fishing Charters in Gulf Shores
Fishing in Gulf Shores
You don’t need to be a geography genius to figure out that Gulf Shores fishing is pretty hard to beat. The southernmost settlement of Alabama, this popular resort town is aptly nicknamed ‘small town, big beach.’ But for those who want to get more out of their vacation than simply soaking up the sun, Gulf Shores offers a year-round fishery that features all the big stars of the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Shores and nearby Orange Beach are home to one of the biggest fleets of charter boats on the whole of the Gulf Coast. And it’s no surprise that these Gulf Coast fishing charters are some of the most popular in the United States. With easy access to waters that are filled with artificial reefs, channels, and bays, local captains can give anglers of all shapes and sizes an enjoyable day on the water.
Although the city harbors an increasingly rewarding inshore fishery, reef and deep sea fishing remain the name of the local angling game. Often considered ground zero for American Red Snapper fishing, an army of over 17000 artificial reefs dominate the local seafloor, creating the ideal habitat for enormous - and delicious - fish. Not only that - these man-made habitats have created a thriving eco-system of Gulf Coast fish such as Triggerfish, Grouper, Amberjack, and over half a dozen Snapper species. Strictly enforced fishing regulations and elongated closed seasons for certain species may not seem particularly fun to most fisherfolk, but they do make sure the bite is more than red hot when it counts.
In addition to bottom fishing, count on summer and fall offshore seasons to bring you head-to-fin against world-class piscatorial warriors such as Wahoo, Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel, as well as Tuna, Sailfish and even an odd Marlin every now and then!
But you don’t need to travel far to catch big fish in these waters. Monster Bull Redfish, Black Drum, and Speckled Trout inhabit the local bays and coastline. Whether you are heading into the sheltered Little Lagoon to target big Speckled Trout or fishing along the beaches for Pompano, there are plenty of options.
Land based anglers should head to the fishing pier at Gulf States Park. The second-longest pier on the whole of the Gulf of Mexico, this 1540 ft long structure is an excellent place to soak up the atmosphere and catch some nice fish. To spice things up even further, Gulf Shores is right by the beautiful Shelby Lakes, a 20 acre paradise for freshwater anglers. Stocked with Bluegill, Crappie, Bass, Catfish, and much more, this sheltered waterway has something to offer even when the winds are blowing a storm offshore.
Rules & Regulations
Fishing licenses are compulsory for everyone between 16 and 65. These can be purchased at most places that sell fishing equipment and supplies, and the price depends on your state residency. Fishing licenses are not required when fishing aboard a licensed charter boat.
Types of Fishing
The majority of Gulf Coast fishing charters are fine-tuned to know exactly where and how the biggest and best bottom fish can be caught on a day-to-day basis. Usually, they will load up on fresh squid or baitfish such as cigar minnows - Snappers and Groupers are big fans!
Gulf Shores surf fishing can be very rewarding for those without access to a boat. Find a part of the beach that is not too crowded or head to the Gulf States Park fishing pier and fish from dawn to dusk. Bring live or frozen shrimp, squid, sand fleas, or cut bait to entice a bite, or experiment with shiny spoons and spinners. This will get a great reaction from Pompano, with Whiting, Sheepshead, Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder all being regular catches.
Pro tip - don’t miss out on sight fishing for Bull Redfish as they migrate along the coastline in the late fall and early winter. Schools of up to 1 000 fish are not unheard of! The Dixey Bar area at Fort Morgan is a hotspot.
Gulf Shores Fishing Seasons
Gulf Shores Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Gulf Shores
"Half-day trip with Captain Rick"
Water temperatures were cooler than normal in January 2018 so fishing was not as productive as usual.
To ensure warmer weather, dont fish in December.
"Half Day with Captain Clay"
Inshore trip was definitely worth trying!
Top Fishing Charters
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