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Fishing in Alabama

Alabama fishing charters pack a huge amount into just 50 miles of coastline. The state boasts a large and varied charter fleet, and a huge range of habitats to explore on the search for trophy fish. As if that’s not enough, local guides come from long lines of fishermen who have worked these waters for generations. Throw in a revolving door of hard-fighting sportfish and delicious table fare, and you wonder why everyone gets so excited about Florida.

Known For

The main inshore species are Flounder, Redfish, and Speckled Trout, just like much of the North Gulf Coast. Alabama has a few tricks up her sleeve, though, with seasonal catches of Pompano, Sheepshead, Tarpon, and more. Head a little farther out, and you’ll start to run into Tripletail, Cobia, and reef species like Snapper and Grouper.
If you’re willing to travel (and we’re talking 50 miles minimum) you can also find some incredible big game species offshore. Alabama deep sea fishing can get you on Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Sailfish, and even Marlin. On the other end of the scale, Alabama’s rivers and lakes are a freshwater angler’s dream. Crappie fishing in Alabama is amazing. There are also tons of Bass, Catfish, and monster Alligator Gar lurking in these murky waters.

Alabama Fishing Spots

There’s no end to what you can find on fishing trips in Alabama, but you need to know where to look. Here’s a rundown of main styles of fishing and where to launch from on your search for that perfect charter.

Bays & Backcountry

Whether you’re after the sheltered depths of Mobile Bay or the sprawling backcountry of Perdido Bay, you’ll never get bored of Alabama’s inshore fisheries. These waters are home to trophy Trout, Bull Reds, and huge “doormat” Flounder. 
Mobile Bay gets plenty deep enough for Seabass and Sheepshead. The city of Mobile may seem the obvious starting point, but you’re actually better off launching from Gulf Shores or Dauphin Island. You start nearer to the best fishing spots this way. 
If you want to explore Perdido Bay, Orange Beach has the best charter fleet and is within easy reach of some awesome backcountry waters.

Reefs & Wrecks

If you fancy getting your hooks into something a little bigger, there are dozens of reefs and wrecks waiting for you out in the Gulf of Mexico. Red Snapper, Amberjack, and Triggerfish are the top species on offer. Head to more remote spots, and you can also target deep-water Groupers, Tilefish, monster Snapper, and more. These charters run all along Alabama’s coast. Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, and Gulf Shores are all great places to start. 


Speed past the reefs and wrecks and out to the deep waters of the De Soto Valley, and you can find some of the best deep sea fishing in the whole Gulf of Mexico. It may be a 70-mile ride, but you’ll forget the journey as soon as you get there. You’ll be far too focused on the fish! Blue and White Marlin, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi – all your favorite bluewater beasts are hunting out here! 
Again, any port town along the Alabama Gulf Coast will do, but Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have the largest fleets. You’ll want a big boat if you’re heading out for Billfish, so these towns are the best places to go.


“So all the action’s down on the coast?” Of course not! Make your way along the Tennessee River and you’ll find a huge range of freshwater gamefish. Alabama Bass fishing is awesome, with Smallmouth, Largemouth, Striped, and Hybrid Striped Bass to choose from. You’ve also got Crappie, Catfish, Gars, and more. Most guides operate in their local waters, and there’s no one place to start your trip – it’s good everywhere!

Alabama Fishing Techniques

Alabama fishing guides use a variety of techniques to bring in the top local species. Inshore fishing mainly focuses on live baiting, but you can also throw lures or even flies for Redfish and Trout. Fancy something a little more hands-on? Bowfishing and gigging are both Alabama staples. These techniques work best at night, so they’re also a great way to beat the heat in the summer.
Out at the reefs, you can bottom fish with cut baits or drop jigs to entice fish onto the hook. Chumming and drifting are also popular, especially during Cobia season. Most of Alabama’s deep sea action focuses on trolling in order to cover the most ground. Kite fishing is getting more popular, though. You’ll always find a few kites flying through the sky when Sailfish are in season.

Need to Know

You don’t need to buy a license when fishing aboard registered Alabama fishing charters. Freshwater anglers and surf or beach fishers will need to pick up the appropriate Alabama fishing license for their chosen body of water. Week and year-long licenses can be bought online or from approved vendors locally.
It’s worth remembering that while Alabama has pretty loose fishing regulations, some species do have seasonal closures. Regulations for Triggerfish, Amberjack, Red Snapper, and more can change year on year. They are also different for state and federal waters. Your captain will be able to give you up to date information on all the fish you come across. Be sure to read up on current seasons and limits if you’re planning on fishing solo.
Alabama’s waters are as exciting as they are varied. You could spend a lifetime exploring the bays, bayous, rivers, and streams and still find new spots. Head out into open Gulf waters, and you have thousands of square miles to explore. Luckily, local guides have spent their lives doing the hard work so you only see the best the state can offer. So what are you waiting for? Head down to the Heart of Dixie and get ready to battle some monsters!
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Alabama Fishing Seasons

Rough weather can make offshore trips unreliable in January. Stay inshore and enjoy peak Sheepshead season instead! These guys are a local favorite, and make for great table fare.

Sheepshead are still biting hard inshore. If you somehow get bored of them, there are plenty of Trout, Red and Black Drum, and Gray Snapper around, too. Offshore, the Tuna bite is warming up.


Triggerfish open for harvest in March, and everyone wants a piece of these tasty little guys! The Cobia migration starts to really get going this time of year, giving you even more reasons to hit the reefs.


The bluewater bite really picks up in April, with Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna, and even the occasional Sailfish showing up. Inshore, it’s your last chance to catch Sheepshead.


Amberjack are sometimes open for harvest in May. Even if they’re not, you’ve got plenty of reasons to fish the reefs, with Cobia, Vermillion Snapper, and the last of the Triggerfish.


It’s Red Snapper Season! Boats all around the Gulf head offshore in search of delicious bottom fish. You need to book these trips well in advance, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to catch your limit!


The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo sees thousands of anglers head offshore for Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Yellowfin Tuna. Inshore, it’s Tarpon season.


Amberjack open for harvest, and Vermillion Snapper are in their prime. You’ve got the full cast out in the bluewaters and plenty of Trout and Redfish inshore. Face the heat, and you’ll be well rewarded.


The Tarpon have moved on by September, but you’ve still got a ton of Redfish, Trout, and Flounder to fish for. Further out, you have Tripletail, Amberjack, Vermillion Snapper, and more.


Most of the Blue Marlin have moved on by October, but there are still a few White Marlin left. October is your last chance to keep Amberjack, and your last real chance to bag Tripletail.


Trout are back with a vengeance in November, and there are some monster Black Drum around, too. Both these guys are tastier than Turkey, so get out there and get some!


Sheepshead start to pick up in December, and Redfish, Seatrout, Black Drum, and Flounder are all on form. Throw in cool weather and fewer mosquitos, and you’re looking at perfect flats fishing!

Alabama Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Alabama

Half day trip
Samantha M. fished with Jus Cuz Fishing Charters on August 1, 2020
The captain recommended fishing in early June.
2hr shrimping with captain Davis
Josh R. fished with Alabama Coastal Charters on July 25, 2020
If the surf is rough, fish the bay area’s
July fishing trip
Joe L. fished with Alex City Guide Service – 22' on July 23, 2020
Relax and let the captain find the stripers
Half day with jake
Ray F. fished with Powers Fishing Charters on July 22, 2020
Hope for good weather Very high seas Windy Not in control of the weather Tropical depression in the area
July fishing trip
Thang P. fished with Action Charter Service Inc. on July 20, 2020
Bring sun screen, drinks and medications.
Fishing with Mike
Anthony A. fished with Bama Slam Inshore Adventures, LLC on July 20, 2020
Summer fishing anywhere can be a grind but with such beautiful water and scenery it makes it tolerable.
Half Day Trip with Cpt. Jake
Dustin A. fished with Lost Bay Guide Service on July 18, 2020
The Snapper were smaller than they would have been a month earlier, but thy were biting. Great experience overall.
July fishing trip
Jerod H. fished with Still Flyin Charters on July 11, 2020
Show up ready to fish hard your entire trip and be prepared to have some good laughs and go home tired from reeling in the big ones.

Top Fishing Techniques in Alabama

Top Targeted Species in Alabama