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.
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!