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A Beginner’s Guide to Charter Boat Fishing in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Are you thinking about going on a charter boat fishing trip? If you haven’t been on one of these types of excursions before, you are in for a real treat.

Fishing charters are a great way to spend time with your friends, to enjoy some beautiful scenery, to catch some fish, and to make some memories you’ll treasure always and will never forget. 

One of the best places in this entire nation to go charter boat fishing is off the coast of Alabama. The Gulf of Mexico is vast, but so many amazing fish visit and congregate off the coast near Gulf Shores at all times of the year. Many charter boat fishing guides and boat captains have been fishing these waters all of their lives, and therefore have developed the expertise needed to lead fishing trip participants to personal victories as well. 

If you’re interested in charter boat fishing in Gulf Shores, Alabama, then read on. You’ll learn everything you need to know to plan, execute and enjoy your charter boat fishing adventure.

How to Plan Your Trip

In order to have the best possible experience on your fishing boat charter, you’ll need to do some research and planning beforehand. It’s sometimes possible to book a fishing charter at the last minute, but it’s better to give yourself time to consider numerous factors to ensure that you choose the best boat, captain, and trip for you and your party.

Time of Year

The first thing to consider is the time of year that you should go charter fishing. Off the Alabama coast, it’s possible to fish year-round, but the weather can sometimes be a bit unpredictable in the spring, fall or winter. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have a bad time or that you won’t catch any fish, but it’s more likely to rain or be rough during those seasons. Most people enjoy summer in the Gulf most of all. However, we recommend customers pick two or three days in the Spring and/or Fall so, as we closer to the dates the weather is a little bit more practical. Contact us to discuss potential charter fishing dates in the Spring and/or Fall.

Also keep in mind that some fish are more prevalent at certain times of the year than others, so if you want to catch a specific type of fish, that can influence the right time of year to go as well.

Private vs. Shared

You’ll also want to decide if you want to pursue a private charter or a shared expense trip. A private charter is exactly what it sounds like; it’s you and your friends on a boat alone with the captain and crew. This is a great option if you have a large group and enjoy privacy. If you have a smaller group or would like to save money, you might consider merging with a group of strangers to split the cost of a charter among you.

Length of Trip

In Gulf Shores, you can find charter boat fishing trips offered at a wide variety of lengths. You could take a short, half-day trip, or you could charter a boat over several days. If you’re just starting out, you may want to choose a shorter trip. Fishing in the Gulf is often more tiring than you might imagine!

Food Fishing or Sport Fishing

You should also think about whether you want to fish for food or for sport. If a fish that you catch is in season, you can keep it and eat it, but if it isn’t you have to throw it back. If you know that you want to pursue fish that you can eat, let your captain know so he can help you to find fish that you can keep during your charter. 

How to Choose a Charter Provider 

When it comes to choosing a charter boat fishing provider, take time to consider all the possibilities. The charter provider you choose can and will make or break your overall experience.

Today, it’s easy to find reviews online for service providers of all kinds and that includes charter boat fishing providers. A quick internet search will help guide you to reputable and reliable captains, crews, and boats. A couple of bad reviews can be overlooked; consistently bad reviews should never be ignored.

When calling around to find out prices and more information, be sure to know the number of participants in your group. This will help a charter provider to know whether or not they can accommodate you. The person who answers the phone should be excited to answer your questions about the boat, the captain’s experience, the plan for the day at sea, pricing, onboard safety measures and more. 

Once you’ve selected a company, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit or you may even be asked to pay in full. This will hold the boat for your group until the day and time of the charter arrive.

What to Expect 

When the big day comes, arrive a little early. If you arrive a little late, you are only wasting your own time. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and prepare for anything. On a cooler day, wearing several layers is always a wise idea; you can shed them as it gets warmer.

You won’t need a fishing license to fish on a charter boat. When you charter a boat, everyone on board is covered by the boat’s fishing permit. You also won’t need to bring any fishing equipment or bait; on a fishing charter, everything is provided for you to use.

Introduce yourself to the captain and crew and prepare to listen to their directions. Remember, even though you chartered the boat, the captain is in charge. This is crucial to ensure everyone’s safety.

Off the coast of Alabama, you can catch some very interesting and exciting fish. If your charter heads out to deep waters, you can expect to catch fish like Red Snapper, Grouper, Trigger Fish, Amberjack, Tuna, and Marlin, to name a few. In the summertime, you can add migratory fish like King Mackerel, Cobia and Mahi-Mahi to that list as well. On the other hand, if you focus on inshore fishing, you may catch some Speckled Trout, Flounder, or White Trout. 

Charter Boat Fishing: Fun for All

The most important thing to do when going on a charter boat fishing trip is to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, that’s why you signed up to do it in the first place. It may seem like there are a lot of things to consider when planning a charter fishing trip, but once the time comes to hop on board, just listen to the captain and crew and get ready for a fantastic and memorable experience. After you go once, you’ll likely want come back for more time and time again.

If you’re looking for a great fishing boat charter in Gulf Shores, Alabama, please consider us at Miss Brianna Fishing Charters. We offer fishing charters for all ages and even offer charters that are especially geared towards kids. We can’t wait to take you and your family and friends out on the water. Give us a call today

Want to Go Fishing in Alabama but Don’t Have a License? Hire a Charter!

You live in or around Alabama. You want to go fishing in Alabama. The only problem is that you don’t have an Alabama fishing license. 

You don’t plan on fishing much this year, and so you don’t really want to pay for one. You’d rather just have one big and extravagant fishing adventure. Might we suggest hiring a charter?

Booking a fishing charter enables you to get out on the ocean without a license. It offers a number of other benefits as well. Read on to find out what they are. 

The Benefits of Booking a Fishing Charter

The benefits of booking a fishing charter are many and varied. The most prominent of these benefits include the following. 

You Don’t Need a Fishing License

As we’ve made clear, when fishing on a fishing charter in the state of Alabama, you don’t need a fishing license. Charters in the state have licenses that cover everyone on board. 

Your only responsibility is to book the boat and show up on time. The charter company will handle the rest! 

You Don’t Need to Buy Any Gear

Fishing successfully (especially in the ocean) requires a great deal of gear. Not only do you need a pole and line but a large selection of tackle and bait as well. Added up, this equipment can cost you hundreds of dollars. 

That’s obviously a lot of money and money that you might not have on hand. Fortunately, when you book a fishing charter, you don’t have to pay for your own gear. The charter provides it all to you. 

The second you step on the boat, everything will be waiting for you. All you’ll have to do is sit down and cast out. This also saves you the trouble of having to pack up substantial amounts of equipment in your automobile. 

You’ll Receive Instruction

Never fished before? Have no experience in deep-sea fishing? A fishing charter is perfect for you. 

Fisher charters are patrolled by expert fishermen and they can show you everything you need to know in order to have a successful trip. They’ll show you how to cast out your line, they’ll tell you when to pull in your reel, they’ll show you what to do when you have a bite, and more. 

Don’t need instruction? No worries! The crew will have no problem leaving you to your own devices. 

You’ll Receive Guidance

The ocean is a big, mysterious place. If you’re not careful, you can get lost out on it. This is why, if you’ve never been out on the ocean before, you’re advised to take a guide. 

How do you find a guide? It’s as simple as booking a fishing charter. Fishing charters are navigated by experienced crews. They know their areas like the backs of their respective hands and know exactly how to get the boat to where it’s supposed to go. 

Going out on a boat alone in the ocean is a dangerous endeavor. You shouldn’t do it until you have plenty of experience under your belt. 

You’ll Get to Go Out on the Ocean

Unless you yourself have a boat, your fishing trips are going to be relegated to the pier or the shoreline. That is unless you book a fishing charter. Fishing charters will take you out upon the ocean, allowing you to catch those gigantic fish at the bottom of the sea.

Not to mention, you’ll get to take in some awe-inspiring views. Imagine looking in at the beach from miles out. It doesn’t get much cooler than that. 

How Much is a Fishing Charter? 

Now, you might be wondering: how much does a fishing charter cost? In truth, it can depend on a few factors, including the size of the boat, the number of passengers, and the area in which the charter is located. 

A good average to consider is between $500 and $800 per trip. This would cover around 5 or 6 passengers and would last for a few hours. 

Note, though, that there are some boats that can carry over 30 passengers, and which would cost several thousands of dollars for a single trip. If you have a big group, these can actually end up being the better deal. Their per-person costs are typically lower than those for small boats. 

Charter Fishing Destinations in Alabama

There are a variety of places to go charter fishing in Alabama. Some of the most popular spots include the following. 

Orange Beach

Orange Beach is the most popular beach in Alabama. Though it’s geared toward tourist activity, it’s a great place for charter fishing as well. There are plenty of charters located in Orange Beach and the surrounding areas, all of which can help get you out on the ocean. 

Gulf Shores

Bordering Orange Beach is Gulf Shores. Quieter than Orange Beach, Gulf Shores is an ideal spot for a relaxing and tranquil fishing experience. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a fishing charter in the Gulf Shores area. 

Dauphin Island

Located off the coast of Alabama, Dauphin Island is surrounded by water on all its sides. Home to a bevy of fishing charters, it’s a great place to snag some speckled trout or snappers. 

Ready to Go Fishing in Alabama?

Why Orange Beach Is Your Ultimate Fishing Getaway

Welcome to Orange Beach, Alabama, one of the Gulf of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches. The turquoise water lapping against soft white sand so fine it’s like sugar and stretches out of sight east and west.

If you’re an angler then you aren’t here for the sand. Good thing, too, because Orange Beach is also known as the Red Snapper capital of the world. The Gulf of Mexico is home to over 1,400 species of finfish. Throw in 51 sharks and another 49 skates and rays and you have some serious fishing in front of you.

The Gulf of Mexico’s shoreline stretches for 1,680 miles in the U.S. alone, giving the enthusiastic fisherman options. A little digging and you’ll find Orange Beach is the perfect spot to embark on your next charter fishing trip, and here’s why. 

Location, Location, Location!

If you’re planning a fishing trip, why not head to one of the prettiest spots on the Gulf? You spend the entire time fishing, so when you take your shore leave you’ll love the quaint little town of 5,000 residents. Orange Beach recreation opportunities abound. The shopping is great, the food is amazing, and there’s plenty of accommodations to fit any budget.

But still, you know it’s all about the fish. The Red Snapper is the star of the show here, but Orange Beach is almost exactly between Mobile Bay in Alabama and Pensacola Bay in Florida. It also features access to Perdido Bay right behind it to its north.

Alabama has an extensive nearshore reef system and the Perdido Pass is one example of the many shallow waterways that meet the Gulf of Mexico. Add the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the equation and you have yourself access to all the Gulf of Mexico has to offer.

Orange Beach Game Fish

An old fisherman once said, ‘If you want to catch fish, you have to fish where the fish are at.’ There are some serious trophy fish to be caught in the Gulf of Mexico, and chartering a boat from Orange Beach will get you to those coveted spots quickly.

Grouper is an ugly, but delicious prize that can be caught in abundance in the deeper parts of the Gulf. Gag, red, and scamp grouper varieties are all possible depending on the season, but you’re talking 30-40 miles offshore to find them. You can bag yourself some vermillion and white snapper too while you’re that far out.

Red Snapper fishing in the summer is so productive you will see people throwing keepers back because they know there are bigger ones to catch. Mackerel and Bonita are some popular fish to angle for when bottom fishing nearer to shore. Redfish is another local fish that is fun to catch and delicious.

Amberjack is another game fish you’ll have fun angling for in the deeper regions further offshore. Serious fishermen will want to test the water for Swordfish. Jigging for Blackfin Tuna is another option, as is trolling for Yellowfin Tuna. These game fish are usually pretty far offshore so you’ll probably want to charter a full-day or even an overnight trip if you want to catch these big boys.

What Type of Charter Should You Book?

When chartering a boat you need to know a few things first. How many people is important to know because there are limits to how many people can fit comfortably on certain boats. There are limitations to how many can fish at once too. You don’t want to pack a boat with so many people that you only get to fish half the time.

Time is another important consideration. How much time do you want to be out on the water? If you’re going with children, or perhaps bringing people that have never fished before you’ll want to keep your trip shorter. There’s nothing worse than having to leave a hot hidey-hole because the kids or the newbies are going stir crazy.

You need to know what you want to catch. Seasonal rules are strictly followed, so don’t head out in January and expect to get Red Snapper. Federal restrictions can be different than state laws too. Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico will typically open for June and July, however inshore waterways under Alabama control might have longer seasons.

It’s difficult to get a charter company to commit to a guarantee, but most will at least say they will do everything possible to make sure you catch fish. After all, this is how they make a living, and people won’t book again if they don’t catch anything the first time.

This might mean they scrap the plan for bigger game fish halfway through the trip and have you jigging for flounder. You should ask in advance what their plan is for the trip. Will they be trolling while going from spot to spot? Do they have different bait for different fish? 

What Should You Bring With You on a Charter?

Most charters are pretty easy going with what is allowed on the boat, so long as it isn’t illegal. Bigger boats will sometimes have galleys or kitchens for the landlubbers. Some will have food for sale, while others will be happy to let you use the galley.

Ask your Captain before booking so you aren’t hit with any surprises. As a general rule of thumb, you should anticipate bringing it if you want it. That means bring a corkscrew if you want to open a bottle of wine. The point is, the Captain cannot anticipate everything you might need and the boat has limited space. 

If you’ve never been on a charter boat before, you should take something for motion sickness before you get on the boat. Even if you’ve been out dozens of times, having some Dramamine on hand is smart. Weather is unpredictable and when the waves get big they can affect the most seasoned seafarer. 

Booking a Charter

If you’re ready to experience all the Gulf of Mexico has to offer for fishing you should contact Orange Beach Sport Fishing Charters. We have multiple boats for different-sized parties and can accommodate short, medium, long, and overnight trips. Our Captains and mates are all skilled seamen and dedicated to making your trip one you’ll never want to forget.