How would you like to spend a day on the open sea catching red snapper or grouper?
It could be your reality if you book a fishing charter off the coast of Alabama.
Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the surrounding coastal communities are the perfect fishing destination. The weather is gorgeous, the fish are plentiful, and there are attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
Keep reading below to learn about how Alabama has the best fishing in the United States. We’ll also give you a few recommendations for family-friendly things to do with the wife and kids.
Where’s the Best Fishing in Alabama?
If you’ve never visited the gulf coast of Alabama, then you don’t know what you’re missing. There are a ton of freshwater and saltwater opportunities for all anglers.
For this article, we’re going to take a look at the best places to go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Many locals and visitors go surf fishing right off a beach or pier. The 1,540-foot pier in Gulf State Park is open 24/7, just make sure you have a license and permit. Others like to catch migrating fish off the jetties at Perdido Pass.
Fishing experts recommend aiming where the surf breaks against the sandbars.
Serious sportsmen like to charter a fishing boat. Nothing beats going miles out into the Gulf of Mexico to catch the big fish. Charters can be booked from four hours to an overnight excursion. You also have the benefit of an experienced crew.
Depending on the time you book, they can help you to fish blue water, bottom, or topwater. Several rod options are also available.
Although it may cost a few extra dollars to charter a boat and crew, you’ll make memories that last a lifetime. And don’t forget the bragging rights of catching a giant grouper!
What Can You Catch off Gulf Shores?
Out-of-town anglers may not be familiar with the fish near Gulf Shores. Let’s take a look at what you’ll be able to catch on a charter.
If you decide to take a shorter trip, like five hours, then you’ll be more likely to catch mackerel or bonitos. These can be caught with artificial lures or small bait. They both weigh under 10 pounds, on average.
The longer your voyage the bigger and more delicious the fish become. Red Snapper can weigh up to 30 pounds and are seasonal among the summer months when many people are taking vacations.
Visitors who opt for a full day charter have the time to go searching for monster grouper. Whether gag, scamp, or red, groupers can weigh up to 50 pounds and require the boat to go 45 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers can also catch vermillion snapper and white snapper on the way.
How intense do you want to get on your fishing trip? Book an overnight trip and search for yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, or swordfish into the late hours.
Check out our local fishing blog to see what other charter guests have caught.
Be Prepared for Gulf Coast Fishing
Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is more complicated than surf fishing or trying one of the freshwater spots in Alabama. You need to make sure to collect all of the necessary equipment to do it right.
Here is a list of key saltwater fishing accessories:
- Select a saltwater rod according to the type of fish you want to catch (long vs. short and fast vs. slow)
- Find a reel that works with your rod and decide how fast you want to reel it in
- Choose a braided line that will hold the weight of the type of fish you’re looking for
- Baits can be artificial or live like herring, ballyhoo, eels, mullet, and sardines
- Pick up the right tools: filet knife, gaff, pliers, and the right tackle for your trip
There are two other things you should worry about when saltwater fishing. First, invest in a good ship-to-shore radio in case you break down or get caught in a storm.
Some people like to buy sonar or chart plotters to help navigate. You can also pick up a fish finder to make the whole process easier for everyone.
And, most importantly, wear the right clothing for the activity. Fishing attire will keep you comfortable no matter the temperature or sun exposure. In the middle of the gulf, you need to protect your skin. Always wear sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat.
Attractions for the Whole Family To Enjoy
We’ve covered a lot of ground with saltwater fishing, but what if the wife and kids don’t want to go with you on a 12-hour deep sea fishing expedition?
No problem! There are a ton of family activities around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Many families like to rent bicycles and spend the day taking in the amazing views of Gulf State Park. Hiking trails are also a good way to see wildlife like alligators, deer, and many species of birds.
Spend a day learning how to build the perfect sandcastle at the Sand Castle University, or ride The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf to look out across the beach and beyond.
The Track Recreation Center in Gulf Shores has coasters, go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats, and kids rides.
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center are a short drive away. They offer families a bunch of educational activities to pass the time.
No matter what you do on your vacation, Alabama’s gulf coast is a great choice.
Ready to Charter a Fishing Boat?
If you’re planning a vacation to Gulf Shores and you want to do some fishing, why not go big? Fishing charters are affordable, fun, and what you catch will be delicious.
Remember there’s more than one way to do a charter. You can go out for a few hours or book a full day. The expert crew of the “Miss Brianna” will provide all the equipment you need and tips on how to catch the best fish.
Contact us now to book your fishing expedition.