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.