The rod held by Bill Hamrick of Montgomery, Alabama, dove for the water as he leaned back and started to reel. Hamrick already had felt the redfish pick-up the bait. But, because Hamrick was using a circle hook, instead of setting the hook, he waited on the redfish to take-up line and set the hook itself. Once the fish was on, the battle between angler and redfish was
what made fishing Perdido Pass near Orange Beach, Ala., near the Perdido Pass Bridge, one of the most-well-known inshore fishing spots on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. “Depending on which way the current’s running, we position our boat to fish to the bridge pilings that the current is hitting,” says Captain Keith Powell of Alabama Inshore Fishing. “The redfish, flounder and sometimes speckled trout will often lie behind the pilings in the slack water to rest. However,, when they get ready to feed, they move to the front of the pilings to attack the baits that the current is bringing to them, coming out of the estuaries in the back bays. If we don’t catch fish in front of the pilings, we then fish behind the pilings. But usually, we can pick-up one or two fish every trip by fishing under the bridge.”
Powell is one of the many captains who take sportsmen inshore fishing off Alabama’s Gulf Coast almost every week of the season. Let Powell explain. “I have two boats. I keep one on a trailer so that I’m very mobile, and another boat I keep at Zeke’s Landing Marina in Orange Beach. I let the fishermen tell me what kind of fish they want to catch, and then my job is to take them to the spots where they can catch that type of fish. For instance, if an angler says he wants to catch bull redfish, depending on where I’ve located the big redfish, we may go to Dixey Bar near Fort Morgan on Mobile Bay, because that’s always a highly-productive place. If my fisherman says that he or she wants to catch speckled trout, we may run up to Lillian Bridge near Lillian, Ala., and fish between the pilings of that bridge, where we often find
speckled trout as well as some redfish and flounder.
“If an angler wants to catch what’s biting, Perdido Pass at Orange Beach is hard to beat, because not only can we fish in front of and behind the bridge pilings at Perdido Pass Bridge, once we fish there, we can go fish the jetties on the east side of the pass. A couple of big holes there historically hold redfish, flounder and sometimes pompano in the fall. Then we can go over to the jetties on the west side of Perdido Pass and drift down the jetties with bull minnows or live shrimp. Often we’ll catch big speckled trout, flounder and an occasional redfish there. The one thing you can bet on is you can catch some kind of fish almost every day when you fish around Perdido Pass. The back bays are really starting to heat-up right now in early November as the speckled trout begin their annual migration out of the bays and into the mouths of the coastal rivers. Many of these rivers are accessible from Perdido Pass and Orange Beach. Out on the front beach, large schools of big redfish are beginning to show-up, and on some days, an angler can keep a rod bent throughout his entire trip with redfish weighing from 15- to 30-pounds each. Most of these giant redfish are caught and released, but anglers are allowed to keep one big fish per person.
“Little Lagoon on the West Beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., may be one of the most-overlooked inshore fishing spots on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. However, it shouldn’t be. Little Lagoon has access to the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers can wade-out on the sandbar on the gulf s
ide of the pass and catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder, or they can fish from the bank on the lagoon side of the pass. Little Lagoon holds plenty of nice-sized speckled trout and redfish, and you’ll find them at this time of year anywhere there’s a drop-off, a ledge or structure. Little Lagoon is also protected waters, so that during inclement weather, you can fish there as well as at the Intercoastal Canal.
If you’re coming to Alabama’s Gulf Coast from now until November 22 for the special fall red snapper season, where anglers can catch a keep a limit of red snapper Fridays through Sundays, also plan a trip to fish inshore to catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder. You’ll have a lot of fun with the Alabama’s Gulf Coast’s inshore fishery also.
To contact Keith Powell, visit www.inshorefishingalabama.com
, or call 251-367-3464. For hotel, motel, restaurant and attraction information, call Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism at 800-745-SAND (7263), or visit www.orangebeach.com
. To get a fishing report, go to www.orangebeach.com/fishing/biting