Recently in mid-October, big chunks of yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and wahoo made a mountain of meat before a party left to go fishing on the “Reel Surprise” charter boat out of SanRoc Cay Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama. A boat docked at the marina just had come in from an overnight trip with 10 people on-board. Each of the anglers had caught a
nd landed a yellowfin tuna that weighed from 50-150 pounds. Next, the blackfin tuna, weighing 8- to 12-pounds each had started biting. The blackfins put-up fights, as all the anglers loaded-up on them. Then on the way back in to Orange Beach, the wahoo began biting, and anglers enjoyed reeling-in those sharp-nosed silver-with-black-striped tiger-looking fish.
Once the “Reel Surprise” pulled out of SanRoc Cay again, Captain Randy Boggs explained, “Most people don’t realize that the Orange Beach region homes a year-round fishery. Because the climate is so warm, and the fishing conditions are excellent, anglers can catch fish through the year. Even as the weather cools-down, the Gulf of Mexico’s water remains fairly warm, because that much water takes awhile to impact with different weather. That’s why we have plenty of warm-water species to catch whether we offshore bottom fish, fish in the back bays or fish off the pier in the Orange Beach area. As you anglers have seen this morning, the tuna and wahoo fishing is good and will continue to be all winter long. Almost every day we have charter boats going out and catching vermilion snapper, white snapper, lane snapper, tri
ggerfish, grouper, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and tons of red snapper. Although we can’t keep the red snapper, we can catch, photograph and release them.
“Right now the red snapper is the most-abundant fish we have available to catch, and we catch them all year. This section of the Gulf of Mexico has so-many red snapper that this species is moving-in close to the shallow-water wrecks and reefs. On a 4 or a 6-hour trip, often our anglers can catch and release all the red snapper that a party can reel in to our boat. Some of these fish will weigh 8- to 12-pounds each. On longer trips, our boat may produce 20-pound-plus red snapper, scamp, grouper, red grouper and gag grouper as well as big triggerfish and vermilion snapper. Never has there been a better time to catch a lot of fish offshore than right now until mid-December at Alabama’s Gulf Coast.”
To learn more about Captain Randy Boggs, go to www.reelsurprisecharters.com
call 251-981-7173, or write firstname.lastname@example.org
Gulf State Park Pier Report:
John Giannini, avid pier angler and owner of J&M Tackle in Orange Beach, Ala., had a rod on the pier one day last week that resembled a capital C, because the rod was bent so much. After a short fight, Giannini brought a 3-pound Spanish mackerel over the rail. “Good mackerel fishing at the pier here in mid-October seems to be an every-other day p
roposition,” Giannini explains. “When the wind’s calm, and the water’s clear like it was this past weekend, we’ll have at least 10 to 12 people hooked-up to king or Spanish mackerel for about the first 2 hours of daylight. That’s when I enjoy coming down to the Gulf State Park Pier and catching mackerel before going to work. However, recently the Spanish and the king mackerel seem to be showing-up every-other day. Although the best hours of catching them are the first few hours of daylight, pier anglers are catching fish all day long, including bluefish and white trout along with an occasional flounder. As the weather cools-own even more, the whiting, ground mullet, speckled trout and redfish will really start showing-up at the pier. Too, we’ve been catching an occasional slot red or bull red almost every day.”
To get up-to-date information on what’s biting at the Gulf State Park Pier, call 251-948-7275, or go to www.alapark.com
“I usually fish the Fort Morgan area for speckled trout, redfish, and flounder,” Captain Rick Murdoch reports. “But when the speckled trout and redfish recently started moving out of Mobile Bay, I went to the Bon Secour River to fish. The fish we catch in the river are often not as big as the bay fish, but they’ll still weigh from a 1-1/2- to 3- or 4-pounds each. My clients can usually keep their rods bent all day long and catch plenty of fish for a fish fry. Most of the coastal rivers on Alabama’s Gulf Coast are now starting to have more and more speckled trout and redfish swimming in them. As the weather cools-down, the fish will move further and further up the rivers. However, the fishing will continue to be great. During October, November and the first half o
f December, inshore fishing here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is often as good as fishing can possibly be. There’s not a lot of competition for the fish, and there’s plenty of places that will cook the fish after you catch them. Because I fish right next to Billy’s Seafood on the Bon Secour River, my anglers and I also can load our coolers up with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat and ice them down to take home to eat with the fish you’ve caught. Inshore fishing will continue to get better every week. So plan to come down and fish with us.”
For more information about Captain Rick Murdoch of Alabama Girl Inshore Charters, call 251-424-0144, or visit www.alabamagirlfishing.com
. To reach Billy’s Seafood, call 251-949-6288, or check-out www.billys-seafood.com
The Orange Beach Fishing Association (www.obfishingassn.com
) will be glad to find you and your family a captain and a boat that fits your needs. For accommodation and restaurant recommendations, contact Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism at 800-745-SAND, or visit www.orangebeach.com
. To have your fresh fish prepared at the beach, go to www.gulfshores.com, click on restaurants
, and check box for “Will Cook Your Catch.”
Stuffed Flounder Supreme
This simple yet absolutely-delicious dish will impress all your friends.
4 small flounder
Crabmeat stuffing, available at seafood shops and specialty grocery stores
Make a slit along the backbone of the dark side of the flounder. Then cut a pocket on each flounder by sliding the knife along the ribs on both sides of the backbone. Stuff the pockets with the crabmeat stuffing, after placing some oil on the insides of the pockets to facilitate stuffing the crabmeat mixture into the cavities. Place each flounder in a rectangle of aluminum foil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika and lemon juice on the outside skins of the flounder. Seal the foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Then open the foil, and bake for 15-minutes longer. (If the flounder are larger, you may need to bake the fish with the foil open for 20-30 minutes, to be sure the stuffing is cooked).