Editor’s Note: Captain Kathy Broughton, of the charter boat, “Kitty Wake,” based out of Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, is a legend on the docks. Kathy is one of the few female captains on the entire Gulf Coast, and because of her boat skills, fishing knowledge and customer satisfaction, she’s considered to be one of the boys, even though everyone knows she’s a lady. Captain Kathy will tell us what’s biting this week.
We’re catching redfish around the docks at Perdido Bay that’s on live shrimp, LYs (alewives) and menhaden. I like the Wide Bend No. 6 hook and a Kahle hook, in sizes 6 to a No. 1, depending on the size of bait and the size of redfish we’re fishing that day. I tie the Kahle hook to 20-or-30 pound monofilament leader that’s about 24-inches long. I tie the leader to a barrel swivel; put an egg sinker up the main line and have a main line that’s 10-or-12 pound test. I like the heavier leader, because it doesn’t break as easy if a redfish goes around a piling and the leader gets nicked by barnacles. When I fish stumps in shallow water, I may use a float. These stumps will be along the shore, but around the docks I don’t use a float. The redfish we’re catching are 16-to 26-inches long. You can catch 3 redfish per person, and one of those redfish can be 26 inches.
The Specks Have Moved In:
The trout we’re catching are from 14 inches to 5 pounds. We fish for them with live shrimp and live menhaden. The speck
have been holding in the deeper water around the
docks. You’ll usually find them in deeper water. Five to 8 feet seems to be a good depth to find the speckled trout. In a 4-hour trip we can usually catch 6 to 8 trout. A 5-pound plus trout was caught last week. You’ll also find them in the Intracoastal Waterway as well as in Mobile Bay down by Fort Morgan.
Pompano and Flounder:
A week or two ago, the pompano bite was really-good, but we had some rough seas this last week, and I haven’t heard of anyone catching pompano this past week. The flounder will be coming in this June. I like to drift fish for the flounder, depending on the tide. If the tide’s coming in, I fish on the side of the pass that’s closest to Florida and drift in the slack water off the current. I’ll drift from the edge of the East jetties to the bridge. I use the same type hook and leader that I use to fish for redfish to drift for flounder, and depending on how strong the current is, I’ll use either a 1/4-ounce bait or a 1/2-ounce bait. If the current is really strong, you can anchor. Once my party catches a flounder, I’ll
circle back around and fish that same area again. Oftentimes, this month and next month, the flounder will group-up, and you may catch several in that one place. On a good day, on a 4-hour trip, we can often catch as many as 10 flounder.
Mackerel on the Outside:
On a calm day when the water’s slick, we’ll fish outside the jetties for Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. The sheepshead bite has slowed-down, and they’ve moved from the jetties and the bridge into the bay and are frequently caught around docks. But, the king mackerel bite has really been good on the outside. This year, we’re really looking forward to a good king mackerel season, because the king mackerel came-in early this year. If the Gulf is calm and slick and the sun is out, we can really do well with king mackerel. The brighter the sun is, the better the king mackerel bite is. I think the fish can see the bait better on bright days than they can on dark days. If all the conditions are right, we can often catch 6 to 8 on a 4-hour trip. We’ve also learned that the lighter line we use, the more king mackerel we’ll catch. If I’m rigging for big king mackerel, I like to use 20-pound test line of small swivel and 8 to 10 inches of thin wire leader. The leader will be 30-to 50-
pound test wire leader, and we bait with live cigar minnows, dead cigar minnows and live LYs, and we drift with the current. We also have night-fishing trips, where we fish in the bay around the dock lights, for speckled trout and redfish. At night the weather is cool, the fishing is pleasant and can often be very good. You can often see the fish before you catch them, as they move in and out of the lights.
To fish with Captain Kathy Broughton, call her at 251-747-7375 or contact her through Zeke’s Marina at 251-981-4044.