Editor’s Note: Josh Hiller, an inshore guide for Inshore Fishing Adventures at Zeke’s Landing Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, has fished these waters for the last 16 years. Hiller tells us where to find fish and how to catch them in June.
Question: Josh, where will the speckled trout be this month?
Hiller: You’ll find the majority of the speckled trout either on the grass flats first thing in the morning before the sun rises or near docks around the bays in the afternoon. The trout bite is usually an early-morning bite, a late-afternoon bite or a night bite. When the sun rises, and the weather warms up, the trout move into deeper water and usually don’t feed very well.
Question: How do the tides affect the trout bite?
Hiller: When I’m fishing for trout, I always like to find some type of moving water. Whether the tide’s is coming in or going out isn’t important, as long as the water’s moving. The tide moves the bait, and the trout follow the bait. However, when I’m trout fishing, I really prefer an incoming tide.
Question: What about night fishing for trout?
Hiller: We’ll be doing plenty of night fishing in June, around the dock lights in the bays and Ono Island. The night bite is excellent for trout. Many times we’ll catch more trout at night than in the morning. There’s not as much boat traffic then, and the trout just seem to bite better after the sun goes down.
Question: Where will you locate redfish at this time of year?
Hiller: Redfish will be pretty much on the same bite as the trout – early in the morning, late in the afternoon and at night. You can catch the redfish on the flats and around docks in the evening. To catch redfish, look for schools of menhaden. Since the redfish follow the menhaden, wherever you find menhaden, expect to catch redfish. Too, the redfish bite is really good in June. The dock lights in the bay attract baitfish after dark, and wherever you find concentrations of baitfish, you’ll locate plenty of speckled trout and redfish.
Question: Josh, where should anglers look for pompano?
Hiller: The pompano arrive about the end of May in our section of the Gulf Coast, and in June, they’re usually here in numbers. To effectively catch pompano, fish jigs in really-clean and clear water. You also can use natural baits, like sand fleas or live shrimp. Pompano prefer clear water and sandy bottoms.
Question: Josh, you get a good run of Spanish mackerel this month too, right?
Hiller: Yes, we do. The Spanish mackerel like to hold in the passes during June. We prefer to catch the Spanish mackerel trolling with either tube-type baits or the Mann’s Stretch 15+ lures. Also, the Got-Cha lures are very productive for catching Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel like to run the edges of a sandbar or a shoal. Many times you’ll spot large schools of Spanish mackerel coming through the passes, feeding on glass minnows and rain minnows. If you see schools of Spanish mackerel, throw a jig or a Got-Cha lure to the fish. Remember to use wire leader because Spanish mackerel have sharp teeth that will cut your monofilament line.
Question: Josh, what about king mackerel?
Hiller: In June, we can catch king mackerel at the mouths of the passes. We like to either float live cigar minnows or troll big swim baits. Another good technique is to anchor-up outside the pass, put out a chum bag and float dead baits behind the boat in that chum slick. Remember, the king mackerel have sharp teeth like the Spanish mackerel, so use wire leader when fishing for them. The king mackerel also will move into the bays, chasing schools of menhaden.
Question: Where will you find flounder this month, Josh?
Hiller: The flounder usually will hold on the jetties or any other rock piles as well as on docks and piers and in drainages coming from the marshes. My favorite bait for flounder is live bull minnows. If our area gets a strong southern wind, the incoming tide will push baitfish up against the rocks along the jetties and sea walls. That’s where you’ll locate flounder. Early morning is your best bite for flounder, but you also can catch them at night. When the tide’s falling, you’ll find flounder in the ditches and the cuts coming out of the marshes.
If you want to fish with one of Zeke’s Landing Marina’s experienced guides, call Zeke’s charter office at 800-793-4044, visit www.zekeslanding.com, or call Josh Hiller at 850-554-5371. You also can email Hiller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hiller can take up to six people on one trip. However, you’ll have a better trip with just four people. You’ll need to bring food, drinks, sunscreen and clothes for bad weather. Hiller provides bait, tackle and even a camera for pictures. Trips generally last 4 to 8 hours during the day, with evening/night trips lasting 4 to 5 hours.