Note: In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, the weather’s never too rough
to fish. With the number of back bays, canals, lagoons, coastal rivers and
artificial reefs in the area, regardless of the weather conditions or the temperature,
fish are always biting somewhere on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Captain Jeff
Chambliss, who’s fished Perdido Bay and Perdido Pass for 18 years, fishes out
of SanRoc Cay Marina in Orange Beach and specializes in catching speckled
trout, redfish and the occasional flounder.
Jeff, where will the fish be in July, and how will you catch them?
I primarily fish for speckled trout. This month they’ll be in the bays and on
the grass beds around piers and sandbars.
Jeff, how do you rig, and what do you use to catch specks?
I primarily use live bait, unless I’m fishing early in the morning or late in
the evening. During those early-morning hours, I’ll catch speckled trout on the
MirrOLure Top Dog or a MirrOdine, which is a new sub-surface bait from MirrOLure
that’s fished like a twitch bait. The trout will be holding in only about 2
feet of water on sandbars, grass beds and island points on July early mornings.
How do you fish with live bait for specks?
I either fish live shrimp or a live croaker on a No. 1/0 hook, using10-pound-test
line with spinning tackle. If I’m fishing with shrimp, I’ll occasionally use a
shot lead up the line. But if I’m fishing with live croakers, I don’t put any
lead on my line. I just cast ‘em out and let ‘em swim.
What size trout will you catch this month?
Our trout will weigh from 1-1/2- to 5-pounds each in July, and we can catch
them every day this month.
How about redfish?
Redfish are normally good in July, but the redfish bite was really slow during
the first half of this summer.
Where do you catch the redfish?
We mainly fish for them around Perdido Pass and along the jetties and the
A swift current’s generally running through the pass. How do you get your bait down
to the redfish?
I use about a 1/2-ounce lead up the line on a Carolina rig with a 20-pound-test
monofilament leader about 18- to 24-inches long and bait with either a live
shrimp or a live croaker. I may even bait with a piece of a crab. Instead of 10-pound-test
lines, like I fish with for specks, I’ll be fishing with 14-pound-test line,
using a No. 1/0 or a No. 2/0 hook, depending on the size of the redfish we’re catching.
How do you fish for the redfish in the current that comes through the pass?
If the current’s not too bad, you can fish upcurrent of the bridge pilings and
alongside the edges of the jetties and let your bait bounce on the bottom. But
if a really-strong current is coming through the pass, we’ll fish downcurrent
of the bridge pilings in that slack water. Now, if you’ll be fishing behind the
pilings, you’ve got to know which pilings you can fish behind and which pilings
you can’t, because you can’t anchor, tie-up or fish in the channel. One of the
best ways to make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be is when you motor
your boat behind the pilings, look up at the pilings. If there aren’t any
lights on them, then you’re in a place you can fish. If there are lights at the
tops of the pilings, you’re in the wrong place, and you’d better move before
you get a ticket.
What size reds do you catch in the pass?
They’ll generally weigh from 5- to 15-pounds each.
What’s the slot?
Our slot is 16 to 23 inches, and an angler can have three redfish with only one
of them being bigger than the slot.
What’s the limit on speckled trout?
The trout have to be a minimum of 14 inches, and you can keep 10 per day.
Jeff, where would you go to catch flounder in July?
I drift fish with bull minnows around the bridge, using the same type rig I’ve used
for redfish. The only difference is the bait. Small croakers will produce
flounder, but those flatfish really prefer bull minnows.
On a day of flounder fishing, how many do you expect to catch?
If we’re just targeting flounder, I’ll hope to catch from 0 to 12.
If I want to catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder in July, how will the
We’ll first go after speckled trout. We’ll leave the dock at 7:00 am, and if we
have our trout by 8:00 am or 9:00 am, we’ll move from inside the bay out toward
the pass and fish for redfish and flounder around the bridge and the rocks.
What makes the pass so productive?
Perdido Pass moves a lot of water when the tide comes in and goes out. That moving
water brings in and out a number of baitfish.
Do you catch anything else in the area you fish?
Just outside the pass, we’ll catch Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. We use
60-pound-test line, a steel leader and a No. 2/0 hook with two hooks on a piece
of wire leader with no lead for mackerel. We’ll fish with live cigar minnows or
alewives for bait. Then we slow-troll around the mouth of the pass. The king
mackerel there will run from 5- to 25-pounds each, and the Spanish mackerel
will weigh an average from 1- to 3-pounds each.
How long is a half-day trip?
Usually 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Most days, during that time, we’ll catch either 10 or
25 trout. Oftentimes we’ll catch a few redfish, too.
Jeff, if somebody doesn’t want to fish in a boat but wants to fish the pass, will
you advise them to fish the wall near the parking lot or fish the jetties?
The jetties will be your best bet, but the rocks are really rough, and crawling
out on them is rough. We should have a lot of trout here in July, and the
fishing should be good the entire month. Your best fishing will be during the
middle of the week because there’s less crowd fishing, and you have better odds
of catching more and bigger fish.
fish with Captain Jeff Chambliss, call (251) 981-2463 or (251) 579-1209, or