Note: Don Holloway, captain of the “Back Bay” charter boat docked at Gulf
Shores Marina at the western tip of the Fort Morgan peninsula, is the owner and
operator of Back Bay Fishing with Don.
Don, where do you fish?
I primarily fish Mobile Bay in the Fort Morgan area.
What kind of fish will be biting this month?
Speckled trout, white trout, flounder and slot-limit-size redfish. We catch and
release big bull reds bigger than the redfish slot on Dixey Bar.
What rods and reels do you use?
When I’m live-bait fishing, I prefer Shimano 4000 open-face spinning reels and
Shimano 6- to 7-foot medium- to light-action rods with 12-pound-test Trilene
Big Game line and a No. 4 Kale hook. If I’m fishing with a jig, I’ll use the
Berkley Gulp! in the new-penny color or the natural-molting color.
Why do you use these rods and reels?
I like the Shimano 4000 reels because you can’t wear them out.
Why do you like 12-pound-test line?
This line is light enough to be invisible in the water and heavy enough to land
any fish I’m targeting in this area. If we’re fishing for bull reds off Dixey Bar,
I’ll use a heavier test line and a heavier rod and reel. But when I’m fishing
the bay, I fish with 12-pound-test line.
What kind of fish do you catch in Mobile Bay?
In September and October, the speckled trout will weigh 2- to 4-pounds each, with
an occasional 6 pounder being caught. White trout will weigh an average of 1-
to 1-1/4-pounds. Keeper reds will weigh 3- to 5-pounds each, and flounder will
weigh 2- to 4-pounds each. From the middle of September through October, flounder
begin coming out of the rivers and the bays, migrating toward the Gulf of
Mexico. That’s when we’ll catch big flounder. When the flounder come down the
rivers and the bays, they must make a 90-degree turn when they hit the Fort Morgan
peninsula to swim into the Gulf of Mexico. That’s why we catch so-many nice-sized
flounder during September and October. Flounder will stack up-on the
southeastern corner where the Intracoastal Waterway meets Mobile Bay.
When you’re fishing Dixey Bar for big bull reds, how big are the redfish you’re
catching, and on what are you catching them?
I like to fish with pogies, croakers and pinfish. To catch big reds, I prefer a
3- to a 4-inch-long live bait, a No. 7/0 circle hook and a 2-ounce slip sinker
with a swivel attached to 60-pound-test leader and 30-pound-test main line.
I’ll keep the lead on the bottom and let the live bait swim just above the
bottom. The best time to catch big bull reds is on an outgoing tide. I’ll drift
with the current. After I pass over Dixey Bar, I’ll take up my line, go back
into the bay and drift over Dixey Bar again. When we locate schools of redfish,
we’ll mark the spot where they’re holding with a buoy. Then we’ll drift over
that spot again and again.
How big are the redfish you catch?
Last year, I caught the biggest redfish I’ve ever caught – 44 pounds, 4 ounces.
Most of the redfish we catch on Dixey Bar will weigh 25- to 30-pounds each.
How many big bull reds will you catch in a day in this region?
With clear water and no wind or crosscurrent, I’ll often catch 20 to 25 redfish
in a 4-hour charter. On a bad day, I’ll catch five to 10 redfish. On our best
day, we’ve caught and released 42-big bull reds in a 4-hour trip.
What fish do you keep and eat?
To plan a trip with
Captain Don Holloway at Back Bay Fishing with Don, call (251) 550-5418, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.backbayfishingwithdon.com
You’re allowed to keep three redfish. Two of them can be 16- to 20-inches long,
and you may keep one oversized redfish. We choose not to keep the big bull
reds. You can keep 10 speckled trout longer than 14 inches. There’s no creel
limit with flounder, but the flounder must be longer than 12 inches. Also,
there’s no creel or length limit on white trout, and you can keep all the white
trout you want. September is an excellent month to fish Mobile Bay, so y’all
plan to come on down and bring your coolers. We’ll fill them with fish.