Editors Note: Captain Rob Gams of Cool Breeze Charter Fishing based at Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, runs a variety of fishing trips, from 4-hour trips to overnight trips.
Question: What will you be catching in July?
Gams: Snapper fishing will be good this month. Since amberjacks have been experiencing heavy fishing pressure, they’ll probably move out to deeper water. Too, we’ve seen a good population of triggerfish and beeliners.
Question: What type of trips do you run?
Gams: We take from 4-hour charters, which are trolling trips, to 36-hour charters, which are overnight trips.
Question: When you go on a 36-hour fishing trip, what species of fish will you be targeting in July?
Gams: We generally fish for snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjacks on our way out to deeper water, where we fish for tuna. We spend the evening jigging and fishing chunk baits for tuna and then troll for tuna in the morning. Depending on what the client wants, we’ll stay in the blue (deep) water and troll for marlin or bottom fish on our way back to the dock.
Question: Tell us more about night fishing for tuna.
Gams: We’ll be fishing around offshore rigs in 2,000 to 3,500 feet of water. These offshore rigs look like little mini-cities out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. They have a lot of lights on them and attract a number of baitfish, which the tuna feed on all night. We use various techniques to try and catch the tuna.
Question: What does the term “chunking” mean?
Gams: We cut bonito, mackerel or other baits into big chunks and drift them out behind the boat to attract the tuna. Using this technique, we’ll catch both blackfin and yellowfin tuna. Although we’re targeting blackfin and yellowfin tuna, because there usually are a lot of sharks concentrated around those rigs, we often will also catch one or two sharks.
Question: How big are the sharks you catch out around the rigs?
Gams: They get really big out there in that deep water. We see tiger sharks, hammerheads and sand sharks.
Question: What do you do in the morning after fishing all night?
Gams: We continue to chunk or start trolling, or we may put live bait on a kite and try to attract tuna.
Question: What time does the tuna bite usually end?
Gams: It can end 15 minutes after daylight or last all day. The length of the tuna bite depends on the weather and the mood of the tuna.
Question: Once the tuna bite ends, what do you do next?
Gams: We generally talk with our customers and see what they want to do. If they want to stay out in blue water, we’ll change up our spread of baits to target mahi-mahi (dolphin
), wahoo and marlin. If they want more fish to take home, we’ll bottom fish on our way back to Orange Beach. On these trips, each customer can catch a 2-day limit of snapper, triggerfish and grouper. There are plenty of rocks and ledges that hold big grouper out in that deep water, and oftentimes that’s what our customers want to catch. But everything is biting during the month of July. We try to take our clients where they can find the fish they want to catch. July is a great month for all species of fish here at Orange Beach. If you want to know what’s biting before you come, give me a call, or check out my webpage to see what we’re catching now.
To contact Captain Rob Gams, visit www.coolbreezecharterfishing.com
, or call 251-942-4389.