Know about Alabama's Inshore Moon Trout with Jay Gunn

Orange Beach ChartersEditor's Note: Captain Jay Gunn worked for Alabama's Marine Resources for 14 years and now he guides inshore fishermen at Fort Morgan, Ala., and fishes Mobile Bay. Although Gunn enjoys catching redfish and flounder, big speckled trout are his primary


Jay Gunn explains, “The first of last week (late June), we didn't catch a single female trout because of the full moon. The speckled trout in our area start spawning during the first full moon of May and spawn every full moon until the month of September. When the females spawn, they don't feed heavily a day or two before or after the first full moon. During the time the females are spawning, we're mainly catching the 16- to 19-inch long male trout. Just before and after the spawn is when we catch some of the biggest trout in Mobile Bay that will weigh up to 9 pounds.

“At first light, if I have fishermen who can work a top-water lure, we often can get three to eight big trout bites during that first hour of daylight. Toward the end of the last week after the females had quit spawning, we had three trout out of 25 that weighed between 4 and 5 pounds. The last week of May, my clients caught three speckled trout that weighed more than 9 pounds and were more than 30-inches long. We released them.

“When I'm fishing for trout, I use 10-pound-test line with a leader about a foot long and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. At the end of the leader, I tie a No.1 Kahle hook. If we're Orange Beach Fishingcatching bigger fish and using larger baits, I'll fish with a No. 1/0 hook. I hook a croaker right behind the anal fin, so the croaker will swim away from the boat after it's cast out. Hooking the croaker this way also makes the bait cast easier and causes the croaker to swim down toward the bottom rather than up to the surface. If you want to come to the Gulf of Mexico and catch big speckled trout, look at the full moon – the days before and after – as the best time to catch female speckled trout. However, we still catch plenty of males when the females aren't biting.

“I mainly fish down the Fort Morgan Peninsula and out on the main beach. Sometimes I fish around Sand Island and the Dauphin Island Bridge, depending on where the trout are. The weather and the water conditions usually determine where we'll find the trout.”

Contact Jay Gunn at [email protected].

For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit, our easy to access fishing information pages complete with marina and charter captain listings. For any questions, call Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism's vacation-planning specialists at 1-800-745-SAND (7263). For a list of cook-your-catch restaurants, go to

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