Sharks and More Offshore at Alabama's Gulf Coast
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Last week was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and you don't have to just be a spectator. You also can become a participant. “Our fishermen have been catching and releasing plenty of big sharks well offshore from Orange Beach,” Captain Troy Frady of the charter boat “Distraction” says. “We're catching a wide variety of sharks, primarily dusky and bull sharks with a 300-pound plus coming up to the boat last week.
“We're also catching a good number of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. The weather has calmed down this last week, the wind and weather we've had coming from the west has backed off, and we're getting that pretty emerald blue water coming up from the southeast. We also had a push last week of cobia, since clean water moving into our area brings both bait fish and sport fish. Too, we're catching and releasing numbers of snapper 8 to 12 pounds within 25 miles of Orange Beach. On those all day 10- to 12-hour trips, 12 to 20-pound red snapper are being caught and released. Rumor has it that we may have an October snapper season, but nothing's official yet.
“Triggerfish season is back, anglers can keep two triggerfish per day, and we're catching some weighing 3 to 8 pounds. Too, the 10- to 12-hour trips are seeing 8- to 10-pound grouper with an occasional 18- to 20-pound grouper caught.
“On August 1, amberjack season opened-up, with full day trips catching 15- to 20-pound grouper. Captain Johnny Greene, who runs two day trips, has been bringing in nice yellowfin and blackfin tuna and wahoo as well as some big dolphin (mahi-mahi). The average yellowfin weighs 30 to 50 pounds plus, and the average wahoo 35 to 40 pounds. As the weather cools down, we'll see fishing really heat up.”
For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit www.orangebeach.com/fishing, 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 www.orangebeach.com/dining-nightlife/restaurants.