The October Gulf State Park Pier Report with David Thornton

Editor's Note: David Thornton was on the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Alabama, when he gave us this report.

Orange Beach FishingThe Spanish mackerel bite has been increasing, as has their sizes, often weighing between 3 and 5 pounds. You can keep 15 Spanish mackerel

per day. We're still catching a good number of king mackerel on live baits at first light and late in the afternoon, a bite that should last through October.

Bluefish, speckled trout, and pompano are still being caught in good numbers. Too, as the weather cools off, the whiting, ground mullet, and pompano bites should get increasingly better. One pier angler caught three, 2-pound pompano on dead shrimp at the beginning of October. Pier fishermen are catching keeper-sized slot redfish about 20 to 24 inches long and weighing about 3 pounds, about five keeper mangrove snapper (12 inches long) and five keeper flounder per day, a bite that should continue through October. The best sheepshead bite will be toward the end of the month and then until Christmas.

The small jacks around the pier, mainly blue runners, jack crevalle, baby African pompano leatherjackets, and Atlantic bumpers, are eating anglers' baits before the choice fish can reach them. As the water cools, the jacks will leave the pier on their southward migration.

Where to Fish on the Pier:
For pompano, whiting, and ground mullet, fish the lower end of the pier near the surf zone. For Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, and slot reds, fish the end of the pier. For flounder, fish around the pilings, from the pier restrooms all the way out to the end of the pier, around the end and back to the restrooms. You'll catch a good cooler full of fish on the pier. Right now, fishing is great, and the fall fishing just continues to get better.

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.

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