Overnight Fishing Trips Yield Good Times, Great Catches
Part of the What's Biting Series
They are pound for pound the undisputed heavyweight champions of big game fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
They are the best fighters. They taste great raw, grilled or blackened (please, please just don't overcook them). They are in season all year long.
To get to them, you might have to go 100 miles, but they are worth it. They are yellowfin tuna.
Tuna fishing from Orange Beach is outstanding all 12 months of the year. The biggest challenge for most is getting to where they live. Tunas are consistently found at the deep water oil rigs that start around 60 miles from Perdido Pass. One of the most popular ways to get there is to book an overnight trip on a local charter boat.
Charter boats provide safety, comfort and, of course, unmatched fish-catching expertise. Johnny Greene, who runs Intimidator out of Orange Beach Marina, says 24-hour trips are a favorite for many of his customers. "They have become one of our more popular charter options. The diversity of not only the fish we catch, but also the different fishing tactics we use is very appealing to our customers," said Greene.
Overnight charters provide fisherman with lots of fishing action. These trips feature a combination of bottom fishing, high-speed trolling and fishing around the rigs from dusk through the following morning. The bottom fishing action is great to fill the cooler, and high-speed trolling may produce a wahoo or king mackerel, but the main attraction is without a doubt the tuna. When the Intimidator arrives at the tuna destination in the late afternoon or early evening, the crew will begin either trolling or using live baits under kites in search of yellowfin tuna. “Seeing a big yellowfin crash a live bait on the surface under a kite is one of the greatest bites that we see offshore,” said Greene.
At dark, everyone grabs a jigging rod and begins jigging up blackfin tunas from under the lights on the rig. Although smaller than yellowfins, blackfin tunas, a.k.a. 'footballs' are also great table fare and incredibly fun to catch from the deep blue water.