Little Lagoon Pass Update
Part Of The What's Biting Series
Anyone who has been far enough down West Beach road in Gulf Shores lately is familiar with the work that’s nearing completion at Little Lagoon Pass.
The cranes are still there as the construction of the new bridge reaches its final stages. When opened, the new bridge will not only impact motorists but also anglers with flats or bay boats who might want to ease under the bridge to get into or out of the lagoon.
According to Brian Aaron of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), the new bridge will have at least 2 feet more clearance than the old bridge, which has already been removed. However, the temporary bridge still has a support structure in the middle of the channel and is considerably lower than the new bridge.
There was a question posed about whether a 21-foot bay boat could get into the Gulf of Mexico from Little Lagoon. The answer is maybe.
Little Lagoon Pass is being dredged and will have a significant depth increase, but it’s not for navigation. The dredge work is strictly for water quality issues in the lagoon, according to Aaron. ALDOT is required to maintain a minimum square footage of opening through dredging. Therefore, if you’re trying to get into the Gulf shortly after dredging has been completed, you probably won’t have any problems. If the pass hasn’t been dredged in a while, you’ll just have to check it and see.
Aaron did say the pass has been changed significantly.
“We widened the mouth of the pass by 40 feet,” Aaron said. “It went from 40 feet wide where it touches the Gulf to 80 feet wide now. In the middle of channel, you’ve actually gained a couple of feet of clearance. The seawall has been replaced as well.”
Aaron said if the weather cooperates the decks for the new bridge will be poured next week, followed by barrier rails, hand rails, and paving.
If everything goes well, the new bridge will open in April. The temporary bridge and other construction material will then be removed. Aaron said he hopes that “nobody will know we’ve ever been there” by the middle of June.
So what does that mean for the fishing in Little Lagoon?
It can only be positive because it should significantly increase the water flow through the pass and the exchange of water will bring in more fish from the Gulf. The increased volume will likely form new sand bars in the lagoon, which will become new hideouts for species like speckled trout, white (sand) trout, redfish, and flounder. As the salinity increases, don’t be surprised to find some Spanish mackerel in the lagoon when the weather heats up.
Right now, live bait is hard to come by, but specks, nice white trout (14 to 16 inches), redfish and flounder are being caught in the lagoon on minnow-imitation plastic jigs and Gulp shrimp.
As I’ve said before, one of the beauties of Little Lagoon is you never know what you’re going to catch. And it’s a great place to find protected water when the wind is howling.