Summertime Surf Fishing
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
As New York Yankees great Yogi Berra famously said, “It’s déjà vu all over again” on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The early subtropical system that thankfully turned out to be a dud left a great deal of moisture in the area, which has caused plenty of rain and thundershowers.
Although that might limit your time on the beach, that rain has kept the water temperatures at moderate levels, which helps the surf fishing significantly.
Pompano, whiting and flounder have not migrated to the deeper water and hanging around in the usual spots along the sand bar, usually the first one closest to the breaking surf. Those breakers stir up the bottom and the fish ambush sand fleas, ghost shrimp and other invertebrates.
The local tackle shops in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores stock tools to scoop up sand fleas (mole crabs) and a device to slurp ghost shrimp out of the surf. The ghost shrimp extruders are made out of PVC pipes that pump the crustaceans out of their holes in the sand. At times, it only takes about 30 minutes of work with the extruder to get enough ghost shrimp to last for the fishing trip.
Most surf anglers use a double-hook rig with the lightest pyramid weight allowed, depending on the surf and current conditions. If you can get by with a one-ounce sinker, go with that as long as the sinker remains stationary. Go up in sinker size if it starts rolling around in the surf. A 1/0 hook size is usually best for pompano. If you’re after whiting, which rarely exceed two pounds, switch to lighter tackle.