Ever wonder why Alabama is known worldwide for its great saltwater fishing?
Sheepshead and flounder migrate to and from inshore waters and nearshore habitat each year during spawning migrations.
The inshore reefs also hold other popular species like speckled trout (spotted seatrout) and white (sand) trout. View an interactive map of the inshore zones.
A nearshore trolling zone off of Baldwin County has also been constructed that is ideal habitat for trolling for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. These reefs can also be utilized by SCUBA divers with a variety of certifications. View the locations of the nearshore zones.
What research has discovered is that artificial reefs only remain artificial for a short while. It doesn’t take those reefs to mimic natural reefs as numerous encrusting organisms such as corals, barnacles and sponges attached to the artificial reef material. Small invertebrates and other small animals take up residence on the reefs, which attracts baitfish and then the large species like red snapper. After a couple of years on the bottom of the Gulf, the artificial reefs function just like a natural reef.
For those who have limited access to the Gulf, Marine Resources has constructed several reefs that are within reach from Alabama’s beautiful beaches. Access to the circalittoral reefs are at Pavilion, Romar Beach and Alabama Point, three Gulf State Park Beach access sites. These reefs are within 500 feet from the shore with depths as shallow as 8 feet. The reefs must maintain a vertical relief of at least six feet to allow for boat passage. The reef locations are marked by a series of poles on the shore.