Sharing the cost makes it affordable for a group of friends and fishing buddies, and the reward is plenty of fresh fish to prepare for friends and family.
The fishing possibilities are almost endless when you spend a night or two in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Charter boat captains can tailor the trip to your preferences, including fishing for both blackfin and yellowfin tuna, hooking into a hard-charging greater amberjack, trolling for wahoo and marlin species, or if you book your trip before August 3, you can catch red snapper.
You’ll likely stop to catch bait on your way out. The captain will want a baitwell full of fresh bait, mainly hardtails that will be used as live bait and as chum to get fish to the surface. When most people book an overnight trip into the Gulf, the target species is yellowfin tuna, one of the best-tasting, hardest-fighting fish in the Gulf. The charters from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores will head out of Perdido Pass and likely head for the deep-water petroleum rigs or look for a rip that separates blue water from green water.
When I think about tuna fishing, I always remember a trip with Capt. Gary Bryant on the Red Eye when we happened onto a school of tuna feasting on baitfish at the surface. We quickly grabbed spinning tackle and topwater plugs and cast them into the school. Turned out, we were seriously undergunned, and the tuna stole every topwater bait we had. Out of all the strikes, we managed to get one fish to the boat. But the experience of seeing that many tuna in a one-acre spot is something I’ll never forget.