Editor’s Note: Trey Myer, the assistant superintendent of Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama, tells us what we can catch on the new pier at Gulf State Park in September.

Question: Trey, what is the difference in the new pier and the old pier that was destroyed by the hurricane 4-years ago?
Myer: The new pier is nearly twice as long as the old pier. Too, the old pier was about 14-feet wide, and the new pier is 20-feet wide. The old pier was 16-feet high, and the new pier is 20-feet high off the water. The new pier is much better and bigger for anglers.

Question: I understand that the new pier has artificial reefs around it. How many reefs does it have, and where are they located?
Myer: Right now there are three sets with four pyramid reefs per set. There’s one area where we’ve placed some of the debris from the old pier. We’re hoping these reefs will concentrate and hold fish for our pier fishermen.

Question: What types of fish will anglers catch around the pier in SeptembOrange Beach fishinger?
Myer: Fishermen will catch whiting, flounder, speckled trout, white trout, Spanish and king mackerel, blue fish and sheepshead from the Gulf State Park Pier in September.

Question: Another advantage to the new pier is that there are restrooms halfway out on the pier, aren’t there?
Myer: Yes, there are.

Question: With anglers catching fish that are 20-feet below them, how are they getting their fish from the top of the water to the top of the pier?
Myer: For the smaller fish, an angler will let a net down on a rope, swim the fish over the top of the net and then pull the net up by the rope with the fish in the net, just like you’ll use a dip net. On the larger fish, like the king mackerel, anglers use gaff hooks that are on ropes, and they lead the fish up close to the gaff hooks and jerk on the rope to set the gaff in the fish. Then they use the rope to pull the gaffed king mackerel up to the top of the pier and onto the deck of the pier.

Question: On the old pier that was destroyed by a hurricane 4-years ago, anglers occasionally caught king mackerel. How hOrange Beach fishingas fishing for king mackerel been on the new pier?
Myer: Since the pier opened in July, 2009, only two or three days have passed without a king mackerel being caught off the pier. King mackerel have really been a glamour fish for pier anglers this year. I believe our anglers are catching more king mackerel than they once did, since the Gulf State Park Pier goes further out into the Gulf of Mexico than any other pier on the Gulf Coast, and there are artificial reefs around the pier.

Question: One of the things that many new pier fishermen may not know is that the pier gets a run of tarpon coming by it, too?
Myer: Yes, we do. And, we’ve had two or three tarpon hooked-up this year. Often our fishermen can see tarpon jumping a little further out than they can cast.

Question: With what kind of bait are most fishermen fishing?
Myer: They’re using everything from: frozen shrimp; live shrimp; alewives, locally called LYs; hardtails; cigar minnows; and even squid.

Question: When will the sheepshead start moving into the pier?
Myer: They’re being caught right now at the end of August.

Question: How far are the artificial reefs from the pier?
Myer: They’re from 129- to 231-feet out from the very end of the pier.

Question: How many rods can an angler take out on the pier?Gulf State Park Pier
Myer: You’re allowed four rods at no additional charge. If you want to take more than four, you can pay $3.50 per additional rod, but you only can fish with one rod at a time.

Question: You have a bait shop on the pier too, don’t you?
Myer: Yes, we do, and we keep most of the tackle in it that most pier fishermen need. Although we sell frozen shrimp for bait, we don’t carry any live bait.

Question: What does fishing from the pier cost?
Myer: The cost is $8.00 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm or $8.00 from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. The pier is open 24 hours a day. We have quite a few night fishermen who come to the pier to fish at night.

To learn more information on the pier, go to www.alapark.com.

Roussos Seafood Restaurant’s Baked Stuffed Flounder

Ingredients:Orange Beach fishing
1/2-pound butter
1 cup white onion, minced
1/2-cup green onions, minced
1-1/2-cups celery, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cups cornbread, finely chopped
1/2-pound crabmeat
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 flounder (1- to 1-1/2-pounds each)
16 whole shrimp

Preparation:
In butter, sauté white onions, green onions, celery, garlic and parsley. Gradually stir in 1 cup of bread and 1 cup of cornbread, cooking until thickened. Add crabmeat, and thicken further with remaining breadcrumbs and cornbread. Add salt and pepper to taste. To prepare flounder: split each flounder, and fill with dressing. Garnish each fish with 2 whole shrimp. Then cook under broiler about 15 minutes, or until fish is done. Yield: 8 servings.

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