Orange Beach chartersEditor’s Note: Jeff Colley, captain of the “Killin’ Time,” based at Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, is an inshore guide who fishes for speckled trout, redfish, flounder, sheepshead and other inshore species.




Question: Jeff, what will we catch during November fishing inshore along Alabama’s Gulf Coast?
Colley: This month is when the big bull reds will come in, and you can really get your string stretched, your rod bent and have your drag sing. The average bull red weighs 15-20 pounds.

Question: Jeff, how do you find the redfish in November?
Colley: We ride the edge of the beach and look for seagulls in a flock diving on baitfish. Or, we can watch our depth finder and look for the fish near the bottom. They’ll usually be associated with large schools of baitfish.

Question: What’s your favorite way to catch them?
Colley: We like to use 1/4- up to 1-ounce jig heads from Sea Striker with a triangle head with curly-tail grubs. My favorite color is chartreuse. I’ll fish these jigs on 60-pound-test Orange Beach fishingbraided line. This way, we can get the big bull reds in quickly and not fight them so hard that we wear them out. We’re fishing with medium-action 7-foot spinning rods. When these schools of big redfish move in, you may see as many as 2 acres of them, and they’re usually traveling pretty fast. If those fish are ready to bite, everyone on the boat will hook-up with one, as soon as you pull-up to the school. We mostly catch and release the big bulls. When the school of redfish move out, we either find them again with our depth finder or go looking for the diving birds. I have had days when I’ve turned-off the motor of my boat, drifted with the schools of redfish and continued to catch them.

Question: What’s an average day of fishing for these bull reds?
Colley: We’ve caught and released as many as 200 in a 6-hour trip with four guys. But on an average 4-hour trip, we usually catch and release 30-40 bull reds. Now, not every day is going to be that way, but that’s about the average.

Question: Where will you find the speckled trout in November?
Colley: They’ll be moving out of the bays and up into the creeks, where they’ll spend the winter.

Question: Where will you be fishing for trout this month?
Colley: I’ll be fishing Oyster Bay, Soldier Creek and any inlet where the salt water is moving into the fresh water.

Question: What will you be using the catch the trout?
Colley: I like to fish live shrimp. I’ll to put a split shot up the line, cast it out and let it swim on a free line.

Question: Tell us how you rig the live shrimp.
Colley: I use a No. 4 j-shaped hook and either a 1/4- or a 1/8-ounce split shot. I’m usually fishing 12-pound-test monofilament on spinning tackle.

Question: Will the flounder be in this month?
Colley: Normally, October is our best month for flounder. However, we haven’t had much cold weather this October, and the flounder don’t start moving out of the bays and into the Gulf of Mexico until our area gets a few cold fronts, generally in November. The flounder and the redfish usually will show-up about the same time. We’ve found that the best day to fish is when there’s a north wind, and the aiOrange Beach chartersr’s somewhat chilly. That north wind will lay the waves down and make the Gulf calm and slick. Then we can see the birds working and find the redfish and the flounder much easier.

Question: Where will you locate flounder, and how will you catch them?
Colley: We usually catch the most flounder drifting Perdido Pass. The good news is, when the weather’s too rough to hunt the redfish, we can come in to the pass and drift for flounder with either an incoming or an outgoing tide. We like to use either bull minnows or small alewives (locally called LYs) for bait. We use a Carolina rig with a 1-ounce lead slip slinker up the line, a small barrel swivel below the slip sinker, 18 inches of 12-pound-test monofilament leader and a No. 6 hook. The good news about drifting the pass for flounder is that you’ll catch speckled trout and redfish also.

Question: What’s an average day of flounder fishing like?
Colley: We’ll usually catch about 12 flounder, and we have had days where we’ve caught 40 or 50 flounder. But the best thing to do before you come is to call me and let me tell you what and how many fish you can expect to catch, based on weather and water conditions, and what I’ve been catching lately.

To fish with Captain Jeff Colley, call (850) 791-8722 or email marlinmagnet@yahoo.com.

Beach Report:
New shore-fishing guides are available along Alabama’s Gulf Coast this year and offer the most-inexpensive fishing from the beach, the shores of the Intracoastal Coastal Waterway, the riprap at FoOrange Beach fishingrt Morgan and hundreds of other places where anglers daily catch speckled trout, redfish, flounder, pompano, sheepshead and other species of fish. But if you don’t know where to fish, what tackle to use, what bait is the most productive, and when the fish should be biting, fishing becomes a hit-or-miss proposition.

However, for $25, you can have your own personal shore-fishing guide who will meet you at the tackle shop, help you select the tackle you need for a day of fishing, recommend the bait to fish, and then take you to one of the guide’s favorite spots to catch fish, based on the time of day that the fish generally bite, the tide and the weather conditions. You can fish all day or as long as you want to from this spot. If you want to fish several locations in one day, the guide can help you with that for an additional cost. This way, you quickly and inexpensively can learn shore-fishing locations that you can fish any time you come to the Gulf of Mexico.

To learn more about how to fish Alabama’s Gulf Coast from the beach, the jetties, the canal or the back bays, call Distraction Charters (251) 233-3474, or go to www.fishingorangebeach.com/Surf-Fishing.htm.

xxx