Eighty percent of the Gulf of Mexico remains open for fishing, including the back bays, the coastal waters and the Gulf State Park Pier. At Alabama’s Gulf Coast, anglers will find plenty of fish to catch, very-little competition for these fish and numbeOrange Beach chartersrs of boats and captains available as well as great accommodations. Alabama Gulf Coast fishing’s at its all-time best during June.

“Snapper season starts June 1, and anglers will have plenty of red snapper to catch with very-little competition for them,” says Captain Troy Frady, captain of the charter boat “Distraction,” based out of Orange Beach Marina. “Many of the captains have designated their boats as ‘vessels of opportunity,’ which means they’ll be working with British Petroleum (BP) on cleaning-up the oil spill. However, at Orange Beach, we still have many captains and boats who can take clients fishing, because they’re not participating in the clean-up effort.”

To make more fishing available to more fishermen, many charter boats out of Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island are offering 4-hour trips for red snapper, king mackerel, triggerfish, vermilion snapper and numerous other bottom species. Much-more affordable, the 4-hour trip offers productive opportunities for families to introduce their younger children to saltwater fishing on a short trip that still will yield plenty of fish for everyone onboard.

Too, back-bay fishing has heated-up this month. Anglers have found speckled trout, redfish and pompano loading-up in the shallow waters around Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Perdido Bay, the Little Lagoon and all the inshore waterways. Reports of big catches of fish are coming-in daily. The Marine Resources Division (MRD) of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has created 13-inshore artificial reefs to concentrate the speckled trout, the redfish and the flounder. Also the riprap around all the oil and the gas rigs in Mobile Bay helps to attract speckled trout and redfish and makes finding and catching these species of fish much easier.

But we have to name red snapper as June’s big news this month. The MRD and the local fishermen have built and deployed artificial reefs off Alabama’s Gulf Coast in 1,200 square miles of offshore waters for more than 50 years. Today Alabama homes one of the largest populations of red snapper found anywhere along the Gulf Coast. All the artificial reefs are open for fishing with numbers of big red snapper caught each day. Since red snapper season starts June 1, those big 20- and 30-pound snappers, that are so much a part of Alabama Gulf Coast’s fishing legacy, will come to the docks with anglers every day of snapper season.

For those who don’t want to fish from a boat, fishing the GOrange Beach chartersulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala., the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, has been fantastic. “King mackerel are caught every day, as well as Spanish mackerel, redfish, whiting, ground mullet, flounder and pompano,” says Trish Carlisle, one of the concessionaires on the pier. “We’ve even started to catch triggerfish, which normally are only caught offshore in deeper waters. Night fishing for speckled trout, redfish, whiting and ground mullet also has picked-up.”
This month, you’ll find plenty of fish and charter boats and no oil along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. So, y’all come.

For a list of boats and captains available for charter, go to www.orangebeach.com/fishing.