Tom Daniels of Waterloo, Iowa, was on his first trip to Alabama’s Gulf Coast the next-to-last week in September and fished at the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Alabama. On his very-first dayOrange Beach Fishing to fish on the pier, he took the advice of the regular pier anglers who jokingly call themselves the “Pier Rats.” Daniels baited-up his line and cast it out to the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. He hadn’t been fishing long before a giant king mackerel took his bait. A tough battle was on, but with the help of the pier rats, Daniels landed a fish of a lifetime – a monstrous king mackerel that made a memory that will last for a lifetime. “I not only caught the big king mackerel, but I also caught a Spanish mackerel and some other small fish,” Daniels says. “This pier fishing is really great. This fishing at the Gulf State Park Pier is much better and more fun than the crappie and bluegill fishing we have back home in Iowa. The weather’s warm and beautiful, and we’re just happy to be here.

“We came down from Iowa to try to help out the people here at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. We had terrible floods in Iowa a few years ago, and people from all over the country came in to help us. We’d planned our vacation at this time anyway and decided to do our part to help Alabama’s Gulf Coast. We’re here for 2 weeks, and if the rest of our vacation is anything like this first day, we’re going to have a great time. I’m planning to spend a lot of time hOrange Beach fishingere on the Gulf State Park Pier. I’ve met some nice people out here on the pier who make me feel at home, although I’ve just met them. The Alabama Gulf Coast is a great place to relax, there’s plenty of fish to catch, the atmosphere is relaxed and fun, and the people are nice and willing to teach you how to fish. And the weather’s a lot warmer than Iowa’s is right now.”

During October, the big run of bull redfish that can weigh from 15- to 30-pounds each comes-in close to the Gulf State Park Pier. These trophy redfish will bend anglers’ rods, you’ll hear their drags screaming, and you’ll see their faces smiling from October through the first two weeks of December. You don’t want to miss this chance to catch a trophy redfish of a lifetime. So, contact the Gulf State Park Pier, which is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, at 251-948-7275.

October and November means great, action-packed fishing, not only on the Gulf State Park Pier and in the back bays but also offshore. The federal government has granted fishermen along Alabama’s Gulf Coast a special red snapper season, since fishing has Orange Beach fishingbeen closed since right after the oil spill in the spring. Red snapper season begins October 1 and runs through November 21 on weekends. Fishing is permitted from 12:01 am on Fridays through 12:00 midnight on Sundays.

You’ll also catch amberjacks, vermilion snapper, white snapper, triggerfish and many of the other reef fish and pelagic species holding offshore of Alabama’s Gulf Coast on the more than 5,000-artificial reefs. Alabama has the largest artificial-reef program in the nation, and these reefs have loads of a wide variety of reef fish and pelagic species on them. Since these reefs haven’t received much fishing pressure all summer long, the snapper and other fish species have grown both bigger and more plentiful. Make your plans today to visit Alabama’s Gulf Coast during the special red-snapper season, October 1 through November 21. For information on the availability of boats, motels, restaurants and charter boats, contact, or call 1-800-745-SAND (7263).