At this time of year, the fish are moving out of the bays and into the mouths of the rivers. Dog River and Gillard’s Island (a spoilage area) are loaded with speckled trout, redfish and flounder. I fished there two days the first week in October with clients, and we caught flounder, black snapper (gray snapper), speckled trout and a good number of white trout.

Then at Fort Morgan, you’ll find plenty of redfish and black snapper at Dixey Bar on the deep side of the old lighthouse. There are still some trout concentrated on the artificial reefs in Mobile Bay, like the Fish River Reef and that Shellbank Reef. During October, the trout are stacked-up on these reefs and average 2- to 3-pounds each.

One of the bonus fish this year for anglers is the plentiful 2- to 3-pound black snapper, which is a really-good size fish. The black snapper move inshore during the fall and hold in waters around the old lighthouse in 30 to 40 feet of water and on the oil and gas rigs in Mobile Bay. The good news about the black snapper is you can keep 10 fish, 13 inches or longer, each day you fish. These fish are plentiful, fun to catch and delicious to eat. Many anglers say they prefer the taste of black snapper to red snapper (American red snapper).

Another productive place to catch black snapper is on the old State Pier rubble at Gulf Shores where you’ll find black snapper holding on the deep end (10- to 15-feet deep) of the rubble. Not only will you catch black snapper, but also numbers of good-size flounder hold there. During October, I haven’t caught any fish close to the beach.

Your Best Bet this Month

Your best bet for speckled trout this month is the artificial reefs in Mobile Bay. The trout should be holding on these reefs until the first cold front hits. When our area gets 40-degree weather that stays long enough to change the temperature of the water, the trout will leave and head up the rivers. If this region has a really-mild winter, the trout will stay on those artificial reefs until the end of October or the first of November. For a map of the reef locations, go to

Ninety percent of the inshore fish like speckled trout, flounder and redfish I’ve caught have been on a Berkley 3-inch Gulp! Shrimp and a 3-inch Gulp! Shaky Shad. I’m using a 1/4-ounce finesse lead head. I like blue-and-white heads on the Gulp! Shaky Shad and gray-and-white-colored lead heads when I’m fishing the Gulp! Shrimp. I’m fishing both jigs on 8-pound-test Vicious line. Most of the fish I’m catching are in 4 to 8 feet of water, but I’m finding the bigger white trout 18- to 20-foot deep on channels.

Gary Davis

October and November are two of the best months to be at the Gulf Coast. The fishing’s great, the weather’s pleasant, and there are plenty of guides available.


To order a fishing map of the Gulf of Mexico - Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana - from Mobile Bay to the Mississippi River Delta, go to

Editor’s Note: To fish with Gary Davis, call (251) 943-6298. For motels, restaurants and sights to see and enjoy while visiting Alabama’s coast, contact Alabama’s Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-745-SAND, or visit