Inshore with Captain Kathy Broughton Catching Speckled Trout, Redfish, Pompano, Sheepshead and Black Drum

Editor’s Note: Captain Kathy Broughton fishes out of Zeke’s Landing Marina in Orange Beach, Ala., on her boat, the “Kitty Wake.”

Right now, I’m finding speckled trout 2- to 4-hours before the high tide, out of the wind in the creeks that feed Perdido Bay. Some of the trout are moving into the Intracoastal Waterway during mid-March, and that’s another good place to get out of the winOrange Beach Fishingd and fish for trout. I’ve been fishing with live shrimp, a No. 4 Kahle hook or a No. 8 treble hook with 10- to 12-pound-test line. I simply cast the live shrimp out and let it swim on a slack line until the trout takes it. We’re also catching some small redfish in the creeks. We should be able to catch slot reds within the next week or two in these creeks. Too, I’m seeing some big redfish out by Perdido Pass.

After the big rainstorms north Alabama has had this winter and early spring, much of that fresh water will come down the rivers to Mobile Bay and move the trout out into Perdido Bay. Depending on the amount of fresh water this area gets, the water may move the speckled trout all the way out to the jetties or in to salt water. The more fresh water our region receives from north Alabama, the further the trout will go out into the Gulf of Mexico in the spring.

The pompano also really have started showing-up on the beach. You can catch the pompano on sand Orange Beach Fishingfleas, live shrimp and pompano jigs out on the beach. In the last few weeks, the sheepshead have been inshore too, and we’ve really been catching numbers of them around the docks. To catch the sheepshead, we use 10- and 12-pound-test line and a Carolina rig. Depending on the current, we’ll use a slip weight as small as 1/4-ounce to as big as 3/4-ounce with a barrel swivel below the weight. Then I fish with a 20- to 30-pound-test monofilament leader that’s 20-inches long coming out of the barrel swivel. My main line will be 10- to 12-pound test. I like to use a No. 4, a No. 2 or a No. 1 Kahle hook. I’ll also fish with a No. 6 wide-bend hook. Usually my customers and I will catch 8-16 sheepshead in a 4-hour trip, and if we catch more than 10, we’ll start releasing them.

Black Drum Are Delicious to Eat:
Sometimes we’ll catch a black drum or a redfish when we’re fishing for sheepshead under the docks. Although most people don’t know it, black drum are delicious to eat. I actually prefer eating them more than redfish (red drum). Black drums have pretty white meat, and I especially like to eat the ones weighing 4 to 6 pounds. Here’s how I enjoy cooking black drum. I like to pan-fry my fish fillets instead of deep-fat frying them. I put a couple of shakes of Creole seasoning on both sides of the fillets before lightly flouring the fish. I melt a little butter in a pan, turn the gas up fairly high to start with, fry the fillets on each side and then turn the heat down to cook the fish all the way through.

To fish with Captain Kathy Broughton, email, or call 251-981-4082 or 251-747-7375.

Offshore with Captain Don McPherson on the Charter Boat the “Getaway” Catching a Variety of Snapper, Triggerfish, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia

EdOrange Beach Fishingitor’s Note: Captain Don McPherson, based out of Zeke’s Marina, has been fishing offshore for the last couple of weeks in March and will tell us what he’s found.

Since the weather’s warming-up, so is the fishing. We’ve had some very-pretty, sunny days. The second week in March we had a 6-hour charter and caught a large number of vermilion snapper, white snapper and triggerfish. We also caught and released a few American red snapper. The biggest red snapper we released probably weighed 10 or 12 pounds, and we’re not even targeting red snapper. We’re trying to run away from them. Our triggerfish have been at 14-1/2- to 15-inches long, and our vermilion snapper have been about 12- to 13-inches long. We’ve trolled on the way out and on the way in, catching several Spanish mackerel, the first for the year. Looks like the Spanish mackerel will start to move-in any time now in mid-March. We’re really happy to see that. Some redfish are still just off the beach, and the cobia could show-up any day now, especially around the end of March. That’s when offshore fishing at Alabama’s Gulf Coast really gets exciting.

To fish with Captain Don McPherson, call 251-981-8047, visit, or email