Editor’s Note: CaptOrang Beach fishingain Randy Boggs of the “Reel Surprise” charter boat, based out of SanRoc Cay Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, offers walk-up trips where anglers can walk-up and fish with groups of one to 20 fishermen on the same boat. When asked what’s biting at Alabama’s Gulf Coast right now in late June, he answered “Everything!”

Red snapper season has been open for about 20 days, and we’ve seen limits of snapper caught every day. The snapper are exceptionally large this year. The average snapper coming-in will weigh 7 to 9 pounds. The current’s been running a little on the bottom, but even with the current running, everyone’s been catching nice limits of snapper. The weather’s been good, and everyone fishing with us has had a great time. This past Sunday in mid-June, a 15-year-old girl caught a 24-pound red snapper, and her brother caught an 18-pound snapper. We also had a 9-year-old boy catch a snapper that weighed more than 10 pounds, his dad caught two snapper that weighed more than 10-pounds each, and his mother caught one that weighed 9 pounds and another that weighed 7 pounds. That family had an awesome stringer of snapper when they got off our boat.

In addition to American red snapper, we’re catching numbers of vermilion snapper. The red snapper are so aggressive that catching the vermilion snapper has become difficult. But we’re catching quite a few triggerfish and catching and releasing plenty of amberjacks. We plan our trips, so we don’t have to do a lot of catch and release. When we get our limit of red snapper, we change baits and start using squid. When we make the switch to squid, our cuOrang Beach fishingstomers catch a number of vermilion snapper and triggerfish. Our 6-hour trips leave at 8:00 am and return at 2:00 pm. Then we have a second trip that leaves at 1:00 pm and comes-in at 7:00 pm. Too, the boat that came-in at 2:00 pm will leave at 3:00 pm and come-in at 7:00 pm. Our trips are party trips, so you can make your reservations a day or two in advance and fish with us – whether you’re one person or have six or eight people with you. We ask that the people who fish with us make reservations, because we’re busy and almost have a full boat every day.

Some of the smaller boats fishing close to shore are coming-in with two or three cobia almost every day, and the mackerel fishing has been absolutely phenomenal this summer. There’s almost a carnival atmosphere in Orange Beach now that red-snapper season has started. A few shark-fishing charters are going out now in the afternoon and at night and catching whitetip and hammerhead sharks. The shark fishing has been good offshore. When the water’s clear, the pier fishermen at the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier are catching 40 or 50 king mackerel every day. The water’s pretty and clear at Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

To contact Captain Randy Boggs, call him at 251-981-7173 or visit www.reelsurprisecharters.com.

Pier Report:

A Father’s Day King Mackerel Tournament was held at the Gulf State Park Pier at Gulf Shore’s, Ala., this past week. Twelve king mackerel were weighed-in during the tournament, and the heaviest king mackerel weighed 26 pounds, 3 ounces. “However, the day before Father’s Day, 85-king mackerel were caught off the pier,” says Pete Aguon, who regularly fishes off theOrang Beach fishing pier and helps new pier anglers learn how to catch fish. “Eighty percent of the king mackerel caught the day before the Father’s Day Tournament were caught on dead cigar minnows, and 20 percent were caught on live bait. The redfish also are coming-in right now. We’re seeing acres of redfish coming down the sandbar and coming-in from offshore. We’re averaging 12 to 24 bull redfish caught each day, and these fish are weighing 22- to 28-pounds each. Numbers of jack crevalle are mixed-in with the redfish, and they weigh 30- to 32-pounds each. A few flounder are being caught, but in another 3 to 4 weeks, we should be catching a number of flounder from the pier. A few speckled trout are also being caught, but the pompano have been scarce. We’re catching a good number of Spanish mackerel weighing 5- to 6-pounds each. Good numbers of fishermen are out on the pier every day.”

To learn more about fishing the Gulf State Park Pier, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 251-948-7275. For more information about fishing guides and charter boats, lodging accommodations, restaurants and entertainment on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, call 800-745-SAND (7263), or visit www.orangebeach.com; or go to www.obfishingassn.com to learn more about fishing captains and charter boats.

Red Snapper with Almond Sauce

Enjoy feasting on red snapper until the season goes out mid-June.

Red Snapper Ingredients:Orang Beach fishing
6 to 8 snapper fillets, the size of your hand
Salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Cornmeal
1/2-cup Sauterne (the alcohol will dissipate)

Almond Sauce Ingredients:
1/2-cup margarine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
6-ounces sliced almonds

Snapper Preparation:
Sprinkle snapper liberally with lemon juice. Salt each piece to taste, and roll lightly in cornmeal. Using a heavy skillet, brown fish in hot oil. Remove from skillet, and place in an ovenproof dish with a tight-fitting lid. When all pieces are browned, sprinkle with the wine, making certain that wine touches each piece in the casserole. Cover casserole, and place in oven to steam for approximately 1 hour at 300 degrees.

Sauce Preparation:
Melt butter in a small skillet, and brown very lightly. Add Worcestershire and almonds. Simmer for a minute or two. Arrange steamed snapper on a serving platter, and pour sauce over fish. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley springs, and serve.

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