“We’ve had some fun fishing trips lately,” says Captain Johnny Greene (251-747-2872, www.fishorangebeach.com) on his charter boat, “Intimidator,” based at Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Ala. “More people today want to fight sharks. So, on a 6-hour trip, we’ll start trolling for king mackerel and Spanish maOrange Beach chartersckerel as we come-out of the pass. Then once we reach 10- or 15-miles offshore, we’ll start bottom fishing, and we’ll catch and release American red snapper, since the season’s out.We’ll also catch lane snapper, triggerfish and a variety of other reef fish. Because we create such a feeding frenzy when we’re catching reef fish, we usually attract sharks. So, we put-out big baits with big hooks, while we’re bottom fishing. Once the shark takes the bait, the battle starts. On a recent 6-hour trip, I saw four grown men get whipped twice by one big shark. Each man spent about 15 or 20 minutes on the rod, fighting the shark, and then passed the rod to the next angler. After each fisherman fought the shark twice, and all four of the anglers were worn-out, we finally got the shark up to the boat. We made pictures and videos of it and then released the shark to fight another day.

“More anglers are asking about the types of trips where they can fish for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel as our boat travels out offshore, catch and release reef fish and have an opportunity to fight a 150- to a 300-pound shark. A number of our clients enjoOrange Beach chartersy putting their arm, back and leg muscles in-gear to battle a big shark that often weighs more than they do. We also do a number of 2-day trips where we fish for tuna, wahoo, dolphin and giant king mackerel. On a recent 2-day trip, we caught some nice-sized yellowfin tuna that weighed from 50- to 150-pounds each. We’re fortunate here at Orange Beach, because we can offer a wide variety of fishing inshore, offshore and at the Gulf State Park Pier. We have boats in the Orange Beach Fishing Association (OBFA) that will help you catch any fish you want to catch, from a 300-pound shark to a 150-pound tuna to reef fish like vermilion snapper, triggerfish, American red snapper, gray snapper and many-other reef fish. You also can catch some of the pelagic species, like cobia, king mackerel, wahoo and dolphin. You pick the species you want to catch and the amount of time you want to spend on the water, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you have the type of fishing trip you want. The combination trips, where we catch mackerel, reef fish and sharks, have become more popular this season, because we not only have fun, but we keep bent rods and smiling faces throughout the trips.”

Inshore Fishing:

Captain Erik Davis (251-967-1224) of Foley, Ala., guides out of Fort Morgan. He says that the speckled trout, the white trout and the ground mullet have been really biting. “So far this year, we’ve boated four speckled trout that weighed 4-pounds each,” Davis explains. “Last week, we lost a speckled trout that would have weighed from 8 to10 pounds. We’re catching our speckled trout on live croakers that I catch before the trip. The best time to catch speckled trout is from 6:00 am to about 9:0Orange Beach charters0 am in Mobile Bay near Fort Morgan. Our average trout weighs 2 to 4 pounds, and we catch 20 to 30 trout a day. If our clients want to fish for white trout, we generally catch from 30 to 60 a day. If the fish stop biting around 9:00 am, and the weather gets hot, we’ll drag for shrimp. So, our parties go home with a good mess of specked trout and shrimp for supper. Our inshore fishing is great right now in mid-July and should hold-up through the early fall.”

For more information on fishing, contact the Orange Beach Fishing Association www.obfishingassn.com. For information on hotels, motels, and restaurants, call Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism at 1-800-745-SAND, or visit www.alabamasnaturalcoast.net or www.orangebeach.com. To have the fish you catch while fishing off Alabama’s Gulf Coast cooked, go to www.orangebeach.com/dining-nightlife/restaurants and click on “will cook your catch.”

Grilled Tuna Salad

2 tuna steaks, 4-6-ounces each
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Northwoods Seasoning (available from www.penzeys.com and contains salt, Hungarian sweet paprika, Tellicherry black pepper, thyme, cracked rosemary, garlic and chipotle)
10 small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
8 ounces fresh green beans, ends trimmed and halved crosswise
1/4-teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4-teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1/8-teaspoon salt
2 small heads butter lettuce or a mix of butter and Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2-3 small ripe tomatoes, cut into eighths

French Salad Dressing Ingredients:
1 cup salad oil
1/4-cup cider vinegar
1/3-cup ketchup
1 small onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the potatoes and green beans in a grill pan, basket or a foil pan lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Brush lightly with the olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic, pepper, salt and Northwoods Seasoning. Grill the vegetables until tender, about 10-12 minutes. The tuna can grill at the same time and should require about 3-4 minutes per side. While the tuna and the veggies cook, divide the lettuce between two plates, and prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients and mixing well. When the tuna and the veggies are done, divide between the plates, slicing the tuna if desired. Top with tomatoes, and serve with the dressing on the side.