Editor’s Note: Captain Johnny Greene of the charter boat, “Intimidator,” operating out of Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, fishes 12 months out of the year.

In November, we catch numbers of yellowfin tuna offshore, plenty of blackfin tuna on light tackle and triggerfish, amberjacks and grouper on the deep wrecks offshore. But our main fish this month are the yellowfin tuna, the blackfin tuna and the wahoo.

Blackfin Tuna

Black FinWe have many customers who bring fresh-water striper tackle and 4-ounce diamond jigs with them. They’ll stay up all night working those diamond jigs and catching blackfin tuna. The blackfin tuna can be caught about 60-miles offshore. A small blackfin tuna will weigh about 5 pounds, and a really-nice blackfin will weigh about 20 pounds.

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna live further offshore, and we mainly fish for them at night. These big tuna will weigh from 40- to 175-pounds each, and they’re generally abundant at this time of year. Most fishermen are in the woods hunting deer in November, so there’s very-little pressure, if any, on the tuna. November is a great time of year to catch enough of these giant tuna that anglers can have tuna salad all year.

When we’re fishing for yellowfin tuna, we’ll be 70- to 150-miles offshore and usually taking a 2-day trip. We mix up the fishing, so our anglers don’t have a long boat ride without a lot of action. We usually fish for triggerfish, amberjacks and grouper on the first day out, and then fish for tuna at night the first day and during the morning of the second day. With high fuel prices, the 2-day trip provides more fishing for the time you’re on the water. Our boat has great places for fishermen to sleep, and we also have a galley where you can prepare all your meals.

Triggerfish, Amberjacks and Grouper

Too, in November, the triggerfish start moving onto the artificial reefs, particularly good-eating-size triggerfish. The amberjacks are biting very well. Typically, if we can get favorable seas, November and December are my favorite months to fish because there are so many fish to be caught and so few anglers fishing.

At this time of year, amberjacks and grouper are moving up out of the deep water into the shallow water. In 2006, in the October Orange Beach Fishing Rodeo, my boat brought in a 96-pound amberjack that won the Amberjack Division. We also caught a 50- and a 60-pound grouper. In November, the grouper and the amberjack seem to be very large, and they bite really well.

You’ll also catch numbers of red snapper in November that you have to release because the red-snapper season is closed. But the good news is if you bring your camera, you often can take a picture of a really-big snapper that you’ve caught and released this month. You’ll almost always catch one really-big red snapper when you’re out grouper fishing.


Another fish we catch a lot of in November is wahoo. I’d have to rate our wahoo fishing in November as nothing short of spectacular. We fast troll for them at about 8 or 10 knots with lures and jigs, particularly while we’re on the way to fish for tuna. We’ve caught wahoo as close as 15-miles-inshore in November. We also catch wahoos around some of the oil and gas rigs when we fish for blackfin tuna. Wahoos are a lot of fun to catch and delicious to eat.

The biggest advantage of fishing throughout November, regardless of what you’re fishing for, is there will be plenty of rod-bending action. There’s hardly a time you put your bait in the water that you won’t catch some type of fish, whether you keep the fish or not. Everyone enjoys a bent rod and winding in a fish, and there’s an abundance of that type of action happening this month.

If you’ve never fished offshore along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, this fall and winter will be a great time to make your first trip. You’ll find plenty of fish to be caught, good times to be had and usually mild weather. I fish all winter, and the only down month we have is February, because grouper season is closed to allow the grouper to spawn. But even during February, we still can catch numbers of tuna, triggerfish and amberjacks.

To fish with Captain Johnny Greene, call 251-747-2872, visit www.fishorangebeach.com, or email intimidatorcharters@yahoo.com.