Alabama’s Gulf Coast fishing is so super right now, that many anglers feel like Santa Claus has arrived in time for July, instead of waiting for December and Christmas.

Offshore with Captain Chip Day:

According to Captain Chip Day of the “Chipper’s Clipper” charter boat based out of Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Ala., “In July, if we fish offshore, we not only can catch and keep red snapper, but we’ll also be able to keep gag grouper. Right now, we can keep the red grouper. But after July 1, we’ll probably be catching magnum red snapper too. We’ve been catching big king mackerel and some of the biggest white snapper I’ve seen in a long time. This 2012 snapper season during June has been unreal. We’ve been catching plenty of 12- to 15-pound snapper. On a trip last week, we even Orange Beach charterscaught an 18-pounder. On another trip, we caught a 30-pound king mackerel. We’ve been running numbers of 6-hour trips that allow us to get further offshore and find some bigger fish.
 
“Another gift that Santa Claus has brought us in late June and July is sharks. We had a 4-hour trip the middle of June with two young boys, ages 14 and 15, on it. The mackerel bite near shore wasn’t red hot that day, but we caught a benito. I asked the guys, “How would you two like to catch a shark?” The boys got all-excited about going shark fishing, and they hooked-up to a 75-pound blacktip shark that really gave them a heck of a battle. We’re seeing more and more people interested in catching sharks. As we move further offshore, we can hook-up to some really-big ones. They’re a lot of fun to catch, and when you get one of those toothy critters up to the boat, you’ve had a major day of big fish fishing.”  
 

To fish with Captain Chip Day on the charter boat “Chipper’s Clipper,” call him at 251-952-8247, or visit www.chippersclipper.com.

Inshore Fishing with Captain Gary Davis of Tidewater Fishing Service:

“In mid-June, we had some strong winds in Mobile Bay,” Captain Davis of Foley, Ala., explains. “So, I took my parties over to Little Lagoon in Gulf Shores, and we did real well on speckled trout and redfish. On Thursday of last week, we went back to Fort Morgan. I had an 11-year-oOrange Beach fishingld girl, Ellie Burgy, along with her aunt, Julie Doughty, and her granddad, John Hauk, all from Powder Springs, Georgia, who caught a 9-pound speckled trout and two, 7-1/2-pound speckled trout - some of the biggest speckled trout we’ve seen this year and definitely the biggest speckled trout caught by the youngest angler this year. So, the back-bay fishing and the Mobile Bay fishing are heating-up. If the bite continues to stay as good as it is right now, we should have an awesome speckled trout and redfish season for the next several weeks.”

To learn more about fishing with Gary Davis, call (251) 943-6298.

Pier Fishing with David Thornton:

According to Thornton, an avid pier angler, “We’ve had all kinds of action on the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala. We had eight tarpon hooked-up off the end of the pier last Wednesday and eight king mackerel were caught at noon. That’s why you may want to consider fishing all-day long off the pier. You never know when those king mackerel will come-by or when those schools of redfish will move-in close to the pier. Numbers of spadefish were around the pier last week, and anglers caught some really-big ones – with some even weighing 3-pounds each. The spade fish looks like a big saltwater bream. Because they have small mouths, you have to use little hooks. They put-up a good fight, and they’re delicious to eat. So, if you’re coming to Alabama’s Gulf Coast this week, you may want to consider spending a day on the pier, because fishing has been great.” To learn more about fishing the Gulf State Park Pier, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 251-948-7275.

The Orange Beach Fishing Association (www.orangebeachfishingassociation.com) will be glad to find you and your family a captain and a boat that fits your needs. The good news is that you don’t have to leave your wife and children at home when you visit Alabama’s Gulf Coast. There’s plenty to do and see. For accommodation and restaurant recommendations, contact Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism at 800-745-SAND, or visit www.orangebeach.com or www.alabamasnaturalcoast.net. To have your fresh fish prepared at the beach, go to www.alabamasnaturalcoast.net, click on restaurants, and check Orange Beach chartersbox for “Will Cook Your Catch.”

How to Eat a King:

You can cook king mackerel, a delicious-tasting fish, on the grill, in the oven or on top of the stove. An oily fish, a king mackerel has most of its oil concentrated on the dark lateral line that runs down the middle of the king. To prepare the king for cooking, cut-out the lateral line, cut the remaining meat into chunks, put the chunks in a cooler, and then cover with crushed ice. Next, pour in 7-Up until it covers the ice, creating an ice slurry. Leave the king mackerel in that ice slurry overnight. Remove the chunks from the ice chest, rinse them off, and either fry or bake them. The lemon-lime flavoring of the 7-Up helps pull the oil out of the fish and replaces that strong fishy taste with a much-sweeter flavor.

You also can remove the king’s head and its entrails and cut across the fish to produce round steaks about 1- to 2-inches thick. Marinate the steaks in Italian dressing, grill the steaks with a thick slice of lemon on top of each steak, and baste the mackerel with the Italian dressing. Too, the McMullans, Rube, Brant and Barrett, of North Carolina, who fish the Southern Kingfish Association circuit, make Mackerel Balls. They take a king mackerel steak and cut across the fish to get a round chunk of meat. Inside that round piece of king mackerel, you’ll find the meat divided into four sections. The McMullans push the four sections of meat out, and that center section becomes like a chicken nugget, which they call a king nugget. They wrap the king nugget in a strip of bacon and use a toothpick to hold the bacon to the nugget. Then, they put the bacon-wrapped nugget on the grill and cook it until the bacon’s done.