Editor’s Note: Captain George Pfeiffer of the charter boat, "C.A.T.”, based out of Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, fishes offshore all year. According to Pfeiffer, offshore fishing can’t be better than in December.

We’re catching plenty of triggerfish, vermillion snapper and red snapper, which we have to throw back because red snapper season is closed. Grouper, snapper and amberjack are really biting well in December. The vermillion snapper we’re catching weigh from 1- to 2-1/2-pounds each. At this time of year, we usually fish for a mixed bag of fish. Generally, we’ll fish for vermillion snapper, white snapper and triggerfish first, but we’ll also catch amberjack and grouper.

What about Red Snapper
The red snapper are both a positive and a negative in December. There are tons of snapper off Alabama’s Gulf Coast in December, but because their season is closed, we can’t keep them. However, these tons of red snapper, will keep rods bent on every fishing trip. Some of our anglers catch some of the biggest fish they’ve ever seen. I strongly recommend you keep your camera with you, if you decide to fish this month, because you’ll have the chance to catch and photograph the biggest and the most red snapper you’ve ever caught in your life. I’ve learned that fishing isn’t only about keeping fish; it’s about catching fish. And, when we’re fishing for triggerfish in December, we will catch numbers of red snapper.

How about Amberjack and Grouper
If you decide to target amberjack and grouper, we can run to the offshore oil rigs where our chances are much better for catching those fish. But, our chances for taking white snapper, triggerfish and vermillion snapper decrease. In December, the grouper are biting, and really-big grouper are coming offshore. There was a recent report of a Louisiana angler possibly catching a new Warsaw grouper record in November from the same areas where we fish. The Warsaw grouper measured 7- or 8-feet long.

What You Can Expect
Fishing at the coast has changed. We can catch fish at Alabama’s Gulf Coast in December all day, but we often can’t keep the fish because of new regulations. So, if you enjoy having a bent rod and feeling that tug on your line, December is the month to come to the beach and fish offshore. At this time of year, there are more captains and boats available than you’ll find in the spring and the summer. In December, you still can keep amberjack, vermillion snapper, triggerfish, grouper and white snapper, which are all delicious to eat.

One of the reasons I like fishing this month is because I can fish any one of the thousands of reefs and not be concerned about other boats having fished those reefs before I’ve arrived, or other boats fishing those reefs after I leave. The Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD) estimates that Alabama has between 5,000 and 8,000 artificial reefs off its coast, and this month, no one’s fishing them. So, when we want to fish in December, we can fish whichever site we choose. At this time of year, we don’t have to travel to a lot of reefs each day to produce good fishing for our parties.

If you enjoy fishing offshore but don’t like hot weather and bright sun, this month is the best one of the year to fish. Our region still may have some 60-degree days during December, but  usually we’ll have cool winds to keep the temperatures from becoming hot. Like all the captains at Alabama’s Gulf Coast, I’d love to have you fish with me. But there are plenty of captains, boats and offshore fishing this month.

To fish with Captain George Pfeiffer, call (888) 558-3889, visit www.fishorangebeach.net, or email catcharters@fishorangebeach.net