Editor’s Note: Captain Johnny Greene of the charter boat “Intimidator,” docked at Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Ala., went on an offshore adventure trip this past week.

We left Monday morning, August 6, 2012, at 6:00 am, caught some menhaden in a cast net and next moved-out to 25 feet of water and caught threadfin herring and cigar minnows to use later for bait. Then we headed south and caught vermilion snapper. Too, everyone on the boat caught a limit of amberjacks before we moved further offsOrange Beach chartershore and caught bigger vermilion snapper and white snapper. Our amberjacks weighed about 25-35 pounds. My fishermen had all the fight they could handle with amberjacks of this size, and sometimes there were two fishermen on the same rod, trying to get an amberjack to the boat.

Next, we moved to water 250- to 280-feet deep and caught gag grouper, red grouper, 8-12 pound scamp and 20 pound yellowedge grouper. As we went further offshore, we found a weed line and caught a big bull dolphin (mahi-mahi) weighing about 40 pounds, while we were high-speed trolling. We caught about five yellowfin tuna weighing 50-60 pounds that night while trolling and about 25 blackfin tuna weighing about 10-pounds each. Our wahoo weighed 25-30 pounds each, but on the way back to the dock, we put our high-speed trollers out and caught one wahoo weighing nearly 100 pounds. We’ve also been having a lot of fun catching king mackerel with live bait under kites. Our people really enjoy seeing a 20-pound king mackerel jump 15-feet out of the water to try and catch-up to the bait. The average king is weighing 8-35 pounds. August is an exciting time down here for that inshore trolling bite.

Predictions for Offshore August-November:

Fishing continues to get better as the weather cools-down, and the fish become more active. My favorite time to fish offshore is August through November – that’s when the fishing pressure is the lightest, the fish seem to bite the most aggressively, and we can keep rods bent all day long. Another reason the fall fishing is so good is that the sun has warmed-up the Gulf waters all summer, and the water doesn’t cool-off as fast as the land does. Because of our mild climate, the water stays warm all the way through November, although the air temperature cools off. Then people can fish much-more comfortably. The weather’s usually calm in August and September also. So, we expect the weather to get better and better as we move toward the first of the year.

One of the reasons these overnight offshore adventure trips are so much fun is that you have an opportunity to catch 13-15 different species of fish. Because we stay out longer and fish in deeper water, we can catch more and bigger fish. Plus, now we cater food on the “Intimidator.” On an average overnight trip, on the way out, we put a Boston butt on the grill and cook it until lunchtime. Then we have pulled-pork sandwiches. When we stop bottom fishing and move offshore to fish for tuna, for dinner we have steaks, baked potatoes and salad. Then we have a good breakfast the following morning on the way in to shore. We don’t take more than 10 people at a time, and we have individual sleeping accommodations for each one of our fishermen. So, the overnight trips are more than a fishing trip. They’re an adventure fishing trip, an eating trip and a fun-time trip, with plenty of fish caught and lots of bent rods. We make memories that will last a lifetime.

To fish with Captain Johnny Greene, call 251-747-2872 or go to www.fishorangebeach.com or gulfshoresdeepseafishing.com.

Inshore Report:

David Thornton reports, “The mackerel bite is still strong on the Gulf State Park Pier. On a good day, we’ll catch 15-20 king mackerel off the end of the pier, and the Spanish mackerel bite is about as good as it gets. Orange Beach chartersWe’re still having tarpon hooked and fought on the end of the pier, and two cobia were caught this past week. The near-shore fishing has slacked-off, but two nice pompano were caught close to shore. Fort Morgan has been producing numbers and varieties of fish. I think the best bet for people who don’t want to get in a boat and fish will be either the Gulf State Park Pier or around Fort Morgan.”

For more information on where to fish without a boat at Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, call David Thornton at 251-458-2775, e-mail him at pierpounder@alabamasnaturalcoast.net, or go to his webpage at www.orangebeachsurffishing.com.

The Orange Beach Fishing Association 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.

Tuna Cakes

Nothing’s tastier than tuna cakes, and this healthy recipe features vegetables and fiber for a delicious flavor. This dish is a great way to use leftover tuna that’s already cooked.

Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini, shredded (1 cup)
1 cup leftover cooked tuna or 1, 6-1/2-ounce can tuna, drained Orange Beach charters
1-1/2-cups, firmly packed, very-small cubes (1/2-inch) whole grain bread
1 egg
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1/2-teaspoon dill weed
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Preparation:
In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, tuna, bread, egg, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill weed and 2 tablespoons oil. Mix well, and shape into 3-inch patties. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tuna patties, and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, turning carefully to brown on each side. Serves 2-4.

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