Editor’s Note: Captain Don McPherson, owner of two charter boats – the “Getaway” and “Another Getaway,” docked at Zeke’s Marina in Orange BOrange Beach charterseach, Ala. – has been fishing after Hurricane Isaac in all the rain that has inundated the Gulf of Mexico for the last couple of weeks.

The storms we recently have had have stirred-up the bottom, and fishing has been better for all our trips. The 12-hour trips are where you’ll catch the most and biggest fish. On those trips, we go farther offshore. We’re catching amberjacks weighing 30-50 pounds or more and various species of grouper. The vermilion snapper are weighing 2-5 pounds, and we also catch a lot of scamp on this trip. We can put-out long lines for wahoo and have the opportunity to deep-drop to catch those deep, cold-water grouper and other species like snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, tilefish and longtail bass. On a 10-hour trip, we usually are able to catch all the species I’ve already mentioned, except the deep-water fish. On the 8-hour trip, we primarily have been catching nice-size white snapper, vermilion snapper, lane snapper, scamp, an occasional grouper and an occasional keeper amberjack. Too, on an 8-hour trip, there’s also a possibility of catching a king mackerel and a triggerfish or a red snapper that we’ll throw back. On the 6-hour trips, parties have the option of trolling for those 6 hours or trolling for a couple of hours and then moving offshore to catch the different snapper species and catch and release red snapper and triggerfish.

Our 4-hours trips are primarily for Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. The Spanish mackerel have been running about 2-5 pounds and the king mackerel 12-15 pounds. If you want to battle the monsters, we have plenty of sharks. We hook-up with sharks on about every trip, with little sharks weighing about 15 pounds and bull, tiger and blacktip sharks often weighing 200 pounds or more. Any time Alabama’s Gulf Coast gets strong winds and strong currents like we’ve had the last couple of weeks, we get a major influx of sharks and other fish – often from other areas like grouper and biOrange Beach fishingg vermilion snapper too. But we often lose some of our fish when they’re relocated from our region to other fishing sites along the Upper Gulf Coast. However, this last storm didn’t seem to take way any of our fish, but instead brought-in a new crop of fish. On all the trips I’ve mentioned, except the 4-hour trolling trip, you’ll have an opportunity to catch and release some really-big red snapper weighing 8-20 pounds and triggerfish weighing 3-8 pounds.

The fall is when we have some of our best fishing days on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The fish move in from deep water to feed on the baitfish being flushed-out of the estuaries and bays. Because of the light fishing pressure, we generally catch more and bigger fish in the fall than we do at any-other time of the year. Since Alabama’s Gulf Coast has a warm climate, we often can fish well in to December and still have comfortable fishing weather. And, due to the abundance of fish, our fishermen’s rods stay bent with nice-sized fish all day long in September. If you’ve never fished in the fall, give us a try this year. I think if you sample the kind of fishing we have at this time of year, you’ll make plans to fish with us every fall. So, give me a call at 251-981-8047 or visit my website at

Pier Report:

David Thornton keeps anglers updated on what’s biting at the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala., and says, “Two things usually happen when the pier experiences a storm and rough water. The water becomes dingy, but more importantly, the lights that shine down in the water at night are removed from the pier during bad-weather events. When the water is cloudy, and the lights are removed, the baitfish scatter-out and don’t concentrate in large numbers around the pier, as they do during calm weather with the lights. When the baitfish aren’t around the pier, the pier can’t attract as many king mackerel and bull reds. So, this week we haven’t seen as many king mackerel or bull reds being caught as we normally expect. However, anglers still are catching flounder, whiting, ground mullet, good numbers of slot redfish (redfish that are the right length to keep and eat) and an occasional Spanish mackerel. As the weather settles-down, the lights are returned to the pier, and the water begins to clear up, we can expect good fishing on the pier.”

Hooked on Orange Beach fishing? Need to know what else is Orange Beach chartersbiting? Can’t get enough of our weekly blog? Discover a bounty of fishing knowledge and insider tips from 26 captains about 15 saltwater species with “Alabama’s Offshore Fishing,” the new e-book written by our “What’s Biting” author John E. Phillips. Too, you can go to and type-in the name of the book to find it. You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or SmartPhone.

For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit, a fishing hub with marina and charter captain listings. For any questions, call Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s vacation planning specialists at 1-800-745-SAND (7263). For a list of cook-your-catch restaurants, go to