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Editor’s Note:
Captain Johnny Greene stepped-out of the wheelhouse of the charter boat “Intimidator,” based out of Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, and said to his party, “Unless you can stuff a 50-pound tuna
in the front pocket of your pants, we’ve got to go home. Our fish box is totally full, and we can’t squeeze another fish in it.”

We had a great trip the last Thursday and Friday of September, after leaving on Thursday morning, stopping offshore and catching live bait. We ran further offshore about 3-1/2-hours and caught quite a few big 15- to 18-pound scamps. Next, we caught a limit of 30- to Orange Beach Charters50-pound amberjacks. Making another stop in deep water, we caught some snowy grouper and gag grouper that weighed 10- to 20-pounds each. Then we put-out high-speed trollers, while heading further south toward some oil rigs, where we caught a nice king mackerel that would weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. As we kept moving south, we saw plenty of flying fish and large schools of baitfish.

Late in the afternoon, we arrived at a deep-water oil rig, started jigging and caught 15- to 20-pound blackfin tuna. We moved to another oil rig after dark that had a lot of fish activity. We put-out our lines for yellowfin tuna and had four tuna on our lines at one time. These fish would weigh an average of 65- to 75-pounds each. We let-down our lines again, and two of my anglers hooked-up to yellowfin tuna. In a very-short time, we had eight yellowfin tuna in our fish box and caught a few more 15- to 18-pound tuna. Finally I had to announce, “Men, our fish box is full. We don’t have room for another fish. Let’s go home.” We arrived back at Orange Beach at 11 am. the next day with a tired but happy crew and customers and a box full of fish. To contact Captain Johnny Greene, call him at (251) 747-2872, email intimidatorcharters@yahoo.com, or go to www.fishorangebeach.com.

Near-Shore Report:

Editor’s Note: COrange Beach fishingaptain Troy Frady of the charter boat “Distraction,” based out of Orange Beach Marina, went on a 6-hour trolling and bottom-fishing trip the last week in September and had great success.

Our area had very-calm weather, and the low-pressure system coming in caused the fish to bite like crazy. We caught 4- to 5-pound Spanish mackerel and king mackerel weighing 12 to 15 pounds. Then we headed offshore to bottom fish, put-out high-speed trollers and caught a 42-pound wahoo. When we reached the artificial reefs we planned to fish, we caught plenty of triggerfish that weighed 5-7 pounds and 8-12-pound red snapper, all of which we released. We also caught quite a few amberjacks that we threw back. They were high in the water and kept all our anglers’ rods bent. Our party was able to see a dolphin with a calf (baby dolphin), and we caught and released plenty of big fish. We had a fantastic day of fishing. For more information about fishing with Captain Troy Frady and Distraction Charters, go to www.distractioncharters.com, or, call him at 251-975-8111.

Pier Report:

Editor’s Note: Pier and inshore guide David Thornton of Mobile, Ala., tells us that fishing’s heating-up on the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Ala. You can call him at 251-458-2775, e-mail him at pierpounder@alabamasnaturalcoast.net, or go to his webpage at www.orangebeachsurffishing.com for more information.

We’re catching 20 to 30 king mackerel a day right now at the first of October on the pier and about the same number of 4- to 5-pound Spanish mackerel. Large numbers of bluefish have moved-in to the pier. Too, we’re seeing large schools of bull reds just ouOrange Beach fishing t of casting range of the pier. But anglers are catching some bull reds. If the weather continues to cool-down, these bull reds will get closer to the pier, and fishermen will catch more and more of them.

The good news and the bad news is there are large schools of pinfish around the pier. The bad news is the pinfish make catching whiting, ground mullet and pompano difficult, because the pinfish eat the bait (mainly cut bait and dead shrimp) that we use to fish for these species. However, the good news is that these pinfish are very-productive baits for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and big redfish that we catch out on the end of the Gulf State Park Pier. Although the fishing is picking-up, determining when the fish will show-up is becoming more unpredictable. One day numbers of king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and redfish will be caught out on the end of the pier, just at first light. But then on other days, those fish may not show-up until 9:00 or 10:00 am. As the weather cools-down, fishing on the pier will continue to get better and better. You can call the Gulf State Park Pier at 251-967-FISH (3474).

For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit www.orangebeach.com/fishing, 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).

To learn more about saltwater fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast and have an opportunity to meet the captains you can fish with, get the new Kindle ebooks Alabama’s Offshore Fishing: A Year Round Guide for Catching More than 15 Species and Alabama’s Inshore Saltwater Fishing: A Year Round Guide for Catching More than 15 Species by John E. Phillips. Go to www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the names of these books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

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