Thank you to all of the participants in the recent What's Biting survey. C. Wright of Martinsburg, MO and B. Corley of Fairhope, AL were selected from the random drawing as winners of Kindle Fires and copies of Alabama's Offshore Fishing: A Year-Round Guide for Catching Over 15 Species of Fish. This ebook was written by the author of our What's Biting Blog, John Phillips.
Editor’s Note: Fall and winter fishing are outstanding at the Alabama Gulf Coast in November.

Offshore Report with Captain Troy Frady:

I had a 4-hour trip with a family from Colorado, and they told me the biggest fish they’d ever caught weighed 5 pounds. As we left the pass at Orange Beach, Ala., the wind was blowing at 20- to 30-miles-per hour from the north. However, the condos on the beach broke the wind. So, the trip wasn’t rough at all. The temperature was about 48 degrees, with a wind chill factor of about 38 degrees. But that cold weather didn’t stoOrange Beach Chartersp the fish from biting; instead, it seemed to charge them up.

As soon as we came out of Perdido Pass, we saw birds working (pelicans and seagulls diving on bait fish). We trolled through that ball of bait and thought we’d hook-up redfish. But when the fish started to bite, we saw that the school was a huge school of bonito. All the rods on the boat bent over with fish on them at one time. Our customers caught five bonitos instantly - in the 10- to 12-pound range. We trolled down toward Romar Pier and spotted some more birds working. Instantly, a big king mackerel hit the trolling lure we’d attached to the number-three planer we were using to get the lure down about 10-feet deep. Just as we grabbed the leader, when the king mackerel was close to the boat, it spit the lure out. As we headed west, we caught another king mackerel that weighed about 12 pounds and did get it to the boat. We turned around and headed back to port and caught about a 5-pound Spanish mackerel. On the way back, we hit a big school of redfish while trolling Mann’s 30+ lures, gold with a black back. We caught seven redfish in just a few minutes and kept one for the family’s dinner. These redfish weighed 15 to 22 pounds. The family couldn’t believe how-many fish we caught, and how big the fish were on the 4-hour trip. Apparently, this cool weather is really causing the fish to bite more actively, and the redfish are headed toward the beach. The seas were around one foot, and we didn’t get more than a mile from shore.

To fish with Captain Frady on the Distraction Charters, call 251-975-8111, or visit

Inshore report with Captain Gary Davis:

For more than 50 years, I’ve been fishing the bays and rivers on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. I follow the speckled trout, redfish and flounder from the Gulf of Mexico into the bays in the winter months and up the river systems that feed Mobile Bay. Speckled trout are moving-up the rivers andOrange Beach Fishing creeks right now and are bringing large numbers of white trout with them to the Fish River, the Bon Secour River and the Magnolia River during the last 2 or 3 weeks in October. Right now, we’re drifting in the middles of the rivers and casting green grubs with 1/4-ounce jig heads. We’ve also caught quite a few trout fishing live 2-inch-long menhaden 2- to 3-feet deep under a cork. The trout weigh 1 to 3 pounds, with a 4 or a 4-1/2-pound trout being caught occasionally. We usually can limit out on trout on a morning trip.

For the customers who want to catch redfish, we go to the point on Dixey Bar at Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. Some really-big redfish there right now weigh 15 to 30 pounds. We fish for the redfish with big menhaden - some weighing 1/2-pound each. One trip I had last week, we caught a limit of the big bull reds in an hour and then went shark fishing. The sharks are still plentiful at Fort Morgan, including blacktip sharks and Atlantic sharpnose sharks. The Atlantic sharpnose is a very good-eating shark and so are the blacktips, but they must be 4-feet long or more to keep. You can keep three Atlantic sharpnose sharks, but they have to be less than 4-feet long each.

We’ve also been catching a few small flounder. For hot speckled trout action, head to the rivers. To catch and release big bull redfish and some sharks, Fort Morgan is your best bet. The sheepshead aren’t in yet and generally don’t start showing up until December.

Contact Captain Gary Davis at 251-942-6298 or 251-965-2135.

Gulf State Park Pier Report with David Thornton:Orange Beach Charters

Fishing at the pier has been spotty at best the last of October. The most-dependable fish are the bluefish. But we seem to be catching numbers of various species of fish on different days. Some days several king mackerel will be caught or perhaps Spanish mackerel. On another day, the flounder fishing will be good. One day last week, there were a good number of whiting caught one day but not the next day. If you’re coming to fish the Gulf State Park Pier, be prepared to fish for whatever’s biting that day - king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, flounder or redfish, but the bluefish is the one constant fish that we’ve been catching. The flounder fishing has picked up this week. The bull reds are still offshore from the pier. We expect them to move into the pier any day now. So, come prepared to change baits and tactics, depending on what’s biting the day you fish the pier.

For more information on pier fishing, you can call David Thornton at 251-458-2775.

To learn more about saltwater fishing on the Alabama Gulf Coast and have an opportunity to meet the captains, get the new Kindle e-books 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, 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.
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