Nothing’s more fun for a group of guys than planning a charter fishing trip at Alabama’s Gulf Coast at any time of the year. Here are some tips to make your guys’ trip a fishing trip to remember.

Orange Beach Charters1) Decide beforehand how many guys will be on the trip. On Alabama’s Gulf Coast, you’ll find charter boats that can carry two to six fishermen, multi-passenger boats that can take 20-30 people or even larger boats that can take more than 30. If you have 40 or 50 fishermen, you may want to consider chartering two boats.

2) Determine how long you want to fish. Your charter can be as brief as 4 hours or as long as 2 days. The length of the trip determines how far out in the Gulf you go before you start fishing. For a high-adventure trip with a group of seasoned anglers, you may want to consider a 12-hour, an 18-hour or a 2-day trip to enable your party to get offshore and fish for tuna, marlin, yellowedge grouper, mahi-mahi, wahoo and other bluewater species. On the 10- and 12-hour trips, you’ll still have time to get offshore and catch and release big snapper, grouper, wahoo, mahi-mahi and a wide assortment of bottom feeders. On an 8-hour trip, your group will have a chance to troll for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel and fish for various kinds of snapper and grouper. A 4-hour trip primarily is a trolling trip for Spanish and king mackerel. The length of the trip also determines the cost.

3) Collect money befoOrange Beach Fishingre the trip. Most captains require a deposit to hold the boat for you and your group. Make sure the captain understands what you want to fish for and how long you want to fish. Have him explain the tips for the deckhand and the captain, and what he charges for fish cleaning. I suggest getting a total-package price that includes tips and fish cleaning, so every man on the trip knows what he’s expected to pay. You also have the choice of bringing your own food and drinks or having the captain supply them for you. So, let the captain know if you’ll bring your own food, and ask about the cost if he supplies the food and drinks for your trip. The more you know about your charter fishing trip to the Gulf before you go, the more fun everyone will have when the day comes.

To welcome back our “What’s Biting” readers, John E. Phillips is providing his ebook for Kindle, “Alabama’s Inshore Saltwater Fishing: A Year-Round Guide for Catching More Than 15 Species” free this week on March 12-13. Go here to download a free reading app that allows you to read on your SmartPhone, tablet or desktop computer.

For more information about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, visit www.orangebeach.com/fishing, our easy to access fishing information pages complete 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 www.orangebeach.com/dining-nightlife/restaurants.