Orange Beach FishingLocal bait and tackle stores are great resources for the latest fishing information and tips on equipment specific to the Alabama Gulf Coast. When you arrive at the beach, often the best place to get information on what’s biting, and on which baits anglers are using to catch fish will be at local stores. The bait and tackle shops have very knowledgeable salespeople who get reports from fishermen every day on what lures and baits they're using, where they're catching fish, how big the fish were, and how many were caught.

My favorite tackle box is often a brown paper bag filled with lures, lines, hooks, sinkers, and bobbers. In the other hand, I hold a live bait bucket or a plastic bag with frozen bait. Most of the time, if you have a rod and reel, these two items, and the information you’ve learned from the sales clerks at the bait and tackle store, you can go out that day and start catching fish from the surf, the Gulf State Park Pier or from an inshore or offshore boat.

If you’re going offshore in a private boat, talk to the captains at the marinas when they come in each day from fishing. I like to go to the marina office early in the morning and find out which inshore and offshore boats are out, and when they’ll be back. I then return to the marina when the boats arrive to see what the parties have caught and talk to the anglers who’ve just been out fishing. Fishermen getting off the boats – whether inshore or offshore – will tell you how Orange Beach Chartersmany fish they’ve caught, what they’ve caught their fish on, and what you can expect to catch if you charter a trip with the same captain the next day.

To locate a bait and tackle store listed on Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism's website, go to www.alabamasnaturalcoast.net/things-to-do/shopping/bait-tackle.aspx.

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). For a list of cook-your-catch restaurants, go to www.orangebeach.com/dining-nightlife/restaurants.