David Thornton, an almost daily pier fisherman, reports, “We’ve been catching 3-pound speckled trout off the pier. Some will weigh 4 to 6 pounds, but getting them to bite hasn’t Orange Beach Fishingbeen easy. Fishing with a light line, small hooks and live shrimp works best. The pier has had clear water, so we can see the trout. If you can get a live shrimp or a live LY (alewife) close to the trout, you’ll have a good chance of catching them. I use 4- to 8-pound test line, but many people like 12-pound. Speckled trout have good eyesight and can spot the heavy line in the water. I use a No. 10 treble hook and hook the shrimp in the horn. If the wind’s blowing, I’ll use a clear plastic float. If not, I’ll free-shrimp, which is hooking a shrimp or an LY and cast it out with no split shot or bobber.

“A fisherman coming to the pier with live bull minnows to target flounder have caught good numbers – usually 20 with 10 of legal size. Plenty of bluefish, ground mullet and whitings have been biting well. We’re also catching good numbers of Spanish mackerel on live bait, speck rigs (two jig heads with grub bodies or two, 1/8-ounce jig heads with grub bodies tied together and cast out together), and Sabiki rigs and an occasional king mackerel. We’ve seen tarpon almost every day off the pier but haven’t had a hook up in the last week. Big schools of redfish are moving in and out during daylight hours and at night. There’s no rhyme or reason about their showing up. They appear, rods bend, big redfish come over the rail, and then the schools are gone. Fishing at the pier has been excellent the last couple of weeks, and I believe fishing will get even better.

For more information on the pier, go to www.gulfshorespierfishing.com, call David Thornton at 251-458-2775, or call the pier that’s open 24/hours/day at 251-967-3474.

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.