Editor’s Note: From catching marlin at the Nipple, the Spur and the Elbow to catching king mackerel and Spanish mackerel within sight of the pearly-white beaches and the breaking waves of Orange Beach, Alabama, you can do it all on a six-passenger boat. This month, Charles “Chip” Day, captain of the “Chipper’s Clipper” charter boat, based at Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, will tell us the advantages of booking a trip on a six-passenger boat.

Question: What is a six-pack boat?
Day: It’s a six-passenger vessel that can carry from one to six family members, business associates, long-time fishing partners or people who’ve just met at the dock at Zeke’s while fishing.

Question: What type of trips do you take on a six-pack boat?
Day: We take a variety of trips from a 4-hour trolling trip to a 12-hour offshore big-game fishing trip.

Question: Chip, what is included in a 4-hour trolling trip?
Day: We’ll troll mainly for king mackerel and Spanish mackerel, but we’ll also catch bonita and dolphin.

Question: Where do you troll?
Day: We troll from right off the beach for Spanish mackerel to further out for king mackerel. Alabama’s Marine Resources Division has built some trolling alleys that consist of small reefs in a line that go out about 8 or 9 miles. Baitfish gather and hold on these small reefs, and the king mackerel concentrate above them, providing a great spot to troll for king mackerel. We also have bridge rubble that’s been deployed to make an artificial reef we can troll over, and it’s a really good place to find king mackerel. This month, our Spanish mackerel will run from 1- to 4-pounds each and our king mackerel from 7- to 15-pounds each. Occasionally, we’ll catch a 30- to a 40-pound monster king. Most days in June, we’ll catch our limit of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. We usually start catching the Spanish mackerel early and then move out to deeper water to catch king mackerel.

Question: Do you also run 6- and 8-hour trips?
Day: Yes, we do. On the 6-hour trips, we catch king mackerel first and then bottom fish for snapper and grouper. We usually can catch a limit of two snapper per person on the 6-hour trips, as well as catch triggerfish and vermilion snapper. Snapper season began June 1 and lasts until August 15th, and when we fish for snapper, we not only catch red snapper, but we also catch vermilion snapper, white snapper and an occasional grouper.

Question: Chip, what type of trips are the 10- to 12-hour trips?
Day: If our party wants to catch amberjacks and grouper, as well as snapper, they generally go on at least a 10- or a 12-hour trip. On these trips, we go out to deep water and remain there all day, catching group, scamp, amberjacks and big red snapper. Most of the time we catch pretty-good-sized red snapper while we’re grouper fishing because we use big baits to fish for grouper.

Question: What type of baits do you use?
Day: We primarily fish with live baits, like white grunts (locally known as ruby lip grunts), vermilion snapper or blue runners. When we finish fishing for grouper, everyone on the boat also will have their limit of red snapper. If they don’t, we stop on some artificial reefs on the way into port and finish-out our limit. On a good day, we’ll catch five or six grouper, a good number of scamps, our limit of red snapper and some triggerfish and white snapper. We often can catch amberjacks on the same hard bottom where we catch the grouper and the snapper. When you’re fishing live bait on these deep-water bottom spots, you’ll catch grouper, scamp, amberjacks and occasionally a big triggerfish. We also keep a drift line out while we’re bottom fishing and often take big king mackerel, dolphin and wahoo.

Question: Are there any other types of trips you run?
Day: During the month of June, all our big-game fish are in, including white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, dolphin and wahoo. While we’re bottom fishing in that 200-feet-deep water, we’re not too far from the 100-Fathom Curve. So, you can have a bottom trip and a trolling trip combined, or a trip strictly for marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dolphin and tuna.

Question: Chip, how good are the marlin and the sailfish angling at that 100- Fathom Curve?
Day: On just about every trip there, we’ll have a chance to catch white or blue marlin and a sailfish. We’ll often catch wahoo and dolphin and an occasional tuna, while trolling for marlin. On a 12-hour trip, a party can troll for big-game fish and fish for snapper and grouper in the same day. Our 12-hour trips leave the dock at 6:00 am and return to the dock at 6:00 pm, so there’s time to do it all. While we’re running to that deep water to troll for marlin, we’ll put out our high-speed wahoo rigs and often pick up a wahoo going out or coming back into the dock. June is one of the most-productive months to catch all the species we have down here at the Gulf of Mexico. You can bring your friends and food and have a great day of fishing. Some of the six-pack boats even have grills on them, so you can grill a Boston butt, pork ribs or whatever you want. If you get lucky and catch a big tuna, you can have fresh-grilled tuna on the way back to the dock. The captains of six-pack boats want to please their customers and fish for the species their customers want to catch. Right now, fishing is great at Orange Beach. So, everyone come on down.

To fish with Captain Charles “Chip” Day on the “Chipper’s Clipper,” call him at 251-981-1943 or 251-952-8247.

Cubala
This recipe is popular all along the Gulf Coast – especially for get-togethers with numbers of folks.

Ingredients:
10 pounds fish (preferably scamp, grouper or snapper)
6 cups canned tomatoes
1-1/2 cups tomato paste
3 to 4 large onions, chopped
1/2-cup cooking oil
1/2-cup flour
1 lemon
5 pounds potatoes
4 tablespoons flour
Garlic to taste
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Bone fish, and cut into serving pieces. Peel, and quarter the potatoes, and boil in water, saving water. Heat oil in skillet, and sauté chopped onions and garlic until tender. Add 1/2-cup flour, and brown. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste, stirring-in until smooth. Arrange fish and potatoes in a deep roaster with lid, and cover with tomato gravy. Thicken potato water with 4 tablespoons flour, and add cut lemon and rind. Add potato water/flour/lemon/rind mixture as needed to roaster to have sufficient gravy. Cook at 350 degrees 20 to 30 minutes, cooking only until fish tests done.

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