Editor’s Note: Captain Dennis Treigle of Find Me Fishing Charters, based at Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, fishes inshore around the jetties, the Perdido Pass bridge, and all the back bays in the Orange Beach area, as well as the Intercoastal canal. Recently, he’s been catching big flounder, redfish and speckled trout.

Flounder:

Question: Dennis, where will you find those big saddle-blanket-size flounder in June?
Treigle: We catch them drifting through the pass and around the jetties and some of the docks. Sometimes we’ll have one or two consecutive days when we find and catch really-big flounder, while at other times, we may not catch any flounder over 16- or 17-inches long. I don’t know why big flounder tend to congregate in those small areas, but it happens down here frequently. Some days the flounder will be lying right by the bridge, other days they’ll be in the holes by the jetties or in the shallow water around the jetties, and other days they may be concentrated in the shallow water by the piers.

Question: What bait do you use to catch flounder?
Treigle: Flounder like live alewives, locally called LYs, and live menhaden, but my two favorite baits to use are bull minnows and croakers.

Question: How do you fish them?
Treigle: We fish them on a Carolina rig with either a 1- or a 3/4-ounce lead up the line, a barrel swivel and 18 inches of 16-pound-test leader, attached to a No. 6 or a No. 4 hook. If I’m using croakers or bull minnows, I try to take the hook from under the bottom lip and bring the point of the hook out the nostril of the bait. This way, when we’re drift fishing, the bait appears to be swimming along the bottom.

Question: What size is your main line?
Treigle: I prefer 16-pound-test main line. Some fishermen use 12-pound test, while some use 10-pound test. But I like heavier line because we hook a lot of redfish when we’re bumping the bottom for flounder, and I need a line strong enough to bring these redfish to the boat too.

Question: How large are the big flounder you catch?
Treigle: These flounder will weigh from 4- to 6-1/2-pounds each. They’ll lay off the sides of your plate if you remove the heads and cook the fish whole. Our average flounder weigh 1 to 3 pounds. June is a great month to catch big flounder.

Redfish:

Question: Where will you locate redfish in June?
Treigle: The redfish will be concentrated in the deep holes in the pass, just like the flounder, and they also will stack-up on the docks in the bay. When the redfish are holding on the docks, you can find them by bouncing the docks, which means going from one dock to another. In a day of bouncing docks, I may fish 10 to 15 docks. We also do this type of fishing in the early fall. For some reason, the redfish will congregate around one or two docks. But you won’t know which dock is holding the redfish on the day you fish, until you check a number of docks. When we get a bite on one dock, we continue to fish that dock because usually where there’s one redfish, there will be more redfish. If we can’t catch redfish on the docks, we’ll fish around the bridge, the jetties and Perdido Pass at Orange Beach.

Speckled Trout:

Question: During June, where will you find the speckled trout this month?
Treigle: The speckled trout mainly will be holding in the backwaters of the bays. Wolf Bay and the section toward the Perdido River generally will be productive for catching specks in June. Too, many specks will be found in the Intercoastal canal this month. If Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have bad weather or high winds, we always can go to the Intercoastal canal, which is protected water, and locate speckled trout and redfish there regardless of the weather conditions. In April when I had a trip scheduled, this region had 20- to 30-mile-per-hour winds, which made the Perdido Pass, the jetties, the bridge and a number of my inshore spots too rough to fish. But we were able to fish the canal and find and catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder. So, we very rarely cancel a trip because of weather, unless the rains coming down so hard that the customers don’t want to fish. If the weather’s good, you can catch some nice-sized speckled trout around the docks right at first light or just before dark. If we’re fishing in the middle of the day, we generally will run to the Florida high-hump bridge, which has deeper water, where we often can find trout concentrated at that time of day. To fish this bridge, you need a Florida fishing license, and most of the captains here at Orange Beach who fish inshore, carry both Florida and Alabama fishing licenses.

Spanish and Kings:

Question: Can you tell us some locations where we’ll find Spanish mackerel and king mackerel this month?
Treigle: June is a great month for mackerel. When the baitfish show up, so do the mackerel, the bluefish and the ladyfish. Also, rain minnows, often called blood minnows, and LYs show-up out in the Gulf of Mexico in June. Those baitfish come from the east, and the Spanish mackerel and king mackerel follow these baits. Last year, the king mackerel fishing was slow, but the previous year, the mackerel fishing was phenomenal. If we get good, clean water pushed in from the south, we can catch the mackerel in close - right at the mouth of Perdido Pass at Orange Beach. Too, some shallow wrecks 1/2-mile off the beach out to the 3-mile barge concentrates mackerel in June. Some of these artificial reefs are only in about 30 feet of water, and we generally troll around them or anchor-up on them and fish live bait, such as LYs and cigar minnows. We free-line the bait out to the mackerel. On a good day in June, we’ll catch Spanish mackerel weighing from 4- to 5-pounds each, and the king mackerel can weigh from 35- to 40-pounds each. But most of the king mackerel we’ll catch will weigh from 5- to 20-pounds each.

To contact Dennis Treigle, call 850-221-7732, or email him at fmfcharters@cox.net, or visit www.orangebeachinshore.com.


Flounder Tuscano

This recipe is a favorite of many Gulf Coast anglers.

Ingredients:
4, 7-ounce flounder fillets
Flour (seasoned with salt & pepper)
Eggwash (4 eggs mixed with 3 cups of milk)
3 cups of pine nuts (chopped in food processor)
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preparation:
Heat 10-inch sauté skillet over high heat. Lightly dust flounder fillet in flour, dip in eggwash, and then coat well in chopped pine nuts. Add olive oil to hot skillet. Place encrusted flounder in sauté skillet, skin side up. Sauté over medium heat until golden brown. Flip, and continue cooking until golden brown.

Sauce Tuscano:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic
1 tablespoon quartered black Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon of quartered green olives
3 tablespoons of quartered Crimini mushrooms
2 cups of crushed tomatoes (fresh, skinless)
2 tablespoons of basil (fresh, chopped)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Add salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:
In 10-inch skillet, heat oil. Then, sauté garlic, olives and mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, and turn to a boil. Add basil, salt and black pepper. Remove from heat, and add butter. Mix well. Spoon sauce over fish right before serving.

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