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What's Biting?

Looking for saltwater fishing reports to help you catch Gulf of Mexico fish? "What's Biting" can be your Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama fishing report to keep you up-to-date on offshore fishing in the Alabama Gulf Coast area.


A Bonus of Swords and a Variety of Fish off Alabama’s Gulf Coast with Captain Johnny Greene

By: John Phillips

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Editor’s Note: CaOrange Beach Fishingptain Johnny Greene of the “Intimidator,” based at Orange Beach Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama, often takes his customers on 2-day, overnight trips, where he shows them the many varieties of hard-fighting, great-eating offshore fish available out of Orange Beach.

“There’ll only be two of us fishing, and our goal for this trip is to catch as many different species of saltwater fish as we can catch on a 2-day trip,” a customer, who wanted to fish the third weekend of October, during the special fall red snapper season, which continues until 12:01 am on November 22, told me. Many people don’t realize that on a multi-passenger boat, you’re not required to have at least 10 people to book a trip. When you charter the boat, you can put up to the maximum number of folks that boat can carry on it that the captain will agree to, or you can charter a boat and fish by yourself with one or two friends. On this charter, these two gentlemen had a specific goal in mind - to catch lots of everything. I really believe that’s the best way to book a 2-day charter and have the most fun while fishing – catch what’s biting and catch as many different species as you can.

At our first stop, we caught giant triggerfish. You can catch and keep 10 triggerfish per person per day. The triggerfish has become a prized fish out of Orange Beach, because many times the delicious fillets from the triggerfish sell for as much as red snapper fillets do. After we caught our triggerfish, we moved offshore and caught scamp (small grouper). The scamp and triggerfish weighed about 10-15 pounds each. When we were 30-miles offshore, we put-out lines to speed-troll for wahoo, but failed to get any bites, although plenty of wahoo are being caught off Alabama’s Gulf Coast at this time of year.

As we kept going further out, when we reached 280-foot bottom, we started catching amberjacks using Accurate reels and the Super Seeker rods with PowerOrange Beach Fishing Pro Honeywell Spectra line. These Accurate 400 reels with 65-pound-test line made short work of the 40- to 60-pound amberjacks. My fishermen caught four of those big jacks, which was their 2-day limit. When we found a shrimp boat pulling a net at about 200 fathoms (1,200 feet), we trolled for tuna and caught both blackfin and skipjack tuna. Then Tim Howard, one of my two fishermen, had about a 30-minute fight with the big 80-pound yellowfin tuna before we landed it.

Next we headed offshore to spend the night fishing for swordfish, which have become a popular species for anglers to catch here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Many of the boats going out of Orange Beach on 2-day trips will rig-up lights and help their anglers fish for swordfish after dark. The swordfish is one of the prized game fish in the gulf, because it’s such a great fighting fish and delicious to eat. You’ll find swordfish fillets on the menus of some of the finest restaurants in the world. Many anglers don’t know that you can catch those fish out of Orange Beach.

Although sometimes we’ll catch only one swordfish, we may have several swordfish bites per night. Just getting a swordfish to bite your bait is a big deal. Hooking a swordfish offers the fight of a lifetime. Landing a swordfish is a feat that very-few anglers ever have accomplished. If we’re lucky, we’ll usually be able to boat at least one swordfish per trip, and on this particular trip, we had three bites and landed one pup sword, a smaller-sized swordfish. This pup was about 6-feet lonOrange Beach Fishingg and weighed about 50 pounds. Most often, we release these smaller swordfish as we did this night in hopes of catching a bigger one. We always consider our swordfish a bonus fish when we can catch them. Sword fishing adds another dimension to a 2-day trip that often results in the catch of a lifetime for the fishermen who come to Orange Beach and fish for them.

To fish with Captain Johnny Greene on the “Intimidator,” based at Orange Beach Marina, visit, call 251-747-2872, or email You can learn more about other charter boats, attractions, accommodations and restaurants available in Gulf Shores by calling Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism at 800-745-SAND (7263), or by visiting To have your delicious catch prepared at area restaurants, go to, and check the box at the top of the page that says, “Will cook your catch.”


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