Outdoors: Important tips for gulf coast fishing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Whew, another scorcher again today here at Orange Beach.

My goodness, the humidity is as high as the temperature.

You would not think a fish of any kind would bite in this sweltering heat.

If you think that than you are missing out on some of the hottest (or best I should say) action in the Gulf both inshore and offshore.

Start at daylight or just before and go to any public beach for a morning of high flying, reel burning action.

Surf fishing at daylight using spoons and jigs can be quite productive and a lot of fun for you and the kids.

Ladyfish, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Blue Runners and small sharks can all be taken right now just inside the sandbar.

You need a medium action spinning rod and reel combo with 10-pound monofilament to tangle with these line strippers.

Any kind of heavy silver spoon with a little red flash to it will do the trick.

Cast out as far as possible and reel as fast as you can.

Watch for fish surface feeding and cast into them for an instant hook up.

Another option is night fishing for Speckled Trout, Flounder, and Redfish under the lights.

This is just like bass fishing on Lay Lake at night.

Use light to medium action gear with light line.

Fish the lighted docks around the marinas starting just after it gets dark.

The Trout are easy to catch using live shrimp or small jigs.

Try the lights around Ono Island, Fort Morgan, Weeks Bay, Perdido Bay, and Wolf Bay.

Another night favorite this time of the year is Shark fishing.

Yes, the big bad shark that patrols the beach (which they do at daylight and at night). They are very easy to catch using heavy tackle with dead mullet, bluefish, ladyfish, or bonito.

Most are small and can be found in the surf at daylight or in the pass (Alabama Point) at night.

Use a bottom rig or drift the bait without a weight.

Alabama Point has always been a favorite spot for the angler that just wants to catch something.

Live or dead shrimp, squid, or cigar minnows fished on the bottom will produce a variety of fish.

Small pieces of dead shrimp on a small hook will keep a child occupied catching Pinfish, Spadefish, Flounder, Beeliners, Catfish, and some crazy looking fish you may not have ever seen before.

Fish the small piece of dead shrimp on the bottom just off of the jetties or along the seawall at the parking lot.

Handle the Catfish with care due to the toxic spines that can make you ill if stuck.

Charter boats are having a bountiful year with catches of Red Snapper, Triggerfish, Grouper, and Amberjack.

Check with the local charters for times and pricing.

Daytime trolling for Mackerel just off the beach is phenomenal right now, as is drifting bait for Kings.

Trolling small spoons on downriggers is best for the Spanish.

Drifting live or dead cigar minnows or live menhaden is excellent just off the second sandbar.

You have a variety of fish to go after when you are here that the family will enjoy.

So, take a day off of the beach away for melanoma problems and take advantage of the fishing this time of the year.

There is an inexpensive saltwater license for anglers over 16 years of age that is good for one year.

Check with the local bait shops or go to www.outdooralabama.com to purchase as many as needed