Thursday, October 31, 2013

Orange Beach Fishing Report for 10/25-10/31

The weather cooperated this past week to allow a fair amount of fishing inshore and offshore. The Black Snapper bite was still very good inshore around the jetties and bridge at Perdido Pass. They were in good numbers around deeper piers and other structure inshore as well. Live shrimp, small croakers and finger mullet will all work well for the inshore snapper. The Flounder bite has turned on as well around the pass and on the beach. Plenty are being caught with both live and artificial baits as well as gigging of course. Gigging on the beach has been very effective on clear nights with a north wind blowing the surf flat after passing fronts.

In the surf, sheepshead are starting to show up and Pompano and Whiting have been regular catches. Fresh sand fleas, ghost shrimp and small pieces of fresh dead shrimp have been best when placed deep in the first trough.

Just outside the bar, Spanish mackerel and bonito have made some great light tackle action. Just run along the beaches and look for the schools of feeding fish and the birds that usually hold over them. Small spoons, got-cha plugs and small, slab style spoons will get the most action on them as well as fly gear. With fly selection, pick very small baitfish patterns. Expect some great mornings along the beach after Friday nights cold front rolls in. Kings are still there too, but not in the huge numbers they would typically be in this time of year. Trolling some larger lures like Mann's stretch plugs will help your numbers on kings.

Not far beyond the beaches and within 10 miles, the most popular subject has been large schools of Dolphin (Mahi Mahi). Dolphin do venture in close at random parts of the year usually from May-October, but the numbers this season have been relatively high. Plenty are being caught up to 20lbs (average 2-5lbs) by trolling cigar minnows, small ballyhoo and small skirted lures while working tidelines and over offshore structure. Look for weedlines and large weed patches as well and then cast small live baits or pieces of cut bait and jigs to schooled up Mahi.

Out around the rigs, the tuna bite has been very solid. Many overnighters here recently have payed off with big scores of Yellowfin Tuna including some big fish pushing near 200lbs. Along with the Tuna, the billfish and Wahoo bite remains solid from the rigs and along natural bottom contours.

I fished a couple days nearshore this past week. Most notable was Mondays trip out on my pathfinder to do some flyfishing and jigging within 10 miles on some shallower structures. The bite wasn't red-hot on the structure like it was last week but I still managed some nice snapper on the flyrod and caught AJs and a small Cobia jigging. I moved out further and found the mahi schooled up pretty good taking quite a few from 4-14lbs and losing an est. 20lb fish next to the boat. It was a pretty successful trip considering I was by myself.

The weather this coming week doesn't look promising but I'm hoping I can at least get out for some inshore fun at some point before my next report.

Chris Vecsey
Sam's Bait and Tackle
251-981-4245
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Orange Beach Fishing Report for 10/18-10/24/13

We definitely had a shift in the weather this past week, but the fishing remained very good. Inshore, the flounder really started to move from inshore waters into the lower bays and out into the passes and along the beaches. Good numbers are being taken by working boat docks and fishing along the rocks and seawall in Perdido Pass. Live bullminnows, small croakers, finger mullet, shrimp and a variety of soft plastic baits are all good options for flounder. Expect decent numbers of Black (Mangrove) Snapper in the same areas you are fishing flounder. They will generally hit the same baits too.

Bull Reds aren't super thick just yet off of the beaches, but they are starting to show up around the pass and are being caught surf fishing using mostly cut mullet. Expect the reds to show up in good numbers over the next couple weeks and keep your eyes out for large schools feeding on bait schools just offshore.

Spanish and King mackerel are still running the beaches although the King bite has been spotty. Trolling is still the best bet for taking Kings, while casting spoons, got-cha plugs and straw rigs will take Spanish from the shore and from the boat.

Offshore, all species of bottom fish excluding Red Snapper and Triggerfish are in season and are being caught regularly. This includes Amberjack, Black and Vermillion Snappers, all species of Grouper (Gag season closes Dec 3rd), Cobia and many others. Fishing natural bottom spots will score best with big grouper, while large artificial structures have accounted for the most Amberjack and Cobia.

The Tuna bite has been exceptional at the rigs to the SW. Most methods have produced as well and with water temps cooling, expect the bite to continue strong. Along with the Tuna, there have been great numbers of billfish and Wahoo coming from the rigs as well.

To the SE around the Nipple, Elbow, Spur and surrounding areas, the Wahoo bite has improved and there are still good numbers of Blue and White Marlin being released too.

I didn't get out for any blue water action this past week as planned, but spent some time fishing within 10 miles of the pass. On Monday, I headed out with some friends on my pathfinder to try to get back on the Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) which have been in great numbers close in for the past two weeks. There have been a few Sailfish caught nearshore as well so we planned for that too. In the end, we never raised any Sailfish, but we did get into the Dolphin on a couple of occasions and boated 35 of them. We caught them trolling at first and then brought the school in and caught them on light tackle and fly gear.

On Tuesday I was supposed to go out on a buddy's boat to do some trolling for billfish and Wahoo. We had an issue with the boatlift and unfortunately could not get the boat off of the lift! Plan B was to take my boat out again and do some Amberjack fishing and try to locate the Dolphin again. We weren't able to locate the Dolphin on this trip, but we got into great numbers of Amberjack on some spots within 12 miles. We caught the Ajs on live bait, jigs and flies until we had a thorough beating. The sharks took a pretty heavy toll on our fish and on our tackle too and we certainly had to do a lot of re-rigging while we were out.

Hopefully, the forecast will hold true for the next five days and give us some more windows to fish. I plan on typing up something good next week!

Chris Vecsey
Sam's Bait and Tackle
251-981-4245
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Orange Beach Fishing Report for the last two weeks

Well, we endured some unfavorable weather at the start of the month but the past week more than made up for it and allowed most folks to have a perfect second week of the fall snapper season. I fished with some customers of ours on Frank Chase's 33' Blackfin Weezer out of Pt Clear on Sunday. We got a hefty load of Red Snapper from 10-20lbs. We also hooked some much larger fish that ended up breaking us off in the structure. I did some inshore fishing Monday just running around and fishing various spots and managed some decent Black Snapper, an undersized Gag Grouper and some bluefish.

Yesterday, I made a short trip along with my friend Sam to do some light tackle/fly fishing just offshore. We were headed to a close-in private spot and found a large weed patch just 5 miles from the pass with small Mahi under it. We landed four of them before flipper came along and scared them away. We headed further out to another spot and caught some Red Snapper, Black Snapper and a nice 9lb Tripletail.

Storms started building up and we had to head in to make sure we both got to work on time. Not too bad for less than four hours on the water!

As far as the what others did over the past week......

The bluewater bite was epic!!! Great numbers of Yellowfin Tuna were caught around the rigs to the SW as well as Blue and White Marlin, Wahoo and some very nice Dolphin (Mahi Mahi). Most of the fish were caught trolling skirted and unskirted ballyhoo around the offshore platforms as well as in between rigs. I also heard very good reports of White Marlin and Wahoo around the Nipple and Elbow areas.

Further in, other anglers enjoyed the last week of Red Snapper season with excellent mixed bags of Snapper, Grouper, AJs and Triggerfish being taken. Several Charter boats also caught Wahoo while trolling to and from fishing spots between 10-20 miles offshore.

Red Snapper and Triggerfish are now out of season, but all species of Groupers, Amberjack, other Snapper species and pretty much every other species are still open for the taking. If you have any questions regarding how to get the bite on other types of fishing, feel free to call and talk to either myself or Mark any day of the week.

Chris Vecsey
Sam's Bait and Tackle
251-981-4245
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561