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!
Sam's Bait and Tackle
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561