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