Thursday, November 21, 2013

Orange Beach Fishing Report for 11/15-11/21/13

The wind was relentless again for the past week and greatly limited the fishing. One thing is for sure though, there's always somewhere to fish and something to fish for.

The Redfish are still the main target for nearshore anglers fishing from the surf or just offshore. Huge schools of Menhaden (pogies) are migrating down the beaches and in turn attracting large schools of bull redfish. Trolling deep diving plugs is a good way to locate the reds when surface action isn't visible, but most mornings have seen great surface action which enables a "run and gun" approach. Running to feeding schools of reds and then casting various jigs, spoons and plugs is a great way to spend a fall morning. If the fish hold deep and trolling doesn't produce strikes, try locating large bait schools with your depthfinder just off of the beach in 20-30ft of water. The schools will mark as big "clouds" usually mid depth or on the bottom (check photo below). Drift around these bait schools working curl-tail and bucktail jigs near the bottom. Cut Menhaden or Mullet will work as well but be prepared for a lot of by-catch in the form of Gaff-topsail Catfish and small sharks.

In the surf, whiting and Pompano are in good numbers but ideal days have been spotty. Fishing the nearshore trough with sand fleas and ghost shrimp has been best. Sheepshead are becoming a more coming by-catch as well and their numbers have been improving around the jetties and other inshore structures. Live shrimp, Ghost Shrimp and Fiddler crabs will all work for Sheepshead.

I still don't have any offshore reports as of this time due to weather. Its been consistently rough offshore for nearly three weeks with very few windows to make a run offshore.

I was only able to fish 1 day this week. On Tuesday, a friend and I fished just offshore for Redfish in the morning and were greeted by a stout wind out of the ENE. It made for a choppy morning but the winds subsided decently by early afternoon. We found plenty of bait in loose schools in 25-30ft of water but it was "happy" bait without any larger predators pursuing it other than a group of pelicans that occasionally dove in. We drifted while working jigs near the bottom and this was the only way we scored fish. I fished 6" Gulp grubs on a 1oz jighead and just allowed the jig to bump bottom on the retrieve.

The wind is still going to blow pretty good for the next week it looks like, but once again, there's always somewhere for something

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