I'm sorry I didn't get a report for the week of thanksgiving, but the weather didn't allow much so there just wasn't a lot to be said. The big Redfish did bite pretty well on Turkey Day as well as the day before. Most were caught within a mile of Perdido Pass while trolling with deep diving plugs.
This past week saw the offshore weather window everyone has been waiting on. We had four days of good weather and it really helped the cabin fever around here.
Most boats heading out to bottom fish scored great catches of large Vermillion Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Amberjack, Scamp and many others including some surprise Cobia. Fishing natural bottom areas to the south-east seemed favorable and spots like Yellow Gravel and the Trysler Grounds were top producers.
Out further, the Tuna bite was outstanding. Most of the Yellowfin catches came from rigs such as the Marlin, Ram Powell, Nakika and a few others. Chunking was the dominant method although some fish were taken live baiting and trolling. Besides Yellowfin, Blackfin were in huge numbers and there were some very nice Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) caught as well. Billfish are still around too although the reports on catches are certainly less this time of year.
Inshore, the Sheepshead have certainly shown up in big numbers. The jetties at Perdido Pass, the bridge pilings and most deeper inshore structure will hold good numbers of Sheepshead right now. Top baits will be live shrimp, ghost shrimp and fiddler crabs.
The Speckled Trout had moved up in the rivers and upper parts of the bays, but the warmer weather over the weekend may have them a bit scattered until colder weather moves in and send them back into deeper holes. Mirrolure 18MRs and 17MRs as well as VUDU Shrimp and Gulp shrimp have been very productive. If artificial lures aren't your thing, a live shrimp suspended under a pooping cork will usually work great for river fish. Expect Redfish to get in on the inshore action too as well as Black Drum and Sheepshead.
The surf bite has slowed down a bit with the colder water, but there is still great numbers of whiting along the beaches. Fresh dead shrimp, Ghost Shrimp and sand fleas will all take whiting. The Pompano are still around but not in the numbers they were prior to Thanksgiving. Look for warmer weather patterns to turn the Pomps on throughout the winter.
I fished Sun-Tuesday offshore aboard back-to-back overnight trips to the rigs. On Sunday, I headed out with Dr Kearley along his son Daniel and girlfriend Lauren. We hit the "Beer Can" first but it was dead so we headed to Ram Powell where we had great action with Yellowfin Tuna to 85lbs and loads of Blackfin Tuna. One highlight of the trip was a triple header we had trolling the afternoon. We had made a close pass to the rig and hooked up with a Blue Marlin, a Wahoo and a nice Yellowfin Tuna...all at once! The Blue ended up chafing the lighter leader we were using for the tunas and won its freedom and the Wahoo managed to throw the hooks but the Tuna was not so lucky.
After cleaning up on Monday morning, I hopped on another , owned by Don Peace, to head out for more Tuna action. The bite was more of the same and even with the rougher seas, we scored six Yellowfin to 70lbs and loads of Blackfin.
Most of the fish we caught both nights were by chunking although we did hit a few trolling.
I'm planning on staying inshore this coming week. I hope to have something good to write up next week.
Sam's Bait and Tackle
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561