I guess you could say it was more of the same this past week BUT we did actually have some nice weather windows and that created the opportunity for some offshore action as well as a pickup with the inshore bite.
For one, the water crept up to 58 degrees inshore and near 60 in some areas. The Sheepshead were finally moving in decent numbers along with some flounder and trout. Most Sheepshead were caught in and around Perdido Pass. Fiddler Crabs were the bait of choice.
I talked to a couple visiting anglers who caught some Flounder on the Gulf State Park Pier and along the seawall at Perdido Pass. They caught their flatfish on bull minnows and on curltail grubs.
The Whiting bite remained OK over the past week but nothing like it was prior to the last few fronts. Expect it to pick back up over the next couple weeks with less severe fronts on the forecast.
Offshore, the deep drop bite was pretty solid with Snowy and Yellowedge Grouper, Barrelfish and Golden Tilefish. The best grouper bite seemed to be in 550-600ft and Tiles juts a bit deeper. Remember that all shallow water groupers (Scamp, Black, Red, Gag) are prohibited for harvest outside of the 20 fathom line until 4/1/14.
The Tuna bite was decent to the SW closer to the river mouth and also at some of the rigs in the 120+ mile range. Chunking was the best method although a good number of fish were taken jigging and by throwing topwater poppers. The Yellowfin may be fickle right now, but the Blackfin are as thick as it gets. Jigs will take plenty around the rigs at night.
I fished a couple days inshore this past week. Most of my time was spent fishing docks for Flounder and Sheepshead. Both were found but I had the most fun sight casting to Sheepshead around pilings in and around the various boat docks in Bayou St John and Terry's Cove. Live fiddler crabs were by far the best baits. I fished them on short, 15lb leaders and short shank, #2 hooks with just a small split shot or no-weight at all. Some of the Sheepshead were in the 4-5lb range but most were 1-3lbs.
I should have an offshore trip or two this coming week. Hopefully the weather will work out and allow it!
Sam's Bait and Tackle
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561