Wet and Windy would be the best way to describe this past week here in Orange Beach, but the fishing was still good and there looks to be some great weather ahead in the forecast.
Water temperatures are still well below average and we have yet to hold 70 degrees and above just off of the beach which has delayed the Cobia bite. Still, there were some very nice fish caught this past week between Gulf Shores and Navarre with a few Cobia near the 80lb mark. The fish this year have hit a wide variety of lures and baits without showing a true preference but on certain days the fish have turned down tried-and-true baits like live eels, croakers and such so it pays to have a wide variety of baits on board. All of the rain we had in the past few days has stained the coastal waters just off of our beaches so heading east in the coming week should yield better results on migrating Cobia.
Inshore, Redfish and Sheepshead still make up the bulk of the catch around Perdido Pass, piers and inshore structures but the Speckled Trout bite is getting better. There were some good trout catches from the ICW this past weekend and over the next couple weeks we should start seeing some trout action pick up around Terry's Cove, Bayou St John and maybe even larger fish showing up off of the beaches. The specks have been biting live shrimp well and using other, larger baits like croakers will up the chances for big fish. The Redfish will bite these same baits and Sheepshead will also take live shrimp.
Off of the beaches, The Pompano bite has been fairly strong and even with the lower salinity from this weeks storms, the fish are still being caught in good numbers. Most fish are being taken on small pieces of shrimp and sand fleas. Some nice redfish are being taken while pompano fishing as well. If you want to target the larger redfish, use fresh cut mullet or shrimp.
Further offshore, the Amberjack have been plentiful on most structures in 120+ft and are being taken with both live baits and a variety of jigs. A few Wahoo are starting to show up to the southeast near the elbow, but the bluewater action there along with the Nipple and the Spur won't heat up for probably two to three more weeks when water temps are allowed to reach the low to mid 70s.
The Tuna bite has been getting better around the 70-90 mile rigs like Petronius, Marlin and others in that range. Chunking with pogies and trolling rigged ballyhoo will account for most fish.
I did some inshore fishing and put in a short amount of cobia hunting over the past two weeks. The Speckled Trout have cooperated to a degree but the bite is still slower. I fished earlier this week and scored some nice trout up to 22 inches with most fish being in the 16-19 inch range. most of the trout I've been catching have been hitting soft plastic baits like the Savage Gear manic Shrimp and the Saltwater Assassin 4" split tails in silver mullet. The fish have been consistently holding deeper throughout most of the day but have been hitting some surface lures early in the morning on the incoming tide.
I have only made it out for one Cobia outing since rougher winds and seas have kept me inside the bays. I fished for a few hours last week and covered a fair amount of water but did not see a single fish. I had a time constraint however and did not make it as far east as I had wished. I later heard reports that there were some nice fish caught off of Penacola beaches and Navarre.
Our 3rd Annual Pompano Tournament is still running good and there are still 10 days left to fish. If you think you may hit the beaches in the next week and half, you may want to consider entering!
Forecast is looking better this coming week so I should have a good report next week.
Sam's Bait and Tackle
27122 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, Al 36561
A couple Specks from this week as well as a beautiful Redfish caught by Bill Murph