Fishing Seasons in Orange Beach
--photo by Captain Troy Frady
Late Fall and Winter trolling trips can still produce some large King Mackerel like this one caught on the Thanksgiving Holiday.
We are open and ready for business all year long. Whether you are here on summer vacation, a fall break, a winter escape or a spring break, we can get you fishing. One neat things about Alabama's fishing season climate is that it offers anglers opportunities to catch fish without having to go out of the country. If you don't mind catching and releasing, reef fish like red snapper, amberjack and triggerfish can always be caught. These three species make up 95% of all fish landed on the Alabama Gulf Coast and are also the most regulated. Red Snapper season usually begins June 1 and runs to about July 10 (give or take a few days). Amberjack and Triggerfish are open usually on January 1 each year and remain open until late spring. However, due to seasonal over fishing in years past, they may or may not be open at all during the spring. If keeping those fish is the only reason for booking your trip, you need to call and ask if they are in season before you book your trip. King Mackerel or Spanish Mackerel are around from May to October each year and offer some excellent fishing opportunities if you want to keep a few for dinner.
Other species everyone targets are vermilion snapper and red porgy (white snapper). They are all about 10" to 12" in length and you can keep 10 per person of the vermilion. If keeping fish is a must, you need to ask your captain prior to booking if these species of fish is what you are going to be targeting. The best charter boats ask you "what is your reason for going fishing?" If you say to fill the cooler, you will likely end up fishing for these two species if you come outside of the June/July season for red snapper. If you say keeping fish is not a big deal and you want to experience fishing, you will be given the option to go out and catch and release red snapper, triggerfish or amberjack.
Summer Fishing Season
Summer fishing season in Alabama is the most popular activity. Over 7.5 million vacationers come to the Alabama Gulf Coast every year to experience our family friendly atmosphere and wonderful fishing charters. Summer fishing is the time of the year when it gets daylight about 6:00 am and gets dark at 8:30 pm. As you can see, there are a lot of daylight hours that can be filled fishing.
Our fishing charters are running non stop during the summer. Our six passenger boats like the Offshore and Inshore Charters run two trips daily during these long days. The offshore and inshore fishery is abundant with varieties of back bay species to catch. The morning trips are as good as the afternoon charters during the summer fishing season.
The advantage of fishing in the summer is the stable weather and calm seas we have. The disadvantage is the heat. We run a low of 75 in the morning and a high of around 90 to 95 degrees in the heat of the day. Our offshore charter boats are all equipped with really cool air conditioners to keep you comfortable.
Fall Fishing Season
Fall fishing begins about the last week of September each year and continues through the first part of December. This is a transitional time from summer to winter and the fishing can be slow one week and red hot the next. Either way, our fishing charters and charter boat guides are professionals and know how to get something tugging on your line.
Inshore fishing during the fall months is when the Speckled Trout and Redfish start biting real well. There are some large trout that are caught each fall in Alabama that rival even the best fisheries in the world.
Offshore fishing really gets good during these fall months of September, October and November. The White Marlin move in closer to shore than ever. They can be caught on full day trips which makes billfishing a possibility for those who do not want to budget for an over night trip. However, the Blue Marlin and Tuna bite is excellent on over night and two day charters during the fall.
The only disadvantage to fishing in the fall is the weather. Weak cold fronts approach from the northwest. The wind blows out of the east for about two to three days prior to frontal passage. After the front passes, the wind blows hard out of the northwest until the area of cold air settles. The ideal time to fish is prior to the cold front arrival. These days of low pressure make the fish bite like crazy and anglers get to take advantage of it.
Winter Fishing Season
The winter fishing is pretty good. Our temperatures are usually in the low 40's at night and heat up to the mid 60's by mid afternoon. The daylight comes about 6:30 and sunset is about 5 pm. December is usually pretty mild and we normally do not get our first frost until just before Christmas. December is also a great month to go catch some Bull Redfish right off the beach on a offshore charter. The large gamefish school up by the thousands and are a lot of fun to catch while trolling or sight fishing.
Inshore fishing is great during these colder days of winter. The water temperature drops during the winter fishing season to the high 50's but that does not stop the bite. Speckled Trout and Redfish are a favorite of many inshore anglers.
Offshore fishing is pretty good as long as you catch days where the wind is not blowing too hard. There are no trees to duck behind out on the gulf. We do have boats that have heat and enclosed cabins where you can go to warm up between fish.
Spring Fishing Season
Spring break begins in March of each year and continues until the first week in April each year. This is a time when tens of thousands of spring breakers descend on the Alabama Gulf Coast for a week of relaxation and fishing. Families with kids are our primary spring break vacationers, but there are a lot of people who have been cooped up all winter and are ready to go offshore or inshore fishing.
The Redfish are still around during the first part of March and these trips fit the budget of most any family fishermen. Those offshore fish species like Grouper and Amberjack are usually plentiful during these spring days.
The weather during the spring can cause extremely rough seas for days on end. With a little planning and flexibility, we can often re-schedule your trip for a day or two later when the spring winds calm down. The fishing is well worth it. The lack of fishing pressure during the winter months often causes fishing in the spring to be better.
Booking Your Seasonal Fishing Charter Is Easy
Booking your Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring fishing charter is easy. If you have any questions about seasonal fishing in Orange Beach, Alabama, please feel free to contact us. If you are ready to make a reservation, please fill out our online fishing reservation form here.