Fishing Trip Tips from the Pros
Our local fishing charter companies are a lot of fun. If you are planning to head out on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico during your South Alabama vacation, we’ve quizzed local companies and their captains to share all their knowledge with you!
Q: When planning an excursion on the sea, what should you look for in a charter company?
A: Depending on what kind of trip you would like to take, I would say go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable. Many visitors to our area will research online to find a company with good reviews or call to speak with them directly. When venturing offshore, you want to be sure of your captain and crew. Don’t hesitate to ask the questions and learn more about their experience.
Q: How do you select which type of trip you would like to take?
A: Some fish are more exciting to catch than others… depending on who you talk to! Personally, Tuna, Marlin and Wahoo offer a lot of excitement on the other end of the line. These fish typically reside quite a way off shore which means that it will take a 24 hour trip or longer and cost a little more for the trip.
Alabama is the Red Snapper capital of the WORLD! They give a good tug on the line but aren’t as difficult to real in as others. If you want the excitement and challenge, try out fishing for amberjack, king mackerel, cobia or dolphin. You can fish for any of these during a day trip.
Don’t know if you are up for offshore fishing? You can have a lot of fun fishing inshore! Try out trout fishing. They put up a great fight and challenge on light tackle. You can charter inshore trips as well which gives you the best chance of catching with all that local knowledge.
Q: What time of year is best for a charter trip?
A: Charter trips are available year-round. Depending on what you want to fish for and how long you want to be gone, you can find excitement whenever you are on vacation. Inshore fishing doesn’t have a season, but the fish do travel. Summer, for example, you can catch trout in the Gulf, bay and canal, but the winter months, they push into the rivers and inner bays. This is a good way to see all the beauty on display in our area!
Offshore fishing seasons vary. Snapper, Amberjack and Trigger fish all have a season to consider but you can catch tuna, marlin, wahoo and dolphin year-round. Of course, even if these do not have seasons, there are better times to catch them. If you would like to fish for anything in particular, this is when you would like to get to know your charter boat, their captain or crew! They can point you in the right direction timewise!
A: Food, drinks, sea sickness medicine, dry clothes are all good things to remember. Of course, keep in mind how long you’ll be gone when considering how much to bring. One important thing to bring along is cash. Your deck hands work hard during their time offshore with you and your loved ones. They work for very little and many times, their jobs aren’t fun ones. They deserve a tip, just like a good server at a restaurant deserves one.
If you have questions about something you shouldn’t bring, ask your specific charter company before your trip. Leave behind a bad attitude and be openminded, positive and interested. Most of these trips can offer a lot of new things to learn!
Q: Preparing for your first offshore adventure, what should you know and how should you plan?
A: Don’t be nervous your first time offshore. If you think you could be susceptible to sea sickness, try planning a shorter trip to test the waters. You can try out a walk on half day trip on what’s called a “Head Boat”. The trips are a lot less expensive easy to plan, don’t take up a lot of your time and give you a good idea of how you will handle being offshore. Lastly, it never hurts to keep an eye on the seas report on NOAA.
Q: Can/Should kids come along?
A: Kids should come along when the parent feels comfortable with them going. Charter boats are usually big enough and able to make for a more comfortable accommodation to a child. Many locals start going as early as 4 years old! If you think your child will handle it well, then you should try it out! These are memories that will last forever!
Q: When is an overnight or weekend trip a good idea?
A: Overnight trips can be a lot of fun. Especially with a group of friends! Again, these trips often depend on what type of trophy fish you want to catch. Just make sure you and your group can handle being gone that long! The captain of the boat will take you and bring you back whenever you would like. But ones the boat comes back in dock, there typically won’t be time to go back out and in again. The captain has to pay for fuel and his crew’s time along with covering the boat’s time reserved by you and your group. All of this means that refunds aren’t issued if the boat has to return for issues you/your passengers are feeling. These are things to discuss and questions to ask your charter boat company before leaving.
You now have a lot of information to help you in your charter boat trip! Keep in mind, research your boat/charter company before you go and don’t be afraid to ask questions! This is your trip and they want to make sure you enjoy yourself! Be sure to visit our Orange Beach rentals page to find the property most convenient to the marina you will depart from! We look forward to welcoming you very soon!