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Top 121 fishing trips in AL
Everything to Know About Booking a fishing charter in Alabama
What are the best fishing charters in Alabama?
Our Damn Good Guides currently offer 121 trips in Alabama, and the most popular trips in the area are Orange Beach Inshore Experience guided by Rob, Alabama Gulf Coast Inshore - 24' Bulls Bay guided by Scott, and Dauphin Island Offshore Fishing guided by David.
Our guides in Alabama are rated a 5 out of 5 based on 683 verified reviews on Captain Experiences.
All guides on Captain Experiences are licensed, insured, and vetted by our team. You can access their reviews, click through trip photos, read bios to get to know them, and preview trip details like species, techniques, group sizes, boat specs and more.
What types of fishing charters are common in Alabama?
Offshore fishing is the most popular in Alabama as well as nearshore fishing, inshore fishing, and flats fishing.
The most commonly sought after species in Alabama are: 1. red snapper, 2. king mackerel / kingfish, 3. spanish mackerel, 4. amberjack, and 5. triggerfish.
The most common fishing techniques in Alabama are bottom fishing, trolling, and heavy tackle fishing but light tackle fishing and live bait fishing are popular as well.
How much do Alabama fishing charters cost?
in Alabama prices can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000 and up, but the average price for a half day in Alabama is $924. The average price for a full day in Alabama is $2,952.
When is the best time to go fishing in Alabama?
The most popular season for fishing in Alabama is summer, and most anglers book their trips 37 days in advance.
Where can I get a Alabama fishing license and what are the bag limits in Alabama?
See here for more information on fishing licenses in Alabama, bag limits for target species, and fishing season regulations in Alabama. When in doubt, your fishing guide will always know the right rules and regulations in Alabama.
Fishing in the Rolling Tide
Alabama is a year round fishery with access to the Gulf of Mexico along with lakes and rivers that provide excellent fishing for a multitude of species. Alabama has a rich fishing history starting with the indigenous cultures that first took advantage of the bountiful waters. Alabama is also home to America’s first ever fishing tournament, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo which started in Mobile Bay back in 1928. It is the ideal state to get your fill of southern hospitality, sweet tea, and football, as well as enjoy some time out on the water.
Alabama is a state that no matter when you visit, there will be something to fish for both inland and off the coast. Though, if there are a specific species that you would like to catch, it is important to check when they are in season. Some fish like triggerfish and speckled trout are available year round but do better in certain seasons. Others fish are highly migratory like Atlantic sailfish which are usually only available at certain times of the year.
Fishing Alabama’s Coasts
***Alabama Inshore Fishing***
Inshore fishing in Alabama is like no other. Right off the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, there is plenty of fishing to be done, but the real gem of Alabama is Mobile Bay. Mobile Bay is known as America’s Amazon, due to its rich diversity that hosts more species of fish, mussels, turtles, crawdads, and others, than any other state. These fertile waters produce fishing that is second to none.
***Alabama Nearshore Fishing***
Alabama’s Marine Resources Division works hard to maintain a prime environment for fishing, and it’s paying off. Within nine miles of the coast, they maintain a hard bottom habitat full of artificial reefs that have increased the number of fish greatly including popular species like red snapper, grouper, amberjack, and more. With plenty of bayous for juvenile fish, fertile waters to spawn in, and excellent structure to live in and find cover, the fish have taken advantage of the perfect ecosystem and are thriving.
***Alabama Offshore Fishing***
Alabama is one of the premier locations for access the Gulf of Mexico and is now home to some of the biggest and best deep sea fishing fleets in the country. This is also thanks to the work and regulations of the Alabama Marine Resource Division. Because of them, the waters of Alabama’s Gulf Coast are once again teeming with pelagic fish species. Between nine and 200 miles from shore huge trophy fish patrol the water and provide some of the best opportunities to hook into the catch of a lifetime.
Top Saltwater Catches in Alabama
***Inshore Target Species in Alabama***
Fishing for speckled trout is a year round adventure in Alabama but is especially hot in the summer months. Alabama provides the clear and warm waters that speckled trout thrive in. Speckled trout are sensitive to water quality and prefer specific levels of water salinity. With the flats and shallow bays connected to the rivers and bayous, speckled trout can move around to find their preferred water tolerance. Because specks are always on the move it gives anglers plenty of opportunities to chase them.
Fishing for redfish in Alabama can be done throughout the year as they cruise grass beds, jetties, and piers looking for prey. Big bull reds appear in Alabama in the fall, and are known for growing huge and putting up a terrific fight. The shallow bays, rocky outcroppings, and sandbars in Alabama’s bays provide the perfect habitat for redfish.
Both Gulf and Southern flounder can be found hanging around the back bays and island beaches of Alabama. Tidal currents and pilings provide the perfect ambush territory for flounder to catch baitfish. Flounder can be caught year round in Alabama, but tide and moon phases affect their activity, so it’s important to be aware.
Alabama’s fertile coastal waters come from the river systems that feed into the Gulf of Mexico. The mix of fresh and saltwater creates an incredible fishery that allows anglers to catch so many other inshore fish species including sheepshead, black drum, white trout, and more!
***Nearshore Target Species in Alabama***
Although there are only 53 miles of coastline in Alabama, they are still proclaimed the “Red Snapper Capital of the World.” This title comes from anglers consistently catching absolute monster red snapper weighing well over 40 pounds year after year. The secret is the abundance of artificial reefs that snapper love and Alabama has more than 20,000 just off the coast.
Where you find red snapper, you will also find triggerfish. They are unique but sometimes pesky fish known for stealing bait which makes them a very rewarding and tasty treat if you can get one landed. Again, the artificial reef system of Alabama makes fishing for triggerfish unbeatable.
Gray snapper, or mangrove snapper, has great fishing opportunities on Alabama’s coast year round. Similar to red snapper, the artificial reefs are where you can find gray snapper especially when there’s a good tidal flow. Although they are smaller, mangrove snapper can also be found inshore, but the nearshore reefs are where the big ones hang out.
The artificial reef system created by the state of Alabama has established a thriving ecosystem of bottom dwellers, reef fish, bait fish, and more. Grouper, amberjack, and many other species can be caught by bottom fishing near the reefs which are an excellent opportunity for some great fishing only a few miles from shore.
***Offshore Target Species in Alabama***
Dorado, dolphin fish, mahi mahi, whatever you want to call them, just be ready for a strong fight from this fast fish off the coast of Alabama. Mahi are a migratory species that travels to Alabama waters in the summer months and can be found cruising around the rip lines and floating debris in deep water. Out in the blue water, mahi can grow up to 80 pounds and are often the most acrobatic. Smaller mahi can also be found closer to shore and are sometimes called “chicken dolphins.”
Another migratory fish that shows in strong numbers to Alabama in the summer is the Atlantic sailfish. They can be caught along their route through the deep blue, and will put up a highly acrobatic fight. Sailfish are notoriously difficult to catch, due to their speed and strength, so once you get into the deep and start trolling, be ready.
King mackerel or kingfish are large silver fish that can be found cruising the deep coastal waters of Alabama. Kings will school up and follow baitfish throughout the water column even chasing them up to shallow waters around oil rigs. Essentially where there is bait, the kings will follow. Known for being fast, aggressive, and tasty, strong fighters, and a rewarding catch. Often called the “Alabama tradition” they move in large schools especially during August, making it the perfect time to hop on a boat and head out to hook up with one.
Since Alabama has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, it also has access to the diverse fish that live there. Shark, Spanish mackerel, marlin, and more can all be caught near the continental shelf which is only a short distance from the Alabama shore.
Top Freshwater Catches in Alabama
Bass fishing in Alabama is a sacred tradition with opportunities available throughout the year. Alabama is absolutely loaded with lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs that are chock-full of largemouth and other species of bass. On some of these bodies of water, anglers are reporting 100+ landings a day. Many of the lakes rank among the top bass spots according to B.A.I.T (Bass Anglers Information Team), making your chances of landing a new personal best about as good as it gets.
From the top to the bottom of the state, Alabama is littered with crappie hot spots. Alabama has lakes and ponds that consistently rank high on lists of national crappie spots, but the sheer amount of honey holes is often overlooked. Crappie fishing is excellent year round almost anywhere you turn in Alabama.
Alabama is known for high floods, and on average is flooded every 12 days. Catfish thrive in muddy, flooded waters which makes Alabama’s waters the perfect home for catfish. Flathead, blue, and channel cats can be found throughout the state, spreading throughout lakes, ponds, and down to the deltas using rivers and tributaries. Some of the biggest cats in the country have been found in Alabama’s reservoirs.
The amount of freshwater across the state, combined with the warm year round climate makes Alabama an excellent place to fish. Species like smallmouth bass, striped bass, hybrids, bluegill, brim, and more can be found throughout the state.
Best Places to Fish Alabama’s Saltwaters
Orange Beach is a great place to fish due to all the different areas you can target. With the backwater bayous, white sandy beaches, artificial reefs, and access directly to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, you can hit Orange Beach for basically any type of fishing you’re looking for. Orange Beach itself began as a fishing village that bloomed into the city of tourism it is today. It even has two museums with buildings that are historical landmarks with roots traced back to their early days of fishing.
Another great area with access to different types of fishing is Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores is home to the second largest pier on the Gulf Coast, as well as excellent shore fishing from 32 miles of pristine sandy beaches. Headed off the beach, excellent fishing is available no matter how far you go thanks to the ecosystem provided by the abundance of artificial reefs in the area. In fact, Gulf Shores is host to one of the country's largest fishing charter fleets, and artificial reef density.
Dauphin Island is a metropolitan city, placed on a barrier island off the coast of Alabama. The location of the island itself gives access to prime inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing. The island itself provides a lot of coastline with high populations of speckled trout, flounder, and redfish. Since it is a barrier island nestled between wrecks and other artificial reefs, Dauphin Island has great nearshore fishing, especially for triggerfish and snapper. As always, access to the Gulf Coast allows for excellent offshore fishing.
Despite having the smallest amount of coastline of the Gulf states, Alabama more than makes up for it with excellent fishing spots that produce an abundance of diverse fish species thanks to the efforts of the fishery programs. Artificial reefs have created a rich ecosystem full of fish from the backwaters to the open ocean. There are many different fishing villages dispersed around the bays, such as Coden, AL which has endless opportunities to get out on the water.
Best Places to Fish Alabama’s Freshwaters
Located in Northern Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville, Lake Guntersville is Alabama’s largest lake at 67,900 square acres of water. Fed by the Tennessee River, it is a fertile lake with a variety of fish, aquatic vegetation, and submerged structure from forests that have been flooded. Historically, two thirds of the anglers that visit Lake Guntersville a year are targeting largemouth bass, the gem of the lake, however, there are plenty of crappie, bluegill, and catfish that inhabit the lake.
Pickwick Lake is known as the best smallmouth bass fishery in the United States. This lake is actually a reservoir that spreads between two dams along the Tennessee River. Along with bass, the lake is popular for crappie, bluegill, and more. The warm water discharged from local power plants combined with the submerged vegetation and timber provides excellent year round freshwater fishing.
Another reservoir, Lake Eufaula, spreads across over 45,000 square miles along the Chattahoochee River. Largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, catfish, and more can be found both large and in quantity within the lake. The reservoir itself spans across both Georgia and Alabama, making it possible to be accessed from both states, and making a fishing license from either state legal.
With an extremely large freshwater system that expands through the entire state via rivers, tributaries, ponds, and lakes, there is endless fishing to be done. Areas like Joe Wheeler State Park, Lay Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, and more provide year round freshwater fishing.
How are fishing conditions in Alabama?
Alabama Fishing Reports from Our Damn Good Guides.
Cities in Alabama
Species in Alabama
- Almaco Jack
- Bigeye Tuna
- Black Drum
- Black Grouper
- Blackfin Tuna
- Blacktip Shark
- Blue Marlin
- Blue Shark
- Calico Bass
- Channel Catfish
- Cubera Snapper
- Florida Pompano
- Gag Grouper
- Jack Crevalle
- King Mackerel / Kingfish
- Lane Snapper
- Little Tunny / False Albacore
- Mahi Mahi / Dorado
- Mako Shark
- Mangrove Snapper
- Mutton Snapper
- Red Grouper
- Red Snapper
- Scamp Grouper
- Spanish Mackerel
- Speckled Trout / Spotted Seatrout
- Thresher Shark
- Vermillion Snapper
- White Marlin
- Yellowfin Tuna
- Yellowtail Amberjack
- Yellowtail Snapper
Techniques in Alabama
Water Types in Alabama
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