Our target species are Speckled Trout and Redfish, but you are apt to catch Flounder, Sheepshead, Spanish Mackerel, and Blackfish. The spring and fall transition periods are almost mirror images of each other. They occur when the water temperatures are between 62 and 75 degrees. This is usually from mid-March to mid-May and from mid-October to early December. The best bait to catch both quantity and quality is live shrimp fished under a popping cork (download the doc below to see how). The speckled trout can be found in shallow water -less than 6’ and will be active all day. The abundant oyster reefs around Dauphin Island in the Mobile Bay/Mississippi Sound hold the fish and especially during this period are given away by the “slicks” that they create when feeding. Drift fishing is the most effective technique as it allows you to be mobile. For artificial baits, try shrimp imitations under the same cork or mullet imitations such as top water baits during low-light periods. The early spring is when trout begin their spawn. They are laden with dense roe and are very aggressive so it is the best time of the year to catch that “wall-hanger”. Redfish are thick around Dauphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay and will eat almost anything. Try drifting some sort of finfish such as a spot or croaker while casting a jig. Slot redfish show up at the tips of all of the barrier islands and will be as equally aggressive. The always popular gold spoon or a live shrimp are the best producers for them. When the water temperatures are the warmest of the year (over 75 degrees), speckled trout tend to stay more active in water deeper than 8 feet. Both Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound are loaded with submerged structure and all of it in water deeper than 8 feet holds trout. The most effective technique is fishing a live shrimp under a slip cork near the structure . Be sure to set the depth of the shrimp so that it is in the lower third of the water column. If the trout are active, this will locate them. From there, try tight-lining a live croaker. Fishing Dauphin Island during the summer months is the only time of the year that the trout seem to have a taste for them, but what a taste they have! Don’t be afraid to put a croaker the size of your hand on either. You’ll have plenty of action, and that big, hearty croaker may entice a monster to bite. Redfish start to school as they go pre-spawn during the summer. During this period, it is not uncommon to see schools of hundreds of redfish lazing on the surface as they head for the open Gulf. Fish them smart and you can have some of the most incredible fish action of your life if you find them. When the water temperature around the northern gulf coast gets below 62 degrees speckled trout become residents in the brackish waters of the tidal rivers that are adjacent to the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay. Fishing Mobile Delta and other deep river channels provide the solace that they require to endure the cold ambient temperatures of the winter months. Being cold-blooded, their body temperatures are near that of the water thus, their metabolism slows dramatically. This requires them to eat less so the minimal amount of forage in the river systems is plentiful enough to sustain them through the period. Typically this period is from early December through mid-March. The most effective techniques are to drift the river channels while casting lead headed soft plastic baits until a school is located. Position yourself to present the bait properly and you should catch plenty as the fish tend to school during the winter period. On occasions where winter offers a few days of warmer weather, try fishing the flats very near the deep river channel with plugs like top water baits and slow sinking lures. The fish will often move up to feed when the water warm for a few days. The best bets for redfish during the winter months are on the bar systems at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Drifting with the tide while casting jigs will almost always produce some big bronze bruisers. In the river systems, try any creek mouth that drains the marsh- especially if there are oyster shells on the bottom. Conservation Tip: Although the Alabama regulation is more liberal, on my charters, I only allow 5 speckled trout per person (14”-19”) and no redfish. This is done in an effort to protect our resource by allowing the larger breeding fish to live. Redfish are also very slow to reach sexual maturity, so it is even more important to release them.
A standard trip is for 1-3 people, We strongly recommend crews of 3 or less. We prefer to leave the dock at or around safe light and fish until someone says “uncle”. Generally after about 8 hours everyone, especially the guide, has had enough; however, we’ll fish until they stop biting if you desire!
Your trip includes ice, bait, fishing tackle, fishing license and fish cleaning.
The boats are fast and dry Skeeter boats. Captain Bobby Abruscato run the Skeeter SX24V, powered by dependable Yamaha outboards and Minn Kota trolling motors. We exclusively use Abu-Garcia reels- casting and spinning, Berkley and Fenwick rods and Berkley line and baits.
You’ll need to bring your food and drinks. The boats have large ice chests, but you can bring a small cooler if you’d like. We also recommend sunscreen and a camera. If you plan to take fish home, you may want to bring a small cooler. We supply your rods and reels, but if you have a favorite or two feel free to bring them along, too.
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