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Where to Fish Year Round in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

December 1, 2023

You know what they say: “Fishing is fun…catching is better.” In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can enjoy a chartered boatload of both all year round. From pier to offshore fishing, lagoons to bayous, tarpon to trout, the array of angling options along Alabama’s Gulf Coast is as endless as the horizon line.

If you want to go fishing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you’ve cast your line in the right place. This coastal haven promises thrilling and rewarding fishing adventures featuring an array of fishing hotspots and diverse marine life!

Winter Fishing Along Alabama’s Gulf Coast

While Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are known for their world-class fishing during the warmer months, winter brings unique conditions and the opportunity to catch a variety of fish that aren’t as active as in the summer months.

Species 

Some of the most popular fish to target during the winter in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach include:

  • Speckled Trout and Redfish: These are prime targets in the winter. They are found inshore, especially in the back bays and flats where the water tends to be warmer.
  • Sheepshead: These become more prominent in the winter and are found around structures like piers and jetties.
  • Grouper and Mackerel: Offshore fishing might yield grouper, and on warmer days, species like mackerel can still be found nearshore.

Location 

You’ll find various locations for winter fishing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Inshore waters are often more productive during winter. Areas like Little Lagoon and Cotton Bayou are ideal for speckled trout and redfish. Gulf State Park Pier is a popular spot for sheepshead and the occasional mackerel.

While winter can be challenging for offshore fishing, catching grouper and other deep-water species is still possible. One of the best ways to dive in deep with offshore fishing is by opting for a private fishing charter

Experience Level

Winter is a great time for beginners and novices, especially for inshore fishing. The calmer inshore waters and abundant speckled trout and redfish make for an enjoyable and less challenging experience.

Meanwhile, experienced anglers might find offshore fishing rewarding, though more challenging due to potentially rougher winter sea conditions. 

Spring Fishing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

In spring, the fishing scene in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach comes alive with various species and favorable conditions. Here’s what to expect:

Species

  • Cobia: Spring marks the beginning of the cobia run, a highly anticipated event for local anglers. These fish are often found nearshore and offshore.
  • Speckled Trout and Redfish: These inshore favorites remain abundant in bays and flats. Spring sees an increase in their activity.
  • Flounder: As the water warms, flounder becomes more active, especially in inshore areas.
  • Mackerel (Spanish and King): Spring is an excellent time for mackerel fishing, particularly nearshore and offshore.

Location

Both nearshore and offshore fishing spots are great for targeting cobia, mackerel, and grouper. The oil rigs, in particular, are hotspots for various species.

As always, Gulf State Park Pier remains a popular location for anglers of all levels, offering a chance to catch a wide range of species, including mackerel.

Additional Considerations

Spring brings warmer temperatures and more stable weather conditions, making it a comfortable time for fishing. It’s also the season for several fishing tournaments, attracting amateur and professional anglers. Having insights from local guides or bait shops is beneficial, as they can provide current information on where the fish are biting.

Summer Fishing in Gulf Shores

Summer on the Alabama Gulf Coast is a prime time for fishing, with warm waters bringing plenty of action, abundant marine life, and a chance to explore the stunning coastal waters under the warm Southern sun.

Species

  • Tarpon: Summer is the peak season for Tarpon, that prized and legendary game fish known as the Silver King. 
  • Speckled Trout and Redfish: These inshore staples are available year-round but are especially active in the early summer mornings and late evenings.
  • Flounder: Summer is an excellent time to target flounder in inshore waters, particularly around structures and sandy bottoms.

Time of Day and Tides

To avoid the heat and find the most active fish, the best time to go fishing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach during the summer is in the early morning and late evening, especially for inshore species.

Additional Considerations

Summer weather can be hot and humid, so preparing for sun exposure and staying hydrated is important. It’s also worth noting that with the popularity of water activities in summer, there can be increased boat traffic, especially near popular fishing spots.

Fall Fishing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Fall in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offers a unique and rewarding fishing experience with cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and active fish populations.

Species

  • Redfish and Speckled Trout: These inshore favorites are particularly active in the fall, with Redfish known for their “bull runs” during this season.
  • Flounder: Fall is a prime time for flounder fishing, as they migrate towards the Gulf for spawning.
  • Pompano: Small in size but big on taste, these sleek swimmers run along the beaches and near the Gulf State Park Pier.
  • Grouper and Snapper: Offshore fishing remains productive for these species, with cooler water temperatures bringing some closer to shore.

Location

The calmer inshore waters are ideal as the weather cools and are excellent for targeting redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Nearshore waters of the Gulf are good for mackerel and potentially late-season tarpon. Meanwhile, offshore waters remain a hotspot for grouper, snapper, and other deep-sea species. For pier fishing enthusiasts, Gulf State Park Pier offers great access to various species, including pompano.

Additional Considerations

Cooler temperatures make for more comfortable fishing conditions but prepare for variable weather, including the occasional storm.

Another benefit when fishing the Alabama Gulf Coast at this time of year is that fall sees fewer tourists, making it a more peaceful time for fishing, with less competition for prime spots. That said, anglers should be aware of seasonal closures or regulation changes, especially for species like snapper.

Year-Round Fishing

With multiple species like grouper and redfish prevalent year-round, your fishing rod can see action year-round. Whether you’re looking for a quiet solo day on the water or a full-blown fishing expedition with friends and family, the year-round fishing scene in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is as good as it gets.

If you want a vacation home that can cater to you and your crew on your next fishing excursion, book your Alabama Gulf Coast fishing trip with Kaiser Vacation Rentals today!

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