2011 Orange Beach Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Season - Red Snapper, Grouper and Amberjack regulations

May 7, 2011 – Orange Beach, Alabama – The deep sea fishing seasons and regulations in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores are changing for this year. This years changes are some of the strictest there have ever been in the Gulf of Mexico. Because of these changes, the 4 and 6 hour trips are becoming more popular than ever among tourists and vacationers coming to the Alabama Gulf Coast. The rising cost of fuel combined with restrictive bag limits, has some people cutting back on the length of their fishing charters, but they are still planning on going deep sea fishing. Most people that used to fish 10 and 12 hour charter trips or longer, are now taking 6 hour family trip. Distraction Charters and Intimidator Sportfishing Charters are perfect examples of how charter boats are changing with the times and are becoming more conservation minded and responsible operators. They are stewards of the sea and the marine resources. They are changing the way deep sea fishing will be looked upon in the future. The Gulf Council has decided to implement the following fishing seasons for 2011 on fin fish species like Red Snapper, Gag Grouper and Amberjack. We will give you a little synopsis on what that means to us recreational fishermen. Knowing the facts beforehand, will help you make decisions on what length of fishing trip you might want to book this year.

There are always some kind of fish to catch year round in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. You just might not be able to keep them. You can go offshore, fish and catch them, but most species you catch will have to be released. The Gag Grouper and Amberjack don’t do good when caught and released in depths of water over 100′. There are a lot of other species that can be caught high in the water column and if care is taken when releasing them, they will survive. These fish make for some exciting catch and release action if you know how to catch them properly.

If you are planning your deep sea fishing trip this summer, you need to be aware of these bag limits and seasons if you want to harvest any fin fish like Red Snapper, Amberjack and Gag Grouper. The 6 hour trips, you can expect to catch Red Snapper, Red Porgy, Trigger Fish, Vermilion Snapper, Lane Snapper, King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel. If you want deep water fish or blue water fish like Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi, you will need to plan on at least an 18 hour to 36 hour trip on the Intimidator Sportfishing Charter Boat.

Greater Amberjack fishing season closure

The science center that manages the numbers of fish that can be harvested each year suggested that the health of the Greater Amberjack fish are in trouble. The biomass of the species has drastically been reduced over the past few years and efforts to stop over fishing as required by congress are being implemented. The size limit is 30″ fork length and the limit is one per person.

Greater Amberjack Season in Federal Waters will be closed beginning June 1, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain closed until July 31, 2011 at 11:59 p.m.. Amberjack have to be 30″ fork length and you may harvest 1 fish per person.

Red Snapper Fishing Season Dates

The Red Snapper is in it’s 5th year of the rebuilding plan. The short seasons and reduced bag limits began in 2007 and continue through today. The biomass of the Red Snapper is rebuilding and there are a lot of good sized fish in the Gulf, but there are not many old fish. With this science based fishery management, it will take a few more years before the Red Snapper population is at MSY or Maximum Sustainable Yield. The goal is to give some fish enough time to grow up and make the Red Snapper fishery sustainable for the future.

Red Snapper Season in Federal Waters will Open on June 1, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain open for 48 days or until 11:59 pm on July 18, 2011. There is a 16″ minimum tail length size limit and you may possess 2 per person. Charter boats captain and crew do not count.

Other species of snapper that can be caught year round are as follows: Vermilion Snapper – 10″ size limit and a limit of 20 per person aggregate. Lane Snapper – 8″ size limit and 20 per person aggregate limit. Mangrove Snapper 12″ size limit and a 10 per person aggregate limit.

Gag Grouper Fishing Season Dates

Gag Grouper is in it’s first year of the rebuilding plan. Gag has been severely over fished in the northern Gulf of Mexico for years and the limits are now cut and the season will not open until later in 2011. There are other species of grouper that you can catch, but the aggregate limit and size limits are changing. Be sure to be up on the rules before you go fishing.

Gag Grouper Season in Federal Waters will tentatively open on September 15, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. and will remain open until November 15, 2011. There will be a 22″ tail length size limit and a 2 fish bag limit per person.