Bull Redfish Fishing on the Alabama Gulf Coast during the Shrimp Festival
October 7, 2010 – Orange Beach, Alabama – Fall is here and the Shrimp Festival begins today. The unique thing about this years festival, is that we are beginning to catch Bull Redfish earlier than usual. The cold snap that brought temperatures as low as 49 degrees earlier this week, has also brought those magnificent monster Redfish into shallow water, right off the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
This year is special because we have a weekend Red Snapper fishery that will continue until the latter part of November. We have not had a Red Snapper fishery in the Fall for three years now. Orange Beach Fishing Charters is pleasantly surprised that the larger Redfish have moved in close to shore, about three weeks earlier than normal. The Redfish moving in early, is presenting a wonderful opportunity to go out charter fishing and catch some really nice fish. Saltwater fishing for Bull Redfish is becoming the most popular deep sea fishing charters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Small Redfish are available to catch year round in the waters near Orange Beach. We are not talking about the fish you see on TV. Those smaller redfish are usually 12 to 26 inches in length. You can only keep the ones that fit in the slot limit which is 16 to 26 inches. The Bull Redfish are much larger than that, and they are mostly caught between October and March every year. You are allowed to only keep one Bull Redfish per person in Alabama State waters and there is no season on them. The average weight is 15 to 25 pounds each. The food quality on these larger Redfish is average at best. The smaller Redfish taste better because they are younger fish and are tender. The reason you don’t catch many Bull Reds during the Summer months is because those larger bulls stay offshore and very little is known where they go during the late Spring and Summer months.
One of the best things about fishing for Bull Reds, is you can have a blast catching them on light tackle. These larger fish school up on the surface and sometimes, the whole area of water turns gold in color when they are feeding. These larger fish feed on small baitfish called Pogies that are schooled up in the shallow waters near the Orange Beach shoreline. Most of the time, we troll for them because they are on the bottom looking for food. When they come to the surface after bait fish, they go nuts. That is when we can stop the boat and anglers can begin jigging lures to catch them. Sometimes, light tackle does not even slow them down and you may lose a few while doing battle. When Bull Redfish hit your bait or jig, they run and fight like no other fish living in the saltwater.
Orange Beach Fishing Charters is open and ready for business this Fall, Winter and Spring. We are still catching plenty of Spanish Mackerel and King Mackerel. We are booked up for most of the Shrimp Festival, but do have a few openings to take your family on a charter fishing trip of a lifetime. The Gulf of Mexico is still very warm and it will be November before it really begins to cool off. You can expect to catch Kings and Spanish all the way up to Thanksgiving if you like. Bull Reds offer anglers that want to have a lot of fun, a chance to laugh and fight some really big fish.