MOBILE BAY INSHORE FISHING
About The Mobile Bay Estuary
Mobile Bay covers 413 square miles providing an abundance of inshore fishing opportunities. The estuary starts where the Mobile and Tensaw Rivers empty into the bay and goes south 31 miles to the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico. Several rivers including: Fowl, Deer and Dog Rivers on the western shore and Fish, Magnolia, and Bon Secour Rivers on the eastern shore also empty into Mobile Bay. Each offer their own unique beauty and fishing experience.
Mobile Bay is the 4th largest estuary and part of the most diverse artificial reef program in the United States. These reefs help maintain a healthy fishery and provide anglers with productive areas where they can target numerous species of fish.
Mobile Bay is considered brackish water because of the influx of both salt and fresh water. Near the rivers, anglers can catch fresh and salt water species from the same boat launch. Anglers have to consider several variables when planning a Mobile Bay Charter. Tides, water salinity, water temperatures, weather and the ever increasing boat traffic all influence whether you have success. Water salinity changes based on tidal movement and the volumes of fresh water the connecting rivers empty into the bay. Water temperatures also can dramatically affect where the fish are located as well. Speckled Trout are skittish by nature and too much boat and jet ski traffic can literally shut down fishing in a matter of minutes. Our Mobile Bay Charter Guides understand these nuances and make the adjustments necessary to locate and catch fish year-round.
Conservation efforts in the Mobile Bay Estuary are important to maintain a healthy inshore fishery. Mobile Bay Adventures adheres to Alabama’s creel regulations. However, we encourage inshore anglers to release speckled trout exceeding 20 inches and redfish exceeding 25 inches in length, whenever possible. We promote “catch and release.” Your guide will capture high-resolution pictures of your catch which will last you and your family a life time. If your catch is intended for a delicious meal, your guide will gladly clean and package your catch.
Spring & Fall Fishing
In the Spring and Fall the Speckled Trout are moving either up or down the bay adjusting to Winter water temperatures. Many anglers prefer Mobile Bay Charters in the Spring and Fall because outside temperatures are comfortable, and anglers can fish throughout the estuary. September through early November, fish move north from the Barrier Islands to deeper columns up in the rivers. It’s the complete opposite late March through May as the fish move south from the rivers back to the warming bay waters and Gulf of Mexico. It is quite common for Mobile Bay Charters to catch their limits in a hurry from schools coming in or exiting the mouths of any of the connecting rivers.
December through February are our coldest months. Speckled Trout can be found gathered at various depths in the deeper columns of the rivers. Redfish can be found on the bottom and on drop offs along the sandbars and river banks. Fish become lethargic in cold water so anglers have to fish entirely different. Local “live” shrimp are difficult to find so anglers usually have to rely on artificial baits which we provide on all Mobile Bay Charters. Mobile Bay winter fishing has days where the highs get up into the lower 60’s where battling cold temperatures isn’t and issue. These are ideal days to be out on the water fishing with Mobile Bay Adventures.
June through August are our warmest months of the year. Anglers can catch speckled trout or redfish using both artificial and “live” bait. “Live” bait is plentiful and often more effective in the summer months. In the early morning and late afternoon, casting topwater plugs can produce a lot of action, especially in the shallows as fish move in to feed. In July and August as water temperatures reach their peak, fish move into the cooler, deeper water columns in the bay, ship channels and oyster reefs in 10-14 feet of water. Our Mobile Bay Charters can also target “trophy” Speckled Trout tight-lining “live” hand-size croakers in the deeper water columns. It’s common for trips focusing on quality verse quantity to land 6-10 lb Speckled Trout.
Mobile Bay Adventures offers Gulf Fishing Charters on our 25 ft SeaCraft. Anglers can troll or fish bottom structure in Alabama Waters from Orange Beach to the far west end of Dauphin Island. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manage these waters and you can view the regulations and creel limits here at Alabama Outdoors.
Popular Gulf Fishing Charters
Bull Reds – Redfish over 27 inches are referred to as BULL REDS. We offer “catch and release” Bull Red Charter Trips year-round. These trips are fun and exciting because the fish average between 12lbs and 30lbs and put up an excellent fight using medium to light tackle. Landing these mighty fish in strong outgoing tides can be challenging even for experienced anglers. Our Bull Red Charters drift across the sand bars at the mouth of Mobile Bay around Fort Morgan and Sand Island and points along the ship channel with both “live” and artificial bait. We also troll the beaches sight fishing for schools of Bull Reds casting “live” pin fish under diving birds. In October and November, larger Bull Reds congregate along the beaches and Mississippi Sound.
Mackerel – Trolling the beaches for Spanish and King Mackerel is an ideal family affair. Spanish run about 3 lbs and smaller and King Mackerel close to the shoreline run about 10lbs making this species an ideal charter for kids. The boat is always in motion so it’s much easier to keep them entertained when manning the lines. These species are not only fun to catch, they make for a perfect afternoon fish fry! Unlike other species, mackerel do have sharp teeth, so we troll metal leaders with spoons, straws and skirts and for larger Kings (up to 40lbs) in deeper waters with a skirted cigar minnow.
Snapper – Alabama’s Artificial Reef Program is the largest system in North America. With over 30,000 reefs deployed over the years you can now catch snapper within 3 miles of the shoreline. We fish these reefs along with other natural structure for snapper and other reef fish in depths from 30 – 80 feet of water using a combination of “live” and frozen bait and artificial jigs on spinning rods. This species is closely regulated and managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and at present, limit is 2 per person over 16 inches. We typically cull our catch (catch and release) so clients and take home 10-20 snapper. We now offer evening Snapper Charters for anglers who want to get in on the fun and avoid the hot sun.