Twenty mile per hour north winds historically have impacted fishing negatively in Mobile Bay on Alabama's Gulf Coast. "But I was glad to see the wind blowing," says Captain Erik Davis with Tidewater Fishing Service in Foley, Alabama. "As long as that north wind blows, we believe it will keep the oil out in the Gulf of Mexico. Generally a south wind is really the best for fishing the Mobile Bay area. However, a south wind will move that oil closer to us."
On Thursday, May 27, Davis caught speckled trout that weighed as much as 5-pounds each under the guns of Fort Morgan on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. "We only caught 18 trout this morning because of that rough north wind," Davis reports. "On a calm day, we usually can limit-out on both speckled trout and redfish."
The speckled trout have moved into the bay within the last month from the coastal rivers where they've spent much of the winter. Anglers never will find fishing better. "We've been catching limits of 2- to 5-pound speckled trout all spring long," Davis explains. "However, because of the north wind, fishing conditions were a little rough today."
Davis and his client fished around the shallow-water oil and gas rigs inside Mobile Bay and caught all their trout on a Fin-S soft-plastic lure in the chartreuse-ice color, with a 1/4-ounce lead-headed jig on 10-pound-test line. Davis fishes primarily at Dixey Bar at the mouth of Mobile Bay. This sandbar runs from 6-foot deep and drops-off into the channel that's 50-foot deep.
"We usually catch redfish that will weigh from 10 to 20 pounds, either fishing with live menhaden and letting the bait drift with the tide or trolling Mann's Stretch 25 crankbait in the blue-and-silver color on 15- to 20-pound-test-line," Davis explains.
Dixey Bar, one of the premier redfish hotspots on the entire Upper Gulf Coast, homes big bull reds that anglers can catch all year long under almost any weather and water condition. "We generally release the really-big bull reds after we catch them," Davis says. "Some of those fish will be 10- to 15-years old, will put up good fights and will make great pictures. Then we release the bulls, so other anglers can enjoy catching them."
As you can see from this fishing report, fishing is open, and the catching is fast and furious on Alabama's Gulf Coast. But a new battlefield may be found at some time in the future in the waters under historic Fort Morgan's battlements.
"If the oil comes ashore and gets into Mobile Bay, the fishing will shut-down," Davis reports. "However, right now, fishing is great, the water is clean, and the State of Alabama has called in the troops. The National Guard is here at the mouth of the Bay putting out sand barriers that will trap oil and block the oil from coming into the Bay. They've also put poles across the Bay to run booms on to protect the estuary, if oil does come ashore here. But right now, and for the foreseeable future, we've got terrific fishing and plenty of fish. All we need is folks to go fishing with us."
To reach Davis, call (251) 979-1224. For more information on fishing inshore or offshore and for a list of captains and boats available, go to www.orangebeachfishingtrips.com. For more information, contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-745-SAND (7263).