Editor’s Note: Captain Colton DeBlieux owns Liquid Force Inshore Charters (https://fishingbooker.com/charters/view/4466) in Orange Beach Alabama. As a youngster, he learned that during the summer months when the weather was hot, water skiers, jet skiers and fishing boats all were very active during the daylight hours. He discovered that he could find and catch more fish, especially speckled trout, redfish and flounder, by dock fishing at night, especially during the hot months of summer and early fall. DeBlieux has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/liquidforceinshorecharters, and his phone number is 251-233-5731.
Typically, the redfish we catch near Orange Beach and Gulf Shores will be slot reds – redfish you can keep that are between 16-24 inches long. Every now and then, we’ll catch bigger reds from 24-28 inches long. We catch speckled trout that are usually longer than 14 inches, and we’ve caught them up to 27-inches long. Last year we caught a speckled trout that was 29-inches long and weighed 7-1/2-pounds, fishing under the lights. Occasionally, we will catch a flounder, and we catch quite a few gray snapper that some people call mangrove snapper.
We start fishing about 7:00 or 7:30 pm and usually return to the dock by midnight. Typically, we fish two or three anglers per night, but our maximum is four. My deck hand is Shelby Smith. We both go to Mississippi State University. Shelby is a political science major, and I’m majoring in mechanical engineering.
During the daytime, we also fish inshore and nearshore. Toward the end of July and in August, we’ll fish the Front Beach at Orange Beach – the Gulf side of the beach. That’s where the trout generally show up first in the morning. Then, we fish around the jetties and into Perdido Pass as the trout move in that direction. When we’re fishing along the jetties, we also catch numbers of bull reds. Often we’ll fish behind the Perdido Pass Bridge pilings that break the current.
During the daytime, we primarily fish with live croakers that speckled trout and redfish love. However, none of the bait shops sell live croakers. So, we get up early before our trips and use a small shrimp net to catch the live croakers for a daytime trip. About mid-morning, I’ll leave the jetties and bridge pilings and fish those live croakers over the grass beds in Perdido Bay. I’ll also fish artificial lures over the grass beds. I like to use the Rip-N-Slash lures made by Unfair baits (www.unfairlures.com) that work on the surface of the water. We’ve really been catching a lot of trout with this lure, especially when the trout are aggressive. Another lure that really pays off on the grass flats is the Heddon Super Spook (https://www.heddonlures.com/product/super-spook) that’s especially effective on cloudy days in the bay. A typical trip lasts 4 hours. We like to get out early in the morning and come back in before the sun gets too hot.
To learn more about saltwater fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and some print books at http://johninthewild.com/books/#gulf.