Editor’s Note: Captain Mike Wilson of Silverhill, Alabama, guides on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. I asked him what he’s catching now from mid-August – the first 2 weeks in September. This report will apply to all of the Upper Gulf Coast and tell you what you can expect to catch while fishing then. Wilson not only fishes the Gulf of Mexico but also Mobile Bay (http://www.mobile.org/includes/content/docs/media/Regional-Map-June-2017.pdf) and the rivers that feed the bay and the Mississippi Sound.
* White Trout – If you want bent rods all day, I suggest you fish for white trout. Sometimes the speckled trout are mixed-in with the white trout. If our customers want to catch a good mess of fish for a fish fry, I’ll take them to a couple of spots where white trout have been holding most of the summer. After catching 8-12 white trout, we’ll often catch a speck mixed in with them. Many of the artificial reefs in Mobile Bay are concentrating both white and speckled trout. But when I’m targeting white trout, I go straight to my white trout places. There is no length or bag limit on white trout in Alabama.
* Flounder – Often I’m asked about catching flounder at this time of the year. The flounder catching has been spotty this year, with these fish more an incidental catch.
* Black Drum – Another fish I’m asked about is black drum. Although we haven’t caught any black drum lately, during the spring of the year, we’ve caught some very-big ones on the Bon Secour reef (https://www.gulfshores.com/blog/2016/03/30/whats-biting-inshore-reefs/#sm.0000w8u11s160ifaxqb01ph8dbi6j) and the Intracoastal Waterway. We’ve caught three black drum last year that weighed more than 40-pounds each with one of them weighing 48 pounds. Catching a big black drum is like trying to reel in a submarine. Our customers love the black drum’s fight. The smaller black drum that weigh from 2-5 pounds are very good to eat. They’re not much different in flavor from the red drum (the redfish).
* Redfish – Speaking of redfish, there are two different classifications of redfish: bull reds, which often weigh 20-30 pounds and slot reds. The big bull reds also are incidental catches that we’ve caught on live bait and soft-plastic jerkbaits when speckled trout fishing. People want to target catching the big bull reds mainly in the early fall. We do catch slot reds that have to be 16-26 inches, while fishing with live bait and popping corks, early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Late afternoon has been more productive in August than early-morning fishing. I’ve also caught slot reds fishing top-water lures in the afternoons this summer, and several of them have been caught right at dark with a chartreuse Top Dog. You can keep three slot reds per person per day. One of those three slot reds can be larger than 26 inches.
If I have a party that strictly wants to target redfish, we usually can average 2-3 slot reds per person from mid-August to mid-September. We’ll go up into the marsh and fish around stumps on the lower end of Mobile Bay. We’ll spend most of the morning fishing close to shore to target redfish.
To learn more, you can contact Captain Mike by emailing email@example.com or calling 251-747-6941. On Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/bamaslam.inshore/ where you can see his photos of the fish he and his parties have caught.
You can learn more about fishing parts of the Upper Gulf Coast from John E. Phillips’ books, the Kindle and print versions of “Alabama’s Inshore Saltwater Fishing: Year-Round Guide to Catching More Than 15 Species” at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EZR046; the Kindle version of “Catch Speckled Trout and Redfish: Learn from Alabama’s Best Fishermen” https://www.amazon.com/Catching-Speckled-Trout-Redfish-ebook/dp/B00CWE3O6O/; and the Kindle and print book versions of “Fishing Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and Visitors’ Guide” https://www.amazon.com/Fishing-Mississippis-Coast-Visitors-ebook/dp/B008DWLUZ6/.