Orange Beach Fishing Charters
Orange Beach is known as “The Red Snapper Capital of the World,” and for a good reason. During the limited season for this desirable fish, they are offshore and are big and delicious. With out-of-this-world inshore action, some of the best offshore fishing in the Gulf and Deep Sea fishing for trophy monsters, and of course the Red Snapper, it is no wonder why it is one of the top destinations for anglers worldwide.
Inshore you will find yourself fishing the back bays, bayous and passes near town and perhaps move a little further out of town to Mobile Bay and Perdido Pass. It just depends on where the fish are biting and what fish you want to target on your fishing excursion. Some of the most popular backwater fish are Redfish, which are biting year-round. Also, there is the Speckled Trout which is just as desirable. They do have a season, but it is most of the year, and they can be caught year-round as well. These are the two prized game fish here. They are known for fighting and thrills, which is why they are so fun to catch and so desirable, but they are not the only fish you will find in these waters throughout the year. Flounder, Sheepshead, Black Drum, Pompano, Bluefish, Tripletail and even Tarpon make the bayous and back bays their home throughout the year. Unless you have your own boat and are experienced in the waters and fish, your best bet is to hire an experienced guide to use their knowledge to put you on the fish.
Nearshore and offshore fishing are excellent as well. The nearshore area is an artificial reef system that is said to be the largest in the world. Offshore takes place from 8 to over 100 miles depending on how long you want to be on the water. For shorter trips to the reefs, you might encounter Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Redfish, Triggerfish, and many different Snapper varieties, including the highly desirable Red Snapper. Going out a little further, you will be targeting many of the same as nearshore but with the additions of Scamp, Grouper, Amberjack, Wahoo and Dolphin (also known as Mahi Mahi and Dorado).
If White and Blue Marlin, Yellowtail and Blacktail Tuna, Swordfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and Sailfish are what you want to pursue, you have to go 100 or more miles from shore to the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Here you can land monster Marlin, Swordfish and Tuna. You need to plan to stay the night or a few days because the distance is so great, but it is definitely worth it! On record, the largest Marlin weighed over 800 lbs. and large 500 lb. Bluefin Tuna are not out of the question.
Red Snapper is what hundreds and thousands of anglers come to the Gulf of Mexico in droves for during the early summer months. This is the time for Red Snapper season. There is no specific time for the season as it goes until the quota has been met, but it starts each year at the beginning of June. Red Snapper can be found in these waters year-round, but they can be taken home only during this short time. With Covid last year, there were not as many fishermen to make the quota, and the Red Snapper season was also held from October 15th to November 5th. This is not usual, but the quota was not reached during the summer months, so they reopened the season. Usually, there is no problem getting the quota.
With such phenomenal fishing in the area, you would think there would be fishing tournaments, and you are right. There are many fishing tournaments in and around Orange Beach. Four of them are done right out of the Orange Beach Marina, and another is down the road a bit over the bridge at the Flora-Bama Marina. The Flora-Bama Rodeo is held at the Flora-Bama Marina, located on the Florida and Alabama state line border off of Pedido Bay. It is dubbed “The Funnest Fishing Tournament on the Gulf Coast” because there are many festivities and parties throughout the Rodeo. There are many categories, from best Catfish to Marlin and everything in between. It is held in June and is the first major tournament in the area. At the beginning of July is the “Blue Marlin Grand Championship.” It is said to be “The Greatest Show in Sportfishing.” It is televised and live-streamed worldwide and lasts for five days. Sixty boats try their best in many categories: Heaviest Marlin, Heaviest Tuna, Heaviest Dolphin and Heaviest Wahoo. At the end of July is the “MGBFC Billfish Limited Tournament,” where teams of three or more vie for prizes for catch and release Billfish and Tuna, Wahoo, and Dolphin. This is the men’s tournament, and the ladies’ tournament starts the next week and has the same format as the men’s. On Labor Day weekend is the annual “MBGFC Labor Day Invitational.” This is a unique tournament as it caters to the large boats usually used in tournaments and allows smaller boats to attend. The categories are the same as the other tournaments, but every angler searches for one thing. They are searching for a Marlin that exceeds the Alabama State record of 845 pounds. If someone gets lucky and hooks a monster Marlin bigger than the record, they will walk away with a cool $1,000,000.00 prize. One more tournament I want to mention is the “Kids Win Fishing Tournament” held at the Wharf Marina in Orange Beach on August 21st. Here ages 3-7 (the small fry) and 8-12-year-olds (the big fry) try to catch the biggest, longest, smallest, most fish caught and weighed and largest pinfish. Unlike other tournaments, every kid is a winner and gets a trophy or other prizes. More importantly, it is a great day having fun on the water for the kids.
You have a few options when you decide to come to Orange Beach to fish the waters offshore or inshore. For beginners and kids, a 4 hour Party Boat excursion is one way to go. This is not a booze cruise or anything like that; it is a large boat with 25 or more people wanting to have a day on the water. The crew will come around and help you if you need it, but you might not get the personal attention you would get on a private charter. These boats are also a great way to try the waters before chartering or sharing a charter boat. One of the best features of these boats is the price. It is no more than $100 per person, and they have everything for you, bait, tackle and licenses. It is a relaxing day and a perfect way for a family to enjoy a day on the water.
Two other options are semi-private or shared charters and private charters. Both of these are more expensive, with private charters costing $2500 and up for six passengers and shared charters ranging in price from $200 to $350 or more. These prices rise dramatically during Snapper season, and the boats are usually booked months in advance, so if you want to fish for these delectable beauties, you need to book early.
There are so many charters and guide services to choose from in the Orange Beach area, and a few marinas to choose from. Most of the charters leave from Orange Beach Marina, but your charter may leave from any of the number of marinas. When searchinig for your charter you can do your research to find the perfect one for you, or save this step and pick one of our professional charters here on Travelfish. We personally vet each captain and charter and choose only the best of the best so that you will have a fun-filled, stress-free day on the water with memories that will last a lifetime.
While in Orange Beach, there is more than fishing to do, although why would you want to do anything else. For nature lovers, there are many places to go. The Hugh S. Brayon Backcountry Trail is one of the most popular tourist sites to visit in Orange Beach. Get back to nature, walking through marshes, swamps, and forests. There are six different ecosystems found here. For bird lovers, Alabama Point East is a nesting area for snowy plovers, various shorebirds, and other birds like loons. It is also a critical habitat for several animals.
There are numerous activities to choose from on land, sea, and air for the adventurous. On the water, you can charter not only fishing boats but also sailboats and pontoon boats complete with waterslides. You can go on a Pirate Ship Tour, and you and your kids can become pirates for the day. For a fun day, go on a dolphin-watching tour, and for romantic ends of the day, you can take sunset cruises. At the beach, there are plenty of watersports to take part in. You can paddleboard, jet ski, parasail and even learn to surf. On the land is The Park at OWA, with 23 thrilling rides, fun games and more. Or you can go to Adventure Island with its go-carts, laser tag, paddleboats and arcade. In town, they have constructed a frisbee golf course. You can soar through the air in your private helicopter, check out the city’s scenery and surrounding areas, and go offshore to search for dolphins.
For those looking for a little less stress, you can head to “The Wharf,” where you can find boutique shops and other interesting shops to satisfy your shopping desires. There are all kinds of restaurants of every taste to choose from, but fresh seafood is on most people’s minds. There is the marina here which is the starting point of most charters in the area, and there is a Ferris wheel to ride as well.
Orange Beach is a fisherman’s paradise. With inshore, nearshore, offshore and deepwater options, every angler will be able to pick the perfect charter for them. The town is known as “The Red Snapper Capital of the World,” and there is no better place to hook big tasty Snapper during the season than here in town. But these waters are bountiful with so many species of fish that can be found throughout the year, just waiting for your hook. Come to Orange Beach, and you, too, will be hooked.