Fly Fishing in Gulf Shores, Sweet Home Alabama

| April 27, 2008

gulf shores alabama fly fishing  #flyfishing

Well, the rain is coming down with afternoon tropical consistency here in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Sure it’s a little early in the year for tropo weather patterns, but the wind is whistling through the balcony door, and the forecast is for a 180-degree wind shift to due south, promising to grind the bay into a coffee colored consistency.

We gave it an all day go yesterday, and saw and caught no fish.

We surf casted at the western tip where the historic Fort Morgan is located, and where the water churns as the Gulf and Mobile Bay meet with no shelter jetties to smooth the hydrodynamic transition. The fish are certainly churning there as well, with Porpoise moving within two hundred yards of the shore just herding their prey closer and closer to the shore. Then, we waded some of the Bay and lagoons looking for fish signs, but other than passing schools of Mullet, the gamefish were just not in the Bay’s shallow water. The bottom of the Bay along the Gulf Shores peninsula, is sand – completely unlike the grass flats of South Padre Island’s Laguna Madre.

I did gather some useful information at a local hangout, OK bar, Tacky Jacks up the road. “Nobody sight fishes much around here. The water’s still a little cold. The fish will start to come in close in numbers when it’s about six to eight degrees warmer. The Tarpon even come in here – I’ve seen hundreds of them.”

There’s no doubt that Hurricane Ivan did do a number on Gulf Shores, and evidence of the devastation is still evident everywhere, including the bayside wading where you have to pay attention to the bottom as there is rusty metal, bricks, downed and submerged pine trees, boats and everything else one would find four years after such a disaster. Gulf Shores itself seems stuck in neutral because, as another local put it “everything ground to a halt when Hurricane Katrina hit. People got scared, sobered up, and all the new condos being built were no longer needed.” He added, “People will forget though, and it will come back. The Germans are building a steel mill, and they will have to have somewhere to go – here.”

One interesting character I ran into while wading yesterday was seining for Mullet. I don’t know about you, but I always thought Mullet were at best … BAIT. But this guy was proud to show me some 2 to 3 pound Mullet he had caught. “You eat those”, I asked while trying not to sound like a repulsed tourist. “Oh, yeah they’re great. You just gotta’ know how to cook ’em. My mother-in-law wanted these. We smoke ’em.” I knew there must be something about Mullet around here since there are references to them everywhere, and there’s even an annual “Interstate Mullet Toss”, where (dead) Mullet are tossed from Alabama to Florida. Now that’s entertainment “Floribama” style. Fly fishing can be such a fickle mistress. Like they say – that’s why they call it fishing, not catching. Time to cut bait.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Fishing Reports, Gulf Coast Report, Life Observed, On The Road, Paid Reading Content

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

Comments (3)

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  1. shannon says:

    Yup. Never leave home without a spinning rod! shannon

  2. playformeacoustically says:

    I too have only heard of mullet being used as bait (although, what do I know?) but a quick search of wikipedia, and it turns out mullet are eaten more often than we’d thought!

  3. jhays says:

    That’s why God created spinning rods and live croakers!

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