Fisherman’s Paradise | The Gulf’s Famous Fishing Scene Doesn’t Disappoint

The first rod bent downward violently toward the water, signaling a fish on the line. It had only been a few minutes since we pulled up to the spot 5 miles offshore, and already the fish were biting. Shoulder season definitely has its perks, as we were the only boat out here, and it looked to be a lovely day for casting some lines out.

Orange Beach Monday (16)

Fishing, especially offshore, means anglers are at the mercy of Mother Nature, but November on the subtropical Gulf Coast is a month where Mother Nature is in a very good mood. It was in the 60s, sunny, and with a mild swell as we ventured out early in the morning with Intercoastal Safaris in search of red snapper, triggerfish, king mackerel, and anything else in season that came across our lines.

The fishing outfit, based out of Orange Beach as well as locations in Florida, takes advantage of the mild coastal weather and adjoining wetlands to offer one of a kind hunting and fishing excursions year round. Parties large or small can opt for a “cast and blast” special; hunting ducks in the morning, then red snapper in the afternoon. They also offer bow fishing, shark fishing, shrimping, and night vision hog hunting, all with packages to suit every budget and sportsman’s fantasy. It’s generally unheard of to be duck hunting in anything less than a stout jacket, let alone heading out ocean fishing mere hours later, but that’s what Intercoastal Safaris is all about: pairing fishing and hunting outings that would seem absurd in just about any other region of the country. They even offer to pick up parties at their resort, to make it an even better vacation experience.

If you visit the Gulf, you’ll immediately see that fishing is huge down there. The warm, shallow, flat-bottomed waters of the region have become legendary fishing grounds, thanks to the creation of the world’s largest artificial reef zone, started in 1953 to ensure fishing sustainability for generations to come. The sunken boats, planes, car bodies, and bridge rubble provide the ideal habitat for hundreds of species of predator and prey, who migrate seasonally throughout this game-rich environment.

Red snapper, a firm white fish excellent for grilling and numerous in the area, were hungry that morning and biting well. We moved around from spot to spot, marked on a GPS monitor. (The only thing that was off-limits for photographs.) Although we didn’t keep any fish, there are “cook your catch” restaurants in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach who will have a world-class chef prepare your catch and serve it to you after you return from a day of fishing. It’s a great way to get a meal, and it tastes even better when you’ve put in the hard work to land a tasty dinner.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .

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