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Bait for Redfish

At Reel Surprise Charters we troll for redfish using planers and spoons at the pass or right off the beach. We have found that when fishing for redfish, the best baits are live shrimp, small finger mullet and small live blue crabs. Live shrimp are fished under a popping cork or “free shrimped” using a…

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October 17, 2018

Redfish Along our Gulf Coast

Our Alabama Gulf Coast is popular for inshore fishing. One species in particular is redfish. Redfish are also known as red drum, bull red or simply red. The most distinguishing mark is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for redfish, but having no…

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October 1, 2018

Vermillion Snapper along our Gulf Coast

Another species you can find this time of year along our Alabama Gulf Coast is Vermillion Snapper. They prefer the same depths as the Red Snapper and can often be found swimming with them. Like the Red Snapper, the vermilion snapper is more of a temperate than a tropical fish, and is unfamiliar to most…

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September 26, 2018

Pan Seared Amberjack with Warm Potato and Crawfish Salad

Ingredients: 24 ounces Abita Bayou Bootlegger (regular root beer may be used) 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup cane syrup 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 tablespoons diced yellow onion ¾ pound diced and blanched Yukon gold potatoes 3 tablespoons capers 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 1½ teaspoons salt, divided 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided…

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September 18, 2018

September Fishing

Even though we are in the middle of September, the dog days of summer are still here. High water temperatures and afternoon thunder storms will soon give way to lower humidity and drier air. Earlier this month we had our first minor cool front of the year. As the days give way to the cooler air, summer species of bait and shrimp will start to migrate into the Gulf and this will trigger the fall feeding frenzy. We have seen great catches of amberjack on our longer trips. Vermillion snapper remain the most consistent fishing that we have had with lots of fish being caught on the 6-hour charters. This year we have had an unusual amount of west currents and wind which has brought us a lot of muddy water, a loss of clarity and lower salinity levels. This…

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September 12, 2018

Red Snapper with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Onions and Cilantro Gremolata

Try this awesome Red Snapper recipe from Chef Brian at GTs On The Bay! GTs sits overlooking Wolf Bay on Canal Road in the heart of Orange Beach. Ingredients: 2 (6- to 8-oz) Red Snapper fillets with skin scored 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon black pepper 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1½ tablespoons minced garlic 1½ tablespoons finely grated fresh lime zest 12 cherry tomatoes ½ yellow onion julienne Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, garlic and lime zest in small bowl and set aside. This will be the gremolata mixture. Heat nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper snapper and place skin side down in skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook till the skin gets nice and crispy. Flip and finish cooking filets till done. Remove fish from…

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July 3, 2018

85th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

The 85th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo will be held July 20 – July 22 on Dauphin Island. The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is the oldest and largest multi-species saltwater tournament in the country. This tournament was founded in 1929 and attracts over 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. This is a 3-day Captain’s Choice tournament and a Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) sanctioned event. The total awards package is valued up to one million dollars and anchored by two boat, motor, and trailer packages. The rodeo offers up to 30 categories with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category. Tickets are on sale at the following locations: Academy Sports and Outdoors, Autry Greer & Sons, Blue Water Ships Store, Tackle This Shoot That, Howell & Associates, J&M Tackle, Quint’s Sporting Goods, Pronto Pawn, Dority’s Bar &…

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May 30, 2018

Red Snapper Season Opens June 1

Make your plans and reserve your charter because Red Snapper season opens Friday, June 1 and continues until July 21, 2018. We have openings for both shared expense trips as well as private charters on all our boats. Federal regulations for this season are a limit of 2 fish per day per angler with a…

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May 21, 2018

41st Annual Mobile Big Game Fishing in Orange Beach

The 41st Annual Mobile Big Game Fishing Club’s Memorial Day Tournament is coming up the weekend of May 24 through May 28. Held at Orange Beach Marina, the tournament officially begins with the mandatory Captain’s Meeting on Friday, May 25. Boats may leave after the mandatory sign-out from the Captain’s Meeting by captain or owner. The weigh dock opens at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 26 and will close at 9:00 p.m. Boats must return inside the Perdido Pass Rocks by 6:00 p.m. Early registration received by May 21, is $250.00 per angler. The Mobile Big Game Fishing Club was founded in 1966 to foster, promote, and increase interest in the sport of big game fishing, oceanography, marine biology, and other related and similar fields.

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May 14, 2018

2018 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Coming Up

It’s that time again and that means the Gulf Coast’s most popular billfish tournament will take place this coming weekend, May 17 – May 20 at The Wharf in Orange Beach. This Orange Beach Billfish Classic typically marks the beginning of the summer marlin season. Fish eligible for tournament awards will be: Billfish Catch and Release, Blue Marlin (106” minimum), Tuna, Dolphin and Wahoo. Spearfish are included in Billfish Catch and Release. Swordfish are not an eligible tournament species. In the Billfish Catch and Release division, Blue Marlin will be scored at 500 points per release, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish will be scored at 200 points per release. Tuna, wahoo and dolphin must weigh at least 20 pounds and each species is limited to 3 per boat per day. The Orange Beach Billfish Classic was founded in 1998 with…

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May 7, 2018

Amberjack with Mango-Banana Salsa

Ingredients: 1 ½ cups orange and pineapple juice 6 tablespoons brown sugar 6 tablespoons dark rum 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper 24 ounces amberjack fillet (about 1/2 inch thick) ¼ teaspoon salt cooking spray salsa (Mango-Banana) Combine first…

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April 30, 2018

Amberjack Fish Fact

Did you know that Amberjack is the name of three species of Atlantic fish of the Carangidae family, which includes the amberjacks and the pompanos? The largest of the amberjacks are called the Greater Amberjacks and they usually have dark stripes extending from the nose to the front of their dorsal fins. Next in line…

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April 24, 2018