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Saltwater Fishing Charter Areas

Orange Beach fishing charter areas

Orange Beach Fishing Charter Area Terminology…

Orange Beach fishing charter areas and their respective yet descriptive terminology alike can be confusing from one perspective to another here along the Gulf Coast in Gulf Shores AL, Orange Beach AL, Perdido Key FL and Pensacola, FL.  All of the different boats have different areas they fish in and the descriptive words they use to describe the who, what, when, and in this case, “Where” they fish can leave you confused and dazed from one captains perspective to the next.  Even some Marina’s in the area get confused and can easily mis speak and end up mis quoting you the wrong price leading you to believe you are buying a Marlin but getting a Amberjack or Mackerel and worse case yet, leaving you holding a bag of rocks vs a bag of filleted fish.  We hope to clear up some confusion and state a few fishing facts while putting our own little twist of lime and dash of salt on it.

Where the government is concerned there are Two (2) agencies who manage the fisheries to ensure any one species of fish is not overfished into extinction. First of the two government agencies are the local state agencies, in our geographical case, Alabama and Florida manage all of the “Inshore” fishing areas extending out up to 9 (nine) miles from the beaches into the Gulf of Mexico. Hence the traditional overall generalizing term “Inshore” fishing area description is used by rule of thumb to cover the entire state’s managed fishing area.  The second fishing area of importance is governed by the Federal agency who manage the fisheries from 9 miles from the beaches up to where the international waters start in the Gulf of Mexico.  Hence the more traditional yet still generalized descriptive fishing area terms like Offshore Fishing and/or Deep Sea Fishing are also commonly used summarizing the fishing areas where we conduct saltwater fishing at.

It seems that every other fishing charter provider in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key and Pensacola alike, have a different descriptive word to sell their services, so it is of utmost important to not get confused with the competition so you are not deceived by a cheaper price.  For example, What we would refer as a to a Nearshore fishing charter (1-9 miles from shore), another captain may say the same area is a offshore fishing charter, furthermore, what we would call a Offshore fishing charter (10-50 miles from shore), some head boats aka party boats (multi-passenger over 30 passenger capacity) will say they are going on a Deep Sea fishing charter, however, they bring back to the docks offshore fishing area fish, not deep sea fishing area fish.  While not every fishing charter captain uses the same terminology as we do, does not necessarily mean they are bad fisherman.  Maybe bad salesmen, but not bad fishermen.  Even with that pro there is a con… We have to ask ourselves if being deceptive in practice a justification to rationalize the trust factor to give the benefit of the doubt or trust they will deliver when it really counts.  We strive to make good first impressions are really everything from perception through delivery!  Here is a picture we made that clearly illustrates how we like to describe the type of fishing charter with the correctly depicted geographic fishing areas to simplify confusion when shopping for a fishing charter here along the northern Gulf Coast.

There are a few disclaimers that should be made in order to be completely unbiased and fair with the truth of the matter. There are no fences or nets that keep any species of fish from swimming or migrating from one saltwater fishing area to another.  During spawning or mating season, a lot of these species will come into inshore to spawn and lay eggs but eventually return to their respective favored habitats.  So for us to say that one fishing area is exclusive to catching only the fish we listed, would be a ridiculous claim that we are not implying whatsoever.   Furthermore, In Alabama State managed saltwaters has the largest artificial reef system in the world that makes home to a lot of the similarly listed offshore fish like Amberjacks, Snappers and Triggerfish.  With that being said, we stand firmly that most of those fish (not all) are juveniles not quite yet big enough to keep in comparison to the majority of the fish population in the state managed fishing areas.  What we are saying is that when we target a specific species, we want to make the odds of catching the keepers the highest possible positive outcome in our favor, and do not want to be caught up in what some call, “the bait and switch technique” where you get lured in with some of the best bait (a cheap price) then pow it’s april fools day at your expense.

Over the years we have found based on the customer’s needs and the plethora of the information age has resulted in a obvious clear desire to not be deceived by a cheap price because behind it lays a equally cheap service.  As you seen in the above pic, We have divided the state managed areas into two clear areas of distinction.  “Inshore” fishing area is in bays, bayous, estuaries, coves, generally shallow brackish waters.  While our “Nearshore” fishing area is in the Gulf of Mexico 1-9 miles from the beaches.  We feel the Nearshore term is a good depiction of saying you are in the gulf of mexico but still in state regulated waters.  The fish caught are different and so are the sea conditions.  Where the federal waters start 9 miles from shore we call “Offshore” fishing area that extend up to 50 miles from shore.  Last with no further adue is the “Deep Sea” fishing area where literally the depth of the ocean floor drops miles deep.  Because of our location along the northern panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico, while majority of the water is conceivably deep, is not considered “deep sea” until reaching the continental shelf which is roughly 50 miles from shore.

Gulf of Mexico Satellite exploded view of Fishing Areas

Satellite exploded view of Fishing Areas

As you can see in this satellite photo from google maps shows where the trench starts and opens the door to a whole new species list of fish.  Don’t be fooled by advertised “4 hr deep sea fishing charter” because that is impossible to get to the continental shelf in 4 hours moreless have time to fish and get back.  4 hours barely gives you any time to fish in Offshore waters moreless Deep Sea waters.  4 hours will most likely land you in what we call nearshore waters.  All of our Offshore area trips start for a minimum of 6 hours in duration up to 10 hours, while our Deep Sea area trips start at 12 hours in duration lasting in upwards of 48 hours.  In short, the moral of the story is pay attention to the duration of the advertised trip and compare to where the fishing area is to effectively ascertain if they are telling a Whale of a Tale selling imaginary unicorns while delivering ponies.  It is a very awkward moment when you realize you have been fooled and deceived after it is too late.

Gulf of Mexico Satellite zoomed view of Fishing Areas

Satellite zoomed view of Fishing Areas

Another good rule of thumb to know if you are fishing in state waters or federal waters is if you can see the high rise condos along the shoreline with the naked eye.  If you can see the condos, you are fishing in state managed nearshore waters, however if you cannot see the condos, it is most likely you are fishing in Federally managed Offshore waters.  The main focus is that state managed waters typically have different regulations, ie dates, size, and quantity specs that are sometimes different than federal regulations.  For example: Red snapper this year is open on weekends only in state nearshore waters when it is illegal in Federal offshore waters during the month of May.  Hence how easy it is to get confused where another company sells a offshore red snapper trip, but takes you nearshore for the same price.  While that difference may not matter to many, we offer a considerable discounted price to fishing nearshore than our competition who is selling offshore prices.  Our view of it is in reality the same end result of getting a boatload of fish but for less without paying for the higher offshore price.

Last proof in point in the level of service we offer in comparison is that of privacy.  6 fisherman is good company but 30 fisherman is a croud!  I cannot count how many times been on a bus or airplane and there is that one obnoxious person that ends up making my trip uncomfortable if not ruin the experience for everyone.  If you pay top dollar for a service, then gosh darnit you should get top service!  Don’t increase your odds of getting tangled fishing lines, taking turns at fishing at your expense, or better yet left holding your catch while waiting for the deck hand to get to you.  Take good sound advice from the experts when shopping for a fishing charter, ask a lot of questions to ensure you get what you pay for.

Be sure to give us a call at 1-251-265-1122 to RSVP you next fishing adventure.  Reserve your desired date today for only 15% down of the fishing charter price and balance paid to the captain upon departure.