Scrappy Pinfish in Fish River

Fall was definitely in the air this morning as I fished Fish River, Baldwin County, Alabama for Redfish and Speckled Trout.  The North wind was a blowing and the temperatures stayed in the low 60’s.  No Redfish or Specks, but I did manage a few Largemouth Bass and this Pinfish that hit a crankbait!  He’s got a scrape on his forehead to show for it.  He along with the bass was released to swim in wait for a warmer day….

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Dawn Topwater Speckled Seatrout

Speckled Trout with topwater plug

My Brother-in-law, Gordon, and I got out at dawn this morning on Mobile Bay.  Reports from recent days have been good so we were anxious to get into the fray.  We launched at about 5:30 AM and crept out to our spot in the darkness.  We both fished topwater initially, Gordon with a new noisy Rapala Skitter Walk in white and red and I with a wooden plug I had made last year but not field tested.  Gordon got the first activity with a nice fish, but it came off very quickly.   He had several other strikes and blow-ups in quick succession, many times knocking the plug out of the water.  On close inspection as it got lighter, we discovered that the top treble hook was missing, obviously lost on the first fish.  After replacing the missing hook, Gordon was able to catch two more nice Specks before the topwater bite shut down.  I did catch a nice Speck on my plug too, which pleased me immensely!  Being new to plug making, this is the first fish I have caught on a plug of my making.  ……now I just need to get some rattles inside to compete with the noisy Rapala!

This fish is about 21″ long and was not the largest fish we caught.  As the daylight shut down the top water action, we switched to jigs and soft grubs and finished out our limits for a fish fry…in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Isaac!

Speckled Seatrout

Orange Beach Morning

I had been hearing this week that the Sand Seatrout – or White Trout as the locals call them, were pretty thick around Orange Beach, AL.  I made the 40 minute trip this morning with Jack to check it out.  I typically do not keep fish, but White Trout are known to be especially tasty and my mother-in-law has been wanting some fresh fish….so we took the ice chest.  Jack is a serious fisherman who grew up here in Lower Alabama and has shared his local lore with me frequently.  He also loves his fish fries, so the ice chest put an especially large grin on his face this morning.  Jack also knows that I get sidetracked easily when I catch a different species and just chuckles when I bring out the camera to photograph the “Ground Mullet” or Pinfish” that  I bring aboard.

We had a successful trip in that we brought back enough White Trout to satisfy my needs and a good contribution to Jack’s next fish fry.  I didn’t take any pictures this morning of the white trout, but here are a few of some other species caught.

Silver Perch

Pigfish

Jack caught a Gafftopsail Catfish….  I lost a nice one at the boat with my ultralight gear.

Ladyfish – an unexpected occurance

I was invited to fish with my cousin Jack yesterday afternoon after work – one of the benefits of daylight saving time!  Jack likes to fish for Speckled Trout and usually does well.  We fished the lower stretches of a local river that drains into Mobile Bay for a couple hours but  the Speckled Trout didn’t cooperate.  We have received a lot of rain recently so one possibility for their absence is that the freshwater has begun to move them into the bay where they are found during the summer.  Ironically, I did catch a Ladyfish, that relative of the Tarpon, which are usually found while fishing the saltwater beaches.  I tried to grab a quick picture – with questionable success – before releasing the lively lady.