One of the most amazing and unique aspects of Perdido Key is the extensive and diverse recreational fishing opportunities. Whether you bring your boat, charter local guide service, use a kayak, or simply stand on the bank with a rod, there are fish in reach all year round.

Perdido Key, being an island, means the water and fishing are literally in every direction. Perdido and Escambia Bays, the various bayous, tidal creeks, and respective rivers make up the estuary system here. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) links them together along the Northside of Perdido Key via Big Lagoon on the east end and Old River to the west. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the south.

Local fishing is broken down into two general categories: inshore and offshore. Major differences will be the target species of game fish throughout the year. And of course the location. Offshore charter fishing boats can take trips from about 70 to 140 miles off the coast, sometimes near oil rigs. Inshore will typically stay in the Back Bay areas on a smaller console boat.

Inshore Fishing

Information provided by Charter Boat Captain- Mike Peek.

Inshore fishing is typically in the Back Bay areas and close to shore on a smaller center console boat.  Inshore fishing may be more suitable for small kids or those who are prone to seasickness.

Calm waters offer a variety of different species of fish- so every season can be different.

Fishing Through the Seasons:

  • Snowbird Season (January through March): Sheepshead, speckled trout, redfish, and pompano
  • Spring Break Season (March through May): redfish, trout, and pompano
  • Summer Vacation Season (May through August): redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel
  • Fall Season (September through December): As cold fronts start moving in and the water cools down, fishing picks up for redfish, trout, flounder, pompano, and also the sheepshead will start to bite again.

What is your favorite fishing season/fish to catch?

The early part of the year is great, for that is when the sheepshead is biting. Sheepshead will be around the bridges and structure around the bays as they start their migration towards the passes. Sheepshead is very good table fare and better than that they are great fun to catch. This is a great experience for youngsters, fishermen, and families of all ages to get into. Once you locate the fish, it’s catching one after another – inshore can be so much fun!

What should people prepare for when booking an offshore fishing trip?

In the fall and spring always be prepared for weather sometimes people come underdressed and it’s not very enjoyable for them. In the early spring and in the fall always come prepared for different types of weather conditions.

Offshore Fishing

Information provided by Charter Boat Captain- Bobby Walker.

Offshore trips can range from 4 hours to 72 hours.  They are targeting larger fish than the inshore trips and can be private or shared.  Most fishing offshore occurs outside of the winter months, especially during the summer where many fishing tournaments are held in between Memorial Day and Labor Day!

Fishing Through the Seasons:

  • Snowbird Season (January through March): Mainly Snappers, Groupers, and Triggerfish
  • Spring Break Season (March through May): Great time to go out! It is not so hot yet, and there are plenty of Fish such as Amberjack, Grouper, Snapper, Trigger Fish, and King Mackerel.
  • Summer Vacation Season (May through August): Seasoned fishermen will likely be fishing almost every day. Red snappers are the main target species around June and July. You can also find Snappers, Amberjack, and Triggerfish during the summer months!
  • Fall Season (September through December): Amberjack and Grouper are still active through September, and also the Bromelain Snapper. This time of year is also when the weather starts cooling off. Around the first of December, you can fish for some tuna, but not so busy until the waters start to warm up again.

What is your favorite fishing season/fish to catch?

I enjoy the spring, around the 1st of March, the weather is nice, it’s a good time to fish, and the fish are eating well through May and then it’s snapper season! Red Snapper has always been fun to chase- ever since I started fishing out of high school. People get really excited to go out by the oil rigs- it’s like a city with all of the lights. You never know what you’re going to hook us there, you can catch anything from Tuna and Marlins to dolphins.

What should people prepare for when booking an offshore fishing trip?

Most boats are equipped to handle 6-12 people aboard, depending on how big the crowd you have. No licensing is required when going on a charter boat- as everything is covered. There is also no experience required to go offshores, boats typically have 2 captains and 2 mates on board at all times, providing for plenty of education on the trip with all the equipment you could need! Be sure to pack your sunscreen, a change of clothes, and some food or drink if you would like depending on the length of your trip!

Record-Breaking Catch!

 132-pound, 12.8-Ounce Amberjack

In August of 2019, I took a charter about 40 miles southeast of orange beach. We hooked a couple of big ones, two at the same time, and they were swimming like crazy. There were a lot of sharks- so sometimes you wonder if it was a shark. The fish were staying deep, Brian Andrews caught the fish after 40-45 minutes. The water was clear- and he looked giant! I said, “Man you got yourself a hundred-pound Amberjack!” When we got back to the Marina, we weighed it on the certified scale and confirmed it!  He broke the record for the largest Amberjack caught in the Gulf of Mexico since 1981!

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