The fish were really biting this weekend

By PAT BROWN,

T he little lady and I took a couple of days off last week and headed down to Gulf Shores for fun with friends. 

  We headed out early on Thursday morning with the Alabama Gulf Coast as our destination.  My college buddy and his family had rented a place at Fort Morgan for the week.  We met in Gulf Shores for lunch and headed back to their place in Fort Morgan.  They had a three-story duplex on the beach, and their side had five bedrooms with a pool. 

  That afternoon we played on the beach a bit and  went out to eat.  We called it an early evening because we had plans to fish in the morning with an outfit in Orange Beach.  The boat, Miss Brianna, was set to leave the dock at 7 a.m.  Nancy fixed us sandwiches for the six hour trip out into the gulf.  Our crew was our deck hand Tony and Captain Bobby.  They asked us what our pleasure was--keepers or just plain fighters. 

Speaking for the group, I told them we wanted to do keepers.  So they took us out about 15 miles to a spot the captain had not fished before and as soon as we put lines in the water the fish were on.  That day we were fishing with squid for Vermillion Snapper, sometimes called B Liners or White Snapper. 

  The gig was like this: you have three hooks, you drop ‘em straight down to the bottom, then crank up a couple of times.  If you are lucky you can get three on the line at a time, which offers a bit more of a challenge.  They are in the 1-3 pound range so it will end up being a fun time loading the lines. 

  Nancy was a bit apprehensive about fishing, but after a little coaxing she got right in there and started throwing in her line.  As luck would have it, she hooked a Lane Snapper, which was the largest catch. The distinguishing factor about this fish is the yellow lines down each of its sides. 

  We were really tearing it up and before we knew it we had reached our limit of 60 fish, all within the first hour of the first line hitting the water.  Then it was time to do some trolling, which conveniently was  back in the direction of land. 

    We threw out some trolling rigs with spoons on them and almost immediately we heard that endearing term, “Fish On!”  The first catch was a nice King Mackerel followed by a couple of Spanish Mackerel. 

When we got back to the docks and Tony finished cleaning the fish we had five gallon bags of fillets of the Vermillion and a gallon bag of the Mackerel.    

    They shared some recipes for coating the fish in yellow mustard before battering them.  It sounds strange, but the mackeral is an oilier fish, and the mustard makes them really good.  We grilled and fried some of the snapper and they were pretty tasty also. 

  That night we had  a big feast on ‘catch of the day’ but had to call it an early evening because we had played hard the entire day. 

The next day, which was Saturday, was themed a day at the beach.  This was the prettiest day for the time we were there.  The day was nice and clear.  Nancy and I started with an early breakfast at one of the eateries and a trip to the outlet mall before heading to the beach.  I can only stay at a mall for so long before I get antsy.  We caught up with the friends about noon back at Fort Morgan. 

    They were gathering on the beach to enjoy the weather along with the nice water temperature.  It was hot on the beach, but there was a nice breeze and the perfect place to cool off was in the gulf.  The breeze along with the gentle surf, the good friends and the great food made for a perfect combination. 

  The only thing bad about our trip was that it was over quicker than we would have liked and too soon we were back to normal life and work.