Gulf Shores Charters; Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to charter a boat in Gulf Shores?
Charter fishing is good all year round in Gulf Shores, Alabama. However, the Summer fishing season months are our busiest because of all of the people on vacation. The weather is usually more stable and we have fewer cancellations because of bad weather. Fall, Winter and Spring are also good fishing. The weather causes more frequent cancellations during these seasons, however, we do have a mild climate and we do get to make most of our charters. We also have a fishing definitions page to help you understand everything about charter fishing in Alabama.
Why does you pricing say from 1 to 10 people?
It is just a flexibility option that we can offer to you since our boat is so big and diverse. click here for more information on this
Do you offer walk on fishing trips?
NO - All of our charters are private. Only you and your group will be on the boat during that time. It is up to you to get others to join your group. We do not put you on a list and match you up. This is very difficult and not everyone calling wants to go or can go on the same day.
When do we need to book a fishing charter?
The urgency of booking a charter depends on you and the boats availability. Summer months, Holidays, Weekends and Fishing Tournaments create our biggest rush of charters. A lot of you plan months ahead for your vacation or weekend escape to ensure you get a room. Fishing is the same way. You need to plan early so you get the date of your choice. During the Fall, Winter and Spring, fishing slows a bit but we still experience high volumes of bookings during weekends.
How long of a charter do we need to book?
There are a lot of factors involved in this process. Our offshore trips range from a 4 hour trolling trip to a 6 hour bottom fishing trips for Red Snapper, Triggerfish, etc.. Our overnight to multi-day Tuna and Marlin trips are great for those who want to experience something unique. 8 hour trips or shorter are mostly for those who want to have fun and catch a few fish to release or catch a few for supper. 10 and 12 hour bottom fishing trips are for those who want to be on the water all day and or, keep a few fish for the freezer. Overnight trips are for more serious anglers and groups that want to fish for larger species of fish that live further offshore. If you have kids or you have never done it before, you might consider a 4 to 6 hour trip. If you have been deep sea fishing before, I would suggest an 8 to 12 hour trip or longer.
How far offshore will we go on our fishing trip?
Offshore fishing or deep-sea fishing is one of those things that the distance traveled is determined by the length of the trip. A 4 hour trip usually stays near shore for King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia and Winter Redfish or within 8 miles of land. This is dependent upon the fish bite. Yesterday we were catching fish right off the beach. Tomorrow, we may have to go further out to get them. These fish swim in schools and move around. 6 hour trips will usually get you from 12 to 18 miles offshore and catch Red Snapper, Triggerfish and Mackerel. 8 hour trips will get you from 15 to 25 miles offshore. 10 and 12 hour trips will get you 20 to 40 miles offshore and those are the trips where you can target Grouper and Amberjack. Overnight trips will get you from 60 to 100 miles offshore. Multi-day trips can get you out as far as 200 miles.
How long do we get to fish on a typical trip in Gulf Shores?
As a rule of thumb, bottom fishing in Gulf Shores consist of a ride from the port to the fishing reefs and back. This ride can be as short as an hour or longer, depending on the length of the trip. Most charters are usually divided into 50% ride (trolling fishing heading out and back) and 50% fishing. There is also time spent driving between reefs that counts as riding. We try to troll between spots that are further than 3 miles apart. However, most charter boats high speed troll while heading out to the reefs. High speed trolling produces fish frequently during the late Spring, Summer and Fall months.
Will we catch Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Grouper and Amberjack on our fishing charter?
The reality of catching Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Grouper and Amberjack is dependent upon the length of the fishing charter taken. In recent years, these species have been over fished and seasonal closures and increased size limits have been put in place to stop over harvesting of these species. With that being said, you can catch them on trips as short as 6 hours. The truth is that you need to take at least a 10 or 12 hour charter or longer to be able to have a chance to catch them. Then there is no guarantee. Fishing for Grouper and Amberjack is usually better during the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. This is a time when these larger fish move closer to shore and there is less fishing pressure on them. In the Summer, plan on a full day charter to increase your odds. If you want to catch Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna or Blue Marlin, you need to plan on an overnight fishing trip or longer.
Do we offer lodging while in town?
We do not offer lodging at this time. We do have plenty of hotels, motels, condos and beach houses that you can rent. Orange Beach has several local hotels to lodge at during your stay. We do have several condo rental agencies like Meyer Realty, Kaiser Realty and Brett-Robinson in town.
We have kids. Do you have life jackets for them?
All boats must have life saving equipment on board. All of our charter boats carry children's life jackets that are USCG approved for children. Alabama law requires children 8 years-old and younger to wear a PFD while on-board. If you have your own life jacket that is more comfortable for your child, you may bring it as long as it is USCG approved.
Do we have to buy a fishing license in Gulf Shores?
You do not need to buy an Alabama Saltwater Fishing License to fish on the Intimidator charter boat. Alabama Charter Boats provide your fishing license for you while on board. Each charter boat purchases the license annually and it covers those who fish on the boat. If you fish from shore or from a dock, you do need to purchase a license from a local tackle shop or go to the State of Alabama's Outdoor website here and purchase a license online.
Will I get sea sick?
Motion sickness is real and effects about 10 to 15 percent of all saltwater fishermen. Some of you use Dramamine. Dramamine makes people sleepy. We would suggest non-drowsy Dramamine or Bonine over the counter medicine and take as directed. Some people get a prescription patch from your local doctor.
Are Gulf Shores fishing charters safe?
All of our fishing charters have great safety records. Fishing is not an exact sport. There are hooks and we catch fish that have sharp teeth and needle like fins. We fish in waters where waves may cause you to hold on while moving around. We care about your safety. We do not want you to get hurt in any way.
Do all charter boats have restrooms?
Our Charter Boat has two private, air conditioned restrooms with real commodes.
May we bring our own fishing tackle?
Sure you may bring your own fishing tackle. However, saltwater fish fight hard and your gear may not be suited to handle the fight. We will not be held responsible if your tackle fails.
Do we offer a catch and release program?
Yes we do offer catch and release. We promote catch and release as part of our program. Not all species are catch and release friendly. However, we do have a lot of species that are a lot of fun to fight, photograph and release.
If I catch a nice fish, can I get it mounted?
Saltwater fish mounts are replicas which means you can either keep your fish to eat or release them to be caught another day. All we need is a 50% deposit, name of the fish, length to get your order started.
Do I have to pay for a rod if it breaks or I lose a lure or bait?
We use new tackle and well maintained fishing gear. If a rod and reel fails on it's own, you will not be charged. If you drop one overboard, you will be expected to replace it. We lose lures, hooks and gear all of the time while fishing. You will not be charged for the loss of lures or bait.
May we bring alcoholic beverages? Can we smoke?
Yes you may bring your favorite beverage with you. However, we do not allow glass bottles. We ask that you drink in moderation. Excessive drinking and intoxication may lead to accident or injury. We are safe operators and expect you to adhere to all safety rules and regulations. You may smoke outside, away from everyone else.
What do we need to bring on our fishing charter?
Depending on the length of your charter, you need to bring the basics: non-slip shoes, food, drink, snacks, hand towels, protective clothing ( hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, rain gear, etc) and camera.
Do you fish in bad weather or high seas?
We do fish in the rain. We try to avoid fishing in rough seas or high winds. We try to stay away from lightening storms at all times. Our offshore charter boats have state-of-art live satellite color radar on board to see storms coming. Inshore boats can fish on days when we can't get offshore. Our big boat can handle a 4 to 6 ft sea where our Hatteras handles a 3 to 4 ft sea comfortably.