Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 41, No. 1 - Page 18

Red Zone N O R T H (Continued from page 7.) packs considerable fishing into a small area. Mobile Bay helps make up for the small coastline. When waters turn cold, many redfish venture up the rivers flowing into the bay or the Mobile Ship Channel. “From the first freeze, generally around Thanksgiving, until spring, fish are in the river deltas,” Abruscato said. “In the winter, fish seek out the deepest water relative to the system where they live. The delta has some 20 to 30 foot depths. The Fowl River is the shallowest and runs about 12 feet deep. Fish River and the Bon Secour River are pretty good in the winter.” Almost anywhere along the Alabama coast can offer good redfish action. Some better places to catch reds include Portersville Bay, Grand Bay and Heron Bay near Dauphin Island. The marshes adjacent to these bays also hold good fish. “I focus on shell in the winter,” Abruscato said. “When I find that type of bottom, I look for any features on the banks, like creek mouths, points or anything else that creates a little irregularity. When we find fish, it can get insane.” For bull reds, the Dixey Bar at the southern end of Mobile Bay can provide outstanding action. The bar borders the ship channel. Over the bar itself, the water depth varies from about four to seven feet, but drops off quickly at the edge. Anglers might also fish around the Sand Island Lighthouse about three miles south of the bay entrance. “Winter is one of the best times to catch bull reds in Alabama and one of the best places to catch them along the Gulf Coast is Dixey Bar,” Abruscato recommended. “I like to fish the channel edge. I start right where the water comes up from about 12 to 10 feet deep. We drift along the edge casting 3/8-ounce or larger jigheads tipped with 4-inch chartreuse or white Gulp! Swimming Mullets. I drift casting perpendicular to the current.” Near the Alabama-Florida line, Perdido Pass at the mouth of the Perdido River, separates Alabama Point from Florida Point. The pass connects Perdido Bay with the Gulf and can provide outstanding winter redfish action. “Alabama Point near Orange Beach is a good spot to catch redfish in the winter,” said Glenn Flowers, a guide from Pensacola, FL. “The jetties at the pass are really good. That area has many places where people can fish off the bank if they don’t G U L F S t. J o s e p h P o i n t, FL to S h i p S h o a l L i g h t, LA Wells Fishing Forecast Adjustment Times St. Joseph Point Panama City Destin/East Pass Pensacola Bay Entrance Alabama Point Mobile Point Horn Island Pass Pascagoula Pass Chandeleur Light -:60 -1.20 -:40 -:30 -:20 -:15 Same -:10 -:15 Long Point/Lake Borgne Bay St