Monday, October 14, 2013

Gulf Shores Deep Sea Fishing on The High Cotton

I have been fishing with Capt Chris Garner and the High Cotton for about 20 years.... He is by far the best offshore deep sea charter captain in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach region. When I first met Chris he was young, ambitious, and captain of a small boat. Every year we would come back to Gulf Shores he would have just a bit bigger/nicer boat, and every year we would head out a little further and catch bigger/ nicer fish!!

So anyhow every year I head down to the beach, I always call Chris and see whats happening... Now that he is on Facebook at High Cotton Charters so its even easier to stay connected to whats biting... So Chris said "Nate, there is a special 14 day snapper season right now and you absolutely have to bring your dad on Sunday's trip, its perfect for him. Just a 6 hr trip and we are headed to my snapper honey holes"

Come Sunday morning and Justin, Dad, Lee, and me were headed out 30 miles into the Gulf with 10 other people... Most charter boats out of Orange Beach have a maximum of 6 people, but the High Cotton can handle groups up to 15!! Usually we do a private charter on his boat, but this trip we joined a split charter to save on cost (and to get in on the monster red snappers before season closed Monday)...

Lee started out the morning with a very large and in charge snapper in 70' of water.... We were fishing only 40' down with live cigar minnows we caught right outside of Perdido Bay:

Dad actually doesnt like to reel in the big fish, so he focused his time on catching triggerfish. He caught some very nice triggers!!

Justin's first snapper was also really nice! I still cant believe how many BIG snappers we caught....

'bout 10 minutes after Justins biggest fish, my rod was doubled over with this nice snapper!

Followed up that one with this one:

We fished 4 different spots out in the gulf... one of them was holding lots of small fish, but the other 3 spots were loaded up with big fish. We filled up the fish cooler with some of the biggest red snappers I have ever seen (and I have been snapper fishing a few times in my day)... Usually you only get 2 or 3 of the big boys on a fishing trip, but this trip we limited out on the big boys!

Here are some more awesome snapper pics:

So here is how the 6 hour charter broke down... We spent 30 minutes catching bait with sabiki rigs which is actually pretty fun! Then we drove for an hour. Then we fished 4 wrecks/reefs for about 30 minutes each and then headed back in. The key to the trip is actually driving out further than the rest of the 6 hr charter fleets.... you spend more time driving and less time fishing, but the time you do spend fishing is just so stinkin productive. Here is a pic of the fish box getting filled up:

We got back to the dock about 1:30 in the afternoon and snapped a couple more photos and cleaned all the fish:

We spent the rest of the day swimming, watching football highlights and then took all the kids on an evening boat ride in the lagoon. We have only been down here 2 days and already have jampacked in a pretty event filled trip...The kids are having a blast exploring the beach!

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