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Discussion Starter #1
Was considering fishing the sandbar area in Orange Beach tomorrow morning. I have been following the surf fishing reports and they seem to be catching black drum, reds, sheepshead, and pomps. It is hard to follow what kind of bait other than shrimp and the occasional sandflea they are using. Does anyone know if live shrimp is necessary or if dead (fresh) shrimp will do? I only have limited time (930ish-1230ish) and being able to stick to artificial baits would save some time and leave more for being on the water. Or should I spend a little time getting good natural bait? Also, where is the best area to target...between the sandbar and beach, the sandbar itself, or gulf side of the sandbar?

Has anyone else been fishing this area lately or have plans on doing so in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area this week?

Thanks in advance for any input!
 

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dead shrimp are fine, doesn't have to be live. Sand fleas are gathered on the beach (see the forum for how), but it may be a little early in the year to find many big ones. THere are also GULP sand fleas, and Fishbites, which are little ribbons of fake bait. But everything eats shrimp, the important thing is getting it to the right spot. You want to be in the gut between sandbars, and ideally in a cut in the sandbars where water rushes back out into the gulf. See the sticky for reading the surf.
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I went out for a couple hours this morning. I saw absolutely no fish. Nothing on the sandbar and nothing between the shore. The water was swimming pool calm and very clear. I ended up paddling out a few hundred yards where I saw dolphin swimming and pelicans floating. There was a tide line there so I dropped a peeled shrimp to the bottom and cast with a pink jig (murdered pompano in SW Florida with this jig). Great day on the water but the only fish landed was a nice sail cat. Spent a little time trolling an eel tailed white jig and diving rapala lure. No luck obviously

Looking forward to trying it again.
 
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