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Discussion Starter #1
Fishing is something that I do every chance I can and am mostly a bass fisherman, some panfish. I have never fished, aside from charters, in salt water. I intend to spend some time in November fishing the Mobile bay, launching from the causeway somewhere. For various reasons I won't get into here, my ability to get out on the water is somewhat limited these days so I want to make the most of the time and availability I do have and learning by internet is something that can really help.

I have watched and read alot on trout and redfish to feel that from a technique standpoint, I will be fine....but there is a ton I don't know so I thought I'd start here and pose a few questions to get started...any tips, suggestions or local experiences would be greatly appreciated...
1. Does weather effect saltwater fish like freshwater fish?
2. How do you fish around tides...prime vs dead time... I found a web page to give me a look at what stage it is in.
3. I have read that under the bridges are good areas, though some portion of it is very shallow...anything about the pilings, bridges, depths etc..
4. I'll be traveling east to west on the parkway...which launches do you recommend...ease of access and proximity to good fishing areas.
5. Lastly, any tips and hints for a complete newbie!
5a. Something I always ask, how deep are the fish biting? and best depths to fish this time of year...looks to me most people fishing on in that area are fishing shallow; less than 4' deep and maybe under the bridges deeper?

It is hunting season for most, but my fishing season is just starting now for me....up until Memorial day usually.
 

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1. There's no fish around the causeway
2. If you take an eco tour (boat ride) take a push stick because you will get stuck
3. Generally, people are rude, the water is muddy, and the beer is hot.


In all seriousness;

1. Does weather effect saltwater fish like freshwater fish?
Yes, weather will have an affect on the fishing
2. How do you fish around tides...prime vs dead time... I found a web page to give me a look at what stage it is in.
Mobile Bay is notorious for having extreme low tides in the winter, try to fish on a moving time, but really whenever you can get out there.
3. I have read that under the bridges are good areas, though some portion of it is very shallow...anything about the pilings, bridges, depths etc..
The entire bay and lower delta area is shallow, and even more so in the winter. I'm serious, take a push stick because you will beach it.
4. I'll be traveling east to west on the parkway...which launches do you recommend...ease of access and proximity to good fishing areas.
Meaher State Park has the nicest launch and only cost a few bucks, please consider supporting our local parks. Every other ramp on the cause way is good to okay.
5. Lastly, any tips and hints for a complete newbie!
Live shrimp and patience
5a. Something I always ask, how deep are the fish biting? and best depths to fish this time of year...looks to me most people fishing on in that area are fishing shallow; less than 4' deep and maybe under the bridges deeper?
See above, the entire area is shallow. Find the deeper shallow spots and holes. I personally stay away from the bridges but people do catch them around there.
 

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Thanks for the reply...this gives me something to start with and hopefully others will chime in too.

Videos I watch seem to show a catch heavy to trout...less so with redfish. Is that due to area, presentation, population or maybe I'm not correct in that observation...thoughts?
 

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Area and presentation. Trout move up into the upper bay in the fall and winter, but normally in numbers not size. The people that do catch the large gator trout this time of year can attribute it to dumb luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So if you wanted to target Redfish...launching from the park, what adjustments would you make to target them...I'm not looking for gps coordinates! rather generalities to follow assuming launching there...if there are some good areas near the launch.
 

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Idle out to the Blakely River (the only way to get out of the park) and work the grass beds and off into the river channel on both sides. They will be there.
 

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I catch most fish north of the causeway but be warned, if you don't know where you're going, you will get stuck.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I will try to time my trips to stay away from low tide based on feedback, though like many, I will go when I can...based on what I've seen and read focusing on that corner of the bay, it looks like there is a very defined river channel to follow to and from the launching areas.

If the river channel is not as deep and clear as it looks, please let me know...as etrade said, the Blakely river and Apalachee river looks like I can access several side channels, mouths of feeders and the bay itself all within minutes of the launch....if I were bass fishing, I'd key on inlets, any irregularities (man made and natural) on the shoreline creating current breaks and ambush points.

In my reading, it sounded like the river channel was fairly deep and defined...20'+ in spots and some of the fish like red's, catfish and sheepshead would be on the breakline maybe down a little deeper say 10-20 feet....I know the video footage I've seen of the trout fishing had them pretty shallow on flats adjacent to channel intersections, inlets etc.... for a newbie, would you suggest fishing shallow to deep or deep to shallow?
 

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Mouser, the spots that I go to catch fish aren't readily marked except with some PVC pipes that more often than not aren't there. You can follow the channel east past the restaurants and find some good basins for reds and trout but even there, you can get hung up. Low tide is bad but high tide isn't much better.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
when fishing skinny water, particularly the off color water common in the shallow waters, how "line shy" are redfish and trout? I don't have a whopper plopper though I'm sure I'll get one...anyone use a zara spook walking style bait for reds and trout...seems to me it would be a good alternative.

In terms of visually seeing active fish; beyond sea gulls hitting the water and boils/fish feeding on top...anything else to keep a sharp eye out for?
 

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I'm a gotcha, saltwater assassin or fresh shrimp kind of guy when it comes to both.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for their replies...gives me something to start with and strategize so I can make use of the opportunity I will have! Time is not an issue as I'm retired...availability is as I no longer am able to fish by myself. Hopefully this will be the start of a new addiction as I love to fish and especially artificials...not that I don't use bait, but I don't like to if I don't have to.
 

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Look in your bass tackle and see if you have a KVD Sexy Dawg in anything that resembles mullet or bone color. That's been a good one for me. My favorite is a Jackall Bonnie but they are not always as easy to find if you're just running to the tackle store. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll have to check my walking baits to see what I have...I've used a bunch of top waters over the years, but less so since moving back to Alabama....I used to live in the upper Midwest and Smallmouth Bass really like topwaters.....anyways, I have a number of them, just have to dig them out.

I have read that redfish in particular, like bright colors...Chartreuse, white, shiny silver etc... I do like topwaters...spook fishing is amongst my favorite way to catch fish...something about the fish blowing up on the bait!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A couple more thoughts/questions...

In watching and reading, there are definitely some favorite baits and presentations. There are two that I don't hear much about...1. dragging a football jig and craw/Carolina rig craw to mimic a shrimp and 2) No inline spinners...the larger variety; and they are not popular anymore, but I catch a ton of line sided bass and schooling fish on them...any thoughts and experience?

I've read numerous accounts...bring a push pole and I am a believer and am a cautious boater...I will definitely start close to the launch and move outwards as I gain knowledge of depth and such....when you say run aground...are you talking idling and getting stuck or are you saying on plane...as that is real stuck potentially and an abrupt stop!

What can I expect in terms of business/fishing pressure at this time of year...weekdays will be most likely for me as I am retired but should I go on a weekend...how busy is the boat ramp/fishing pressure typically in Nov to early Dec?

Looks like my first opportunity to get out there may be mid-Nov...I'm chomping on the bit so-to-speak!

Thank you all mightily for your comments and suggestions!
 
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