Dauphin Island Fishing: The Ultimate Guide

Studying Time: 9 minutes

Serving because the dividing level between Cell Bay and the mighty Gulf of Mexico, it’s no shock that variety is the secret in relation to your Dauphin Island fishing journey. It’s packed filled with historical past, too. The island as soon as served as a house to Native Individuals, who used the land to hunt, harvest, and fish. The latter is a convention that has solely grown over time and nonetheless exists to at the present time.

That isn’t the one slice of historical past Dauphin Island possesses. Though it boasts attractive white sandy seashores and spectacular wildlife, its picturesque look hides one thing slightly darker – specifically, that it was known as “Bloodbath Island.” This outdated nickname is sensible from a fishing perspective, although. You’ll make a complete killing in relation to the sheer variety of species you may catch!

Okay, okay, sufficient of the dangerous wordplay. Let’s dive into the angling motion on provide as an alternative! The Gulf, full of tasty reef species and ferocious huge sport beasts, lies south of Dauphin Island, whereas Cell Bay, one of many most interesting inshore fisheries round, is located to the north. With so many areas to discover, it solely is sensible that there’s all kinds of fish to hook right here, too. Let’s see what you possibly can discover on the finish of your line…

What can I catch round Dauphin Island?

From ridiculously outsized huge sport beasts offshore, to juicy backside dwellers lurking across the reefs, to shallow-water species bustling within the bay, there’s no finish to what you possibly can doubtlessly hook right here. The sheer variety of fish round Dauphin Island might fill a guide, so we’ve achieved the robust work of highlighting a few of our favorites beneath…


Point out Alabama’s inshore fishing alternatives to any angler price their salt, and also you’re certain to get one reply in response: “Redfish!” Why are these fish so well-liked right here? Effectively, not solely are they significantly hard-fighting and flavorful, in addition they inhabit Cell Bay throughout all phases of their lives. This implies you’ll have the possibility to come across something from juvenile “rat” Reds, to “slot” Reds, to mighty (in measurement and stature!) Bull Reds.

If you wish to battle your Reds just like the locals do, seize your lightest sort out and reside shrimp, reside croakers, or gold and silver spoons. It is a tried-and-true Alabaman approach of hooking into Redfish, and also you’ll be capable of check out this method everytime you go to. Though Reds inhabit the waters close to Dauphin Island year-round, keep in mind that in the course of the colder months, they’ll be heading for deeper fishing grounds.

Speckled Trout

From one inshore favourite to a different, subsequent on our listing comes scrumptious Speckled Trout. These fish have grow to be an actual household favourite all alongside Alabama’s Gulf Coast, particularly Dauphin Island. Why? Effectively, you’ll discover them within the shallow waters of close by Cell Bay, which implies you gained’t have a protracted journey to the hotspots. They’re additionally enjoyable to catch, and when you hook one, a lot extra are likely to comply with.

Just like Redfish, gentle sort out is the secret in relation to hooking Specks. Reside bait resembling shrimp is the right technique to lure ’em onto your line. Fishing in Dauphin Island throughout summer season presents up loads of Trout fishing alternatives, specifically within the productive heat waters of Cell Bay. Visiting this well-known fishery is the right technique to get acquainted with America’s favourite light-tackle sport fish!

Snapper and Grouper

Would it not actually be doable to put in writing about Dauphin Island’s fishing scene with out mentioning one of the well-liked species? We’re speaking about Crimson Snapper, in fact! These succulent fish are a staple of Alabama’s Gulfside area. They’re enjoyable to catch for all anglers, from freshmen to hardened sportfishers. You’ll need to journey south from Dauphin Island, out onto the Gulf, for the possibility to battle ’em, nevertheless it’s well worth the journey.

Nonetheless, Crimson Snapper are topic to strict rules in Alabama, so be sure you plan your go to in the course of the open season. Wish to hook some tasty reef species year-round? There’s a complete host of different Snapper and Grouper species right here – Vermilion and Lane Snapper and Gag, Scamp, Black, and Crimson Grouper. They’ll put up an thrilling battle, diving into the caves and crevasses of the Gulf’s reefs. Battling ’em is a good way to check your expertise!


For a lot of Alabama anglers, there’s nothing extra thrilling than embarking on an Amberjack fishing journey. These species are a number of the hardest combating saltwater fish round. Ask native sportfishers for his or her recommendation in relation to hooking ’em, they usually’ll say one factor: “Drop your strains, and maintain tight!” Amberjacks are cussed and extremely highly effective. They love to hold across the Gulf’s many reefs, the place waters are 60+ toes deep.

You’ll have their love for underwater construction to deal with when making an attempt to reel them in, too. These powerhouses have a tendency to go straight to the closest reef or wreck as soon as hooked in an try to interrupt your line, which makes heavy sort out a should. Reside bait resembling squid or grunt is superb at luring these fish out of hiding. In the event you’re in search of an actual rod-bending journey close to Dauphin Island, you couldn’t do higher!


So we’ve coated Dauphin Island’s thrilling inshore and nearshore fishing alternatives. We all know that every one you hardcore huge sport fanatics on the market can’t wait to see what lies additional offshore in Dauphin Island’s Gulfside waters! Firstly, we’re shining a light-weight on Wahoo. Hooking these fast-moving ferocious creatures requires you to have your wits about you!

Wahoo inhabit the waters round 50 miles from Dauphin Island’s shoreline, though some anglers report encountering them solely 25 miles out. The most well-liked native technique to hook these fish is by trolling. There’s nothing extra thrilling than watching your strains within the deep blue waters, ready for the screech when these fish chew. And when that occurs, there’s just one factor to do – maintain on tight!

Mahi Mahi

This bedazzling huge sport fish is a staple all alongside the USA’s Gulf Coast, and Dauphin Island isn’t any totally different. Not solely does the Mahi Mahi put up an thrilling, rod-bending battle, it additionally tastes significantly scrumptious. For a lot of anglers, that is an irresistible mixture. You’ll need to journey round 40 miles from Dauphin Island’s shore to come across the Mahi’s playground, nevertheless it’s positively price it in the event you’re trying to have an actual battle in your palms.

As with Wahoo, the preferred technique to goal Mahi Mahi is by trolling, particularly aided with outriggers. This fish particularly loves floating objects, so anticipate your captain to focus on areas with floating particles or sea beds. It likes to chow down on reside bait resembling mullet, squid, or ballyhoo. When it bites, you’ll find out about it. The Mahi likes to zip by means of the water, alternating instructions and sending your head (and reel) spinning!

How can I fish round Dauphin Island?

So now you realize slightly extra about what you may catch in your Dauphin Island fishing journey, you in all probability need to resolve on how one can catch ’em! Under, we’ve highlighted the preferred methods to get your fish on round this island.

On a Boat

Irrespective of whether or not you’re trying to discover Cell Bay’s prolific shallow fishery, or the reef-filled waters of the Gulf, hopping aboard a neighborhood Dauphin Island fishing constitution is the best way to go. In the event you’re planning to go offshore, it’s a necessity resulting from distance. However even in the event you go for an inshore constitution, you’ll be guided by a captain who is aware of this space in and out. Much less looking time and extra fishing time? We’re in!

Your fishing vessel will differ relying on the place you need to fish, although. Trying to discover the bay? You’ll step aboard a shallow water skiff or flats boat, completely constructed to pole easily throughout these waters. Heading offshore? You’ll be dashing off on a sportfishing machine, rigged to the gills with top-quality facilities. Both approach, you’ll have a secure journey to the hotspots, guided by your captain’s knowledgeable information!

On Foot

It’s not nearly constitution fishing in Dauphin Island, although. Trying to familiarize yourself with this space’s angling scene with out stepping foot on a ship? You might have loads of choices! The island is stuffed with surf fishing alternatives. There’s a complete host of piers, shorelines, and bridges to forged your line from, and also you’ll discover loads of Alabaman anglers right here prepared to fill you in on their favourite ideas ‘n’ methods.

Earlier than selecting to fish on foot, there are two essential issues to think about. Firstly, you gained’t be capable of go after the large beasts that lie additional offshore and not using a vessel. There’s a complete host of inshore favorites to battle, although. Secondly, you’ll have to concentrate to the place the fish are biting and put together to maneuver at any second. In the event you’re in search of an actual slice of local-style fishing, although, that is the best way to expertise it!

The place can I fish round Dauphin Island?

Though Dauphin Island could also be small, it’s residence to a seemingly limitless quantity of secret fishing hotspots – together with a whole lot of reefs and wrecks. Attempting to resolve the place to start your journey can appear very overwhelming! Fortunately, we’ve listed a few of our favourite areas beneath…

  • The Shoals: Situated simply west of Dauphin Island Bridge, “the Shoals” is the title given to an abundance of shell materials that has gathered through the years, forming small islands. And these islands are whole Redfish magnets! They’re additionally a hotspot for tasty Speckled Trout.
  • Canine River: One other inshore hotspot, this river is a haven for Redfish in June. There’s a complete host of homes dotted alongside its banks, full with non-public boat docks, that entice bait fish like nothing else. In flip, this results in a Redfish bonanza!
  • Interstate 10 Bridge: Okay, allow us to make clear…we don’t imply the entire bridge! To be extra particular, head to the channels flowing south from the bridge on the head of Cell Bay. That is the place you’ll discover these trophy-sized Bull Reds.
  • Cedar Level Fishing Pier: Situated on the island itself, this pier is the right place to check your on-foot fishing expertise. You’ll be capable of hook Redfish, Black Drum, Speckled Trout, and Flounder, amongst others. The doorway charge is an affordable $5, and since it’s privately owned, you don’t have to buy a license.
  • The Rubble Reefs: Situated simply 6 miles east of Dauphin Island, this assortment of synthetic underwater construction was created when a hurricane destroyed the earlier bridge resulting in Dauphin Island. You’ll discover loads of tasty bottom-dwelling species right here, together with Crimson Snapper, proving that new life can come from tragedy.
  • The Pyramids: These prefabricated constructions lie round 30 miles from Dauphin Island, out within the Gulf. Designed to maintain the world’s fishery wholesome, they positively contribute to its “bucket listing” status! A few of them are round 25-feet-tall and are the right construction for bullish Amberjack.

The rest I have to know?

The legalities of fishing right here, in fact. Any angler age between 16–66 must buy a sound fishing license as a way to forged a line right here. In the event you’re fishing aboard a neighborhood constitution, this may often be coated for you. Fishing from a pier? A few of them have licenses that’ll cowl you, whereas others require you to buy and convey your personal. It’s greatest to examine together with your chosen fishing spot upfront!

One thing else to concentrate on when fishing for sure species, resembling Crimson Snapper or huge sport fish, is the distinction between federal and state waters. Native captains are both state or federally licensed. In the event you’re trying to head to deeper waters, go for a constitution service that covers the species you’re desirous to hook. Your captain will be capable of inform you about bag, measurement, and season limits, too, or you may take a look at our calendar.

Dauphin Island: Selection is the Spice of Life!

There’s Cell Bay to the north. There’s reefs and wrecks throughout. And to the south, there’s the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf, stretching endlessly into the horizon. If it’s prime angling motion you’re in search of, Dauphin Island absolutely ticks the entire packing containers!

Whether or not you’re trying to hook your trophy Crimson, need to fill your freezer with tasty desk fare, or are decided to battle some huge sport, it’s all to play for on this small however completely shaped island. What are you ready for? Seize your rods and reels and are available uncover that variety actually is what provides life its taste!

Have you ever ever been fishing in Dauphin Island? Any ideas and methods to share? Tell us within the feedback beneath. We love listening to from you!

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