Alabama's Gulf Coast Fishing with ProKat Boats and
Amberjack, Red Snapper, Grouper and Catamarans
Note: As the stout rod bowed under the pressure of the
hard-charging amberjack, the drag on the deck rod reluctantly
gave up line as the muscles in Mike Robinson of Lincoln,
Alabama’s, arms, shoulders, back and stomach worked
together to check the charge of the big amberjack. Hooking
up to an amberjack is similar to the feeling a cowboy
gets when he digs his heels in on the side of a railroad
track and lassos a logging train as it speeds downhill
at full throttle. For a veteran cowboy, getting the
rope over the railing on the caboose of the train isn’t
difficult. When the line goes taut, holding onto the
train or the amberjack can be thrilling.
Mike Robinson and I were guests of Phil and Phillip
Mosley of Mobile, Alabama, who promised
us an exciting rig-fishing trip off Alabama’s
Gulf Coast. The rig we were fishing was 60-miles offshore
of Orange Beach, Alabama, on the edge of the Continental
Shelf. Although the bottom of this rig was in 360 feet
of water, the next rig, 2-miles away, sat over a bottom
that was 1,500-feet deep. That water was full of fish!
Blue chub, amberjack, snapper, grouper, scamp and an
occasional king mackerel inhabited these waters. There
were some hurdles to overcome when fishing from a catamaran,
including getting the boat close enough to the rig to
drop your bait down into the fish’s dinner table,
hooking the fish and finally, pulling the hard-fighting
fish into the rig. To get the boat close to the rig,
you had to have a highly-maneuverable boat that quickly
responded to the direction you gave
the back outboards.
Getting the fish to bite was a matter of patience.
When setting the hook on one of these deep-water fish,
you had to battle the fish out of and away from the
rig, which had all kinds of cables, pipes and legs that
were barnacle-encrusted and eat fishing line. To get
the fish out of the rig, Phil Mosley rammed the throttle
stick home, and the two, Suzuki 175s answered his prodding.
On the back of the boat, Mike Robinson had to keep
his feet planted firmly on the deck and lean back on
the rod while the boat went in one direction and the
amberjack in the other. After what seemed like an eternity,
Mosley maneuvered the boat and all of its passengers
to about 50- to 75-yards away from the rig. With the
fish in open water, Robinson was able to steadily pump-and-wind
to get the big amberjack within reach of the gaff.
With more oil and natural gas wells springing up in
the Gulf of Mexico, rig fishing is growing in popularity
there, and anglers are having increased success. The
secret to a fun trip is getting to the rig quickly,
fishing comfortably and returning home without getting
beat-up by the fish and having the boat rock from side-to-side.
Although I’ve fished in salt water my entire life,
I’ve seldom fished from a catamaran. On this trip,
we were using a ProKat Boat built by Mike Robinson.
If you want to know more about fishing Alabama’s
Gulf Coast, visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention
and Business Bureau at www.gulfshores.com,
or call 800-745-SAND.
For more information on ProKat Boats, call 205-763-0231
or visit www.prokatboats.biz.
Tomorrow: The Advantages of Catamaran Fishing in Salt