John's Journal...

Alabama's Gulf Coast Fishing with ProKat Boats and Phil Mosley

Amberjack, Red Snapper, Grouper and Catamarans

Click to enlargeEditor’s 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 prClick to enlargeomised 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 gaveClick to enlarge 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. Click to enlarge

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, or call 800-745-SAND.

For more information on ProKat Boats, call 205-763-0231 or visit

Tomorrow: The Advantages of Catamaran Fishing in Salt Water

Check back each day this week for more about "Alabama's Gulf Coast Fishing with ProKat Boats and Phil Mosley"

Day 1: Amberjack, Red Snapper, Grouper and Catamarans
Day 2: The Advantages of Catamaran Fishing in Salt Water
Day 3: Famous Kat Owners
Day 4: Speed is What You Need
Day 5: What is Fishability?



Entry 406, Day 1