The secret to success
Artificial reefs in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores area are a big part of our local fishing success. With one of the largest private reef building zones in the world, located just 8 miles offshore it is apparent the overall success this special management zone has had on the local fishery and economy. There are essentially thousands and thousand of "spots" built over the last 50 years. Everything you can imagine has been tried to make a reef out of like car bodies, shrimp boats, chicken transport cages, buses, combines, old decommissioned boats, tires have all had great success in helping keep the abundant waters off Orange Beach teeming with fish off all kinds . It has been a big part of of our success as is a key part of what makes Alabama a unique place to take a deep sea fishing charter. In fact, the Red Snapper World Championships have donated over 800 public reefs since its inception.
Now as you can imagine, this takes a lot planning and work from the crew and some good friends to make all this work out. It usually takes a good bit of time and expense to locate, build and deliver the spots to a shore-side dock to be loaded. We usually state the loading process by getting the tractor on the barge to help push the reefs overboard.
This barge was 30'X70' and a great platform for what we needed that load.
A good captain takes a lot of pride in his artificial reef collection and his good friends that help get it done!
We are now loaded up and starting the 20 hour steam to the historic fishing fishing grounds to deploy some new private spots for customers to have the exclusive opportunity to fish!
Here is where a tractor and fishing come hand in hand with one another. Who would have ever thought of that...I know only in Alabama.. Right!
There she goes! Another reef goes underwater.
Yet another reef is going down in to the water. It usually takes 12 to 18 months before we actually will come back to fish this spot.
This is a bigger spot which will usually hold some of the bigger fish like Amberjack and other pelagic species like King Mackerel
On this three day reef building adventure, we started deploying spots at daylight and finished right at dark on the second day. We typically use a big shrimp boat like this one to handle the heavy loads. I hope this will answer some questions that you may have about what happens in the life of a charter operation. So the next time you are fishing make sure to ask what kind of spot you are fishing on!
Now they do build reefs in other parts of the country with much sucess and they are usually a public entity for all to enjoy, as opposed to, a charter fishing guide paying out is own money to make his trip sucessful. There are advantages to both methods but I am a little particial to the private reefs and so will you.