From the Author
Phillips: Back in the1940s, Alabama primarily had a mud bottom and very-little structure on its GulfCoast that would hold fish. But once the state legislature, Alabama's MarineResources Division and the charter-boat captains and fishermen discovered theycould put-out artificial reefs to increase the number and size of the saltwaterfish they caught, Alabama's offshore fishing boomed. There are currentlyseveral-thousand public reefs with GPS coordinates available to the fishingpublic at outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater/tides-weather/. Alabama hasthe largest artificial-reef program in the nation, and one of the largestinshore programs. Another reason is that regardless of the time of year, youcan always catch hard-fighting, good-eating fish offshore in Alabama. The statehas a mild climate that is frost-free from February to December. Many days fromThanksgiving to Christmas I've fished in shorts and T-shirts for part of theday and only needed a light jacket in the morning.
Question: John, do youhave any suggestions that will help make our fishing trips more enjoyable?
Phillips: I sure do. Goback and read "Chapter 1: How to Pick a Charter Boat Captain." Use that formand those questions to talk to the captains you're considering hiring. Then thecaptain knows what your expectations are, the type of fish you want to catch,and the type of trip you hope to have. All the captains try to customize theirtrips to fit their fishermen, and I believe this form can be a very-helpfultool for individuals and captains to make sure they each get the kind offishing experience want.