Inshore newbie

Thread starter #1
Hey all, new member here. I striper fish lake lanier mostly but will be headed to mobile bay soon. My boat has an onboard 15 gallon recirculating livewell. Will this be sufficient for live shrimp or should I take my 30 gallon keep alive tank and oxygen tank? Want to mostly catch trout and reds, will a live shrimp on a piping cork be my best bet? Also will a penn battle 2 MH 4500 rod and reel combo be good? Any places I need to stay out of down there? Any and all tips are very much appreciated.
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
I think you're 15 gallon tank is big enough, but I am leery about recirculating water when there is a chance of throwing in some brackish or freshwater during the trip. I usually only keep about 6 or 8 inches of water in mine, and it might be less than that if it weren't for being afraid of the water getting hot. More water equals less temperature change. I use a mr. bubbles bubbler to keep air bubbling up through the water.
I think your MH 4500 battle set up will do, but it is a little heavy for constantly casting for trout. I bought the same combo but split it up, putting the 4500 reel on a longer spinning rod and use that medium heavy rod for my bottom fishing.
Best of luck in Mobile Bay. I fish on Lanier and the Chattahoochee River also but it is usually just a temporary fix until I get back to my next inshore trip! Please update us on how you do!
 

Rabun

Senior Member
I wouldn't put to much circulating current in the live well...not like you would for herring. I would just fill it with salt water and use a bubbler....no circulating pump. Shrimp like to cling to the sides if they can...many shrimp buckets have a mesh along the side to facilitate this.
 
everything in the ocean eats shrimp.
thats good, because you know your target will eat it, but its bad, because so will most other species and most sizes of those species. i got tired of fishing with shrimp, because of all the trash and dinks. and crabs. i much prefer live pinfish or mullet or whatever else i can catch in a throw net, but shrimp will work too, just get a bunch.
under a popping cork, suspended right above the grass is how i do for trout. for reds i like to just freeline a big mullet, or maybe put a little weight on it to keep it close to the bottom. you can catch either species both ways, but youll catch more reds without the float.

have fun down there!!
 

jfinch

Senior Member
As said above shrimp don't like current so you just need a bubbler and a bucket is what I used most of the time. If I used my livewell I would not use the recirc pump and just used the overflow to change the water out once in a while. Most of the rigs are pretty light, Medium action rods and about a 2500 reel. Popping corks will work around docks and shallow grass edges. If you fish any of the gas rigs in the bay you will need a slip cork. Depth will run 15-to 20 ft and you need to get near the bottom. Most seem to use pretty big split shot and about a #2 treble. Carolina rig also works but there is a good bit of rip rap and rock around them so you will get hung up a good bit. Another area to hit if it isn't too rough is to drift Dixie Bar. 3-4 oz lead on a carolina rig about a 6/0 circle hook. You want it be bouncing along on the bottom as you drift with the current. Whole pogies, or mullet and croakers cut, whole or live depending on size and what you can get. Bull reds, and sharks are going to be your main catch on the bar but I have also caught a big king there when I ran out of bait and started trolling stretch 20's. Red in the picture was caught on Dixie bar. Land you see in the back ground is Dauphin Island. Lots of good fishing in that area.
 

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Thread starter #6
Thanks for all the replies y’all. Any recommendations for line size and or leader? Also I’m new to fishing down there. Where is Dixie bar? I looked at a map and didn’t see it
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
I usually fish 14 to 20 pound braid (sometimes 10 lb) ansd about 20 lb fluorocarbon leader leader about 2 or 3 ft. Tied with a uni to Uni knot (no swivel). This is for shrimp tipped jigs and for artificials.
For a popping cork just to go straight to the top of the cork with the braid (Palomar knot) and 2 feet or less of fluorocarbon leader.
For the shrimp tipped jigs, I pinch off the tail and two sections off the rear. Thread the hook straight up through the middle and out the back so that the shrimp rides backwards on the hook. Drag slowly or let it sit like a bottom rig.
 

jfinch

Senior Member
Dixie bar is a sand bar on the edge of the shipping channel as it enters Mobile Bay. It will drop from 5-6 ft on top of the bar to over 40 in the shipping channel. It is marked on the map below. If you look at some aerial photographs you can see the top of the bar. I have seen a lot of boats anchored along the top of the bar casting out into deeper water. I have drifted with the current when I have fished it. I like to be able to move if a container ship comes in throwing a big wake. That area can get rough depending on current, wind and ship traffic.
 

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Thread starter #9
Awesome thanks again for the help. Another question, and this may seem dumb but how do you know where you can drive the boat without running aground? I know bay fishing can be shallow water. My boat has a 12” draft. Is the bay marked with shallow water markers like a lake? Thanks again
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Shallow water will probably not be marked. But I've never been in Mobile Bay. Outside of the channels it would be best to know where you're going and/or have been there before. Especially on plane. Most charts and a good GPS chart will tell you if you're in water over 5 feet or so.
The safest way to travel is to know your channel markers. Keep your red on your right when returning inland (red right returning). That means the green on your left when returning. It's the opposite going outbound.
Once you're in the intercoastal it's red on the right returning to Texas. The red triangles (danger, mountain tops) on the landward side and green cans (with the flat tops) towards the ocean.
Numonics are the best way to remember these things.
Remember a 'green can of 7UP'. This equals green markers with flat tops (and are oceanside of the intercoastal) have odd numbers. Therefore red markers with the triangular tops have even numbers.
At least in the channels, you should be safe. Outside of that, experience counts.
Best of luck in your travels!
 
Thread starter #11
Thanks for the reply. About the channels, I’m going to need to get outside the channels to try and catch fish right? I’m completely green to inshore fishing and only started freshwater fishing a couple years ago
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Yes, most of your fishing will be outside of the channels. My suggestion would be learn the places closest to the channels and take it easy on the way in and out the more experience you have at that spot the more you'll know about it and the further in you can go.
This probably applies to all of us from your first timer level to the experienced guide in the backcountry wilderness of the Everglades. I would definitely not be able to say that I am honestly halfway in the middle yet. But this is my advice, get you a "Top Spot" fishing map. And then another map such as the Florida Sportsman map and cross-reference them. I especially like Top Spot because they have the best nautical chart. Good bottom finder and GPS with nautical charts will count for a lot.👍
 
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1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Those maps are pretty tough to find just by walking in any old tackle store. A lot of them have some maps, but very few have Top Spot maps. Best bet is Amazon. The map plus shipping will probably total out about the same as the tackle store anyway... Plus you'll have plenty of time to review it before you're on the water.
 
Thread starter #15
Well I had a fun few days there. Was unable to catch any red fish or trout but did catch a bunch of catfish. Thanks again to all the replies and help for my first time to mobile bay. I’m sure I’ll need some help again later on as id love to take a trip to Savannah and fish. I went on a guided trip last year (this was my first time ever inshore fishing) and had a blast. Would love to take my boat down there
 
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