Baseball might be America’s national pastime, but fishing is the pastime of the South. Any Southerner will tell you that the rod and reel are just as common a summer sight as swimwear and suntan lotion. Across our area, local anglers know exactly where to spend the perfect afternoon casting a line from a sandy shoreline or wooden pier. We might not be able to tell you who’s batting in the big game this weekend, but we can certainly tell you where the fish are biting. So, in the spirit of summer fun, here are MB’s top 10 recommendations on where to bait your hooks and test your luck without having to bring the boat along.
Cedar Point Pier, 18250 Dauphin Island Parkway, Coden
With its cool coastal breeze and beautiful view, it’s easy to see why Cedar Point is a beloved fishing spot. You’ll catch plenty of red fish during the day and white trout, flounder and ground mullet at night. Much of the pier’s decking and structural materials were rebuilt after Hurricane Nate in 2017. Don’t own a rod? No problem. The pier rents them out! You can even purchase bait and some snacks.
Big Creek Lake, Mobile County
This 3,600-acre reservoir is seated in west Mobile County and serves as the public water supply for the Mobile metropolitan area. Bring your live minnows and jigs and prepare to reel in anything from bass and bluegill to redear sunfish, channel catfish and a whole lot of gar.
Arlington Park, Mobile
At the east end of Broad Street, across from the Fort Whiting Armory, sits a slightly lesser known pier where the fishing can be great. There’s no public lighting, so you’ll want to arrive when the sun’s out. The water is shallow, so it will be hit or miss with the trout.
Fort Gaines, 51 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island
Here’s a personal favorite of FOX10-TV chief meteorologist and host of “FOX10 Outdoors” Jason Smith, who says, “I like fishing around the rocks and jetties. The best time is when the tide isn’t too strong.”
Sand Island, Just off Dauphin Island
Due to the changes wrought by major hurricanes, the location formerly known as Sand Island is no longer an island at all. In fact, it’s now landlocked with Dauphin Island, making it possible for local anglers to walk there from the pier for an afternoon of speckled trout fishing. Redfish and drum also abound. “The advantage to Sand Island is that you can always find a place where the wind is protected,” Smith says.
Halls Mill Creek [Bridge], Mobile County
Follow this tributary of Dog River, and you’ll find several docks and shell flats where you can catch speckled trout and even some bream and crappie. Be sure to fish deeper in the winter and summer and shallower in the fall and spring.
Schwarz Park, 3701 Riviere du Chien Rd., Mobile
South of Dog River, this spot boasts plenty of speckled trout and the occasional redfish. You’ll want to use your plastic shrimp or dead shrimp for bait.
Navco [Luscher] Park, 2459 Dog River Dr. N., Mobile
There’s a cozy little landing here where you can park and fish off the bank or right out of the trunk of your car! Come armed with your live and dead shrimp bait to attract the white and speckled trout.
Battleship Parkway, a.k.a. “The Causeway”
It’s undeniably one of Mobile’s more popular spots, particularly between the battleship and Felix’s Fish Camp restaurant. As Smith notes, the flounder catch can be good here “if you’re using gulp curly tail. You get more of an edge if you use live bait or bull minnows.”
William Brooks Park, 601 US-43, Chickasaw
There’s plenty of bream, bass and catfish action to be had at William Brooks Park if you don’t mind making the trek northwest toward the narrower and shallower Chickasabogue Creek.