Bay Minette, AL Fishing: Fishing in Delta Rivers and the Gulf Coast

Fish the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta when you plan a fishing trip in Bay Minette in south Alabama.

Bay Minette, AL Fishing: Fishing in Delta Rivers and the Gulf Coast
Bay Minette, AL Fishing: Fishing in Delta Rivers and the Gulf Coast
Team Guidesly

November 14, 2022, 6 min read

Updated on November 11, 2022

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The City of Bay Minette is Baldwin County’s county seat in south Alabama. It is conveniently located northeast of Mobile in Alabama, west of Pensacola in Florida, and east of Biloxi in Mississippi. In the early days of Baldwin County, McIntosh Bluff on the Tombigbee River was once the county seat. In 1810, the town of Blakely became the county seat which was later transferred to Daphne in 1868. By an act of the legislature of Alabama in 1900, the county seat’s relocation was authorized to Bay Minette. Daphne resisted this move. On October 11 and 12, 1901, the residents of Bay Minette moved the county records from Daphne in the middle of the night to their city, which remains the county seat to this day. The city got its name from the nearby Minette Bay, named after a French surveyor called Minet.

Bay Minette enjoys economic, social, and cultural benefits from the surrounding urban areas while maintaining a small southern community’s charm and relaxed atmosphere. It is home to a thriving timber industry, with its forests serving as a playground for southern athletes, including anglers. The city also possesses Civil War and American historical sites that will satisfy history buffs, families, hikers, and campers. Anglers who visit Bay Minette will have plenty of waterways to choose from, as local rivers and the Gulf of Mexico are in perfect proximity.

Bay Minette Fishing

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Bay Minette is surrounded by plenty of water where anglers can either target freshwater or saltwater fish. It also has the advantage of being near the Alabama Gulf Coast, where there are more opportunities for angling in vast waters.

Anglers can access the Mobile and Tensaw rivers to the city’s west. The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta is known for its biodiversity and was appointed a National Landmark in 1974. The delta is also one of Alabama’s ‘10 Natural Wonders.’ It covers over 200,000 acres of swamps and marshlands. The delta’s freshwater creek banks and the deep channels of its lower saltwater section make it a haven for any angler. Freshwater species one can target include largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill, black crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, and redear sunfish. Saltwater anglers can catch species like red drum, black drum, spotted sea trout, summer flounder, sheepshead, gafftopsail sea catfish, and hardhead sea catfish. The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta provides amazing Alabama inshore fishing experiences where one can fish from docks and bridges. 

However, the rivers are best fished and explored using a boat. It is the site of the popular Bartram Canoe Trail and possesses several boat ramps and landings available for public use. Anglers won’t need a saltwater boat or big gear to fish in the rivers. Bass boats, canoes, or kayaks work well enough. Live Oak Landing can be found in the city’s north, accessed through Old Stockton Road. The red drum (redfish) is one of the most sought-after species in the area—many anglers like fly fishing for red drum in the delta or using a light tackle setup. Light tackle fishing with live shrimp is the most common way to target most fish in the rivers, letting anglers catch species like sea trout and flounder. Anglers can also go bottom fishing for flounder in the delta and Mobile Bay. When the rainy season dwindles, the rivers’ salinity levels rise, followed by baitfish and shrimp, and game fish. Bream fishing is also prevalent in the delta. Many anglers use fly gear, popping bugs, small spinners, and tiny soft plastic grubs to catch bream. Areas where there are seed shrimp near the shoreline and water weeds are great places to net bream.

South of the delta is Mobile Bay, where anglers can go deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Many anglers spend time there because it produces some of the most targeted fish in the area. There are also plenty of Mobile Bay fishing guides based nearby the city. One can chase after redfish, black drum, speckled trout, sheepshead, flounder, tarpon, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia, gag grouper, scamp grouper, red grouper, red snapper, lane snapper, tripletail, and yellowtail amberjack. Mobile Bay is excellent for charter, pier, and kayak fishing trips. Most fish species in the bay are active during the rising and flooding tides. Surf fishing is prevalent, especially for flounder. Anglers who want to use their boats can launch from Cliff’s Landing Public Boat Ramp in the Tensaw River or directly access the Meacher State Park Boat Ramp.

Bay Minette holds many fishing tournaments in the Tensaw River. The Annual Kids Fishing Tournament is held at the Perkins Hurricane Landing, and the Alabama Bass Federation’s Bass Tournament is at Live Oak Landing.


Top 10 Fish Species in Bay Minette, AL

The top 10 fish species found in Bay Minette, AL, are largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill, black crappie, red drum, black drum, spotted sea trout, summer flounder, blue catfish, and channel catfish.

Seasonal Fishing

February is the best month to catch trophy-sized bass. Anglers can continue to target these fish from March to early April. Crappie can be caught all year, but they’re most active when the waters are cold. Redfish and grouper can also be caught at any time of the year. July through September is the best period for sea trout. The best flounder fishing season is from March through November. The best fishing window for tarpon is May to September. May through November is the best time for mackerel. Cobia are very active in March and April. Snapper are best fished in the early mornings and late afternoons from October through March. Bream species like bluegill and sunfish are amazing targets during the fall season. The best time to fish for catfish is from March through June and August to late October.

Fun Things in Bay Minette

Bay Minette provides a wide range of attractions, from parks to historical sites and waterways, that everyone can enjoy.

1. Book a Fishing Charter

Plenty of fishing charters and guide services available in and around the city will take anglers on fun and exciting fishing tours. Book a fishing charter or hire a local guide to take advantage of Bay Minette’s fantastic fisheries. One can find nearby charters, including Wicked Salty Fishing Charters, Water Walker Fishing, Reel Fishin’ Charters, and Ocean Cat Charters, which all handle trips in Mobile Bay and Gulf Coast areas like Orange Beach and Tampa. Marinas, boat rental services, and bait and tackle shops are also available around the rivers. Anglers should make sure they have an Alabama fishing license before planning an angling trip anywhere in the state.

2. Visit a Ghost Site

People can visit the Ghost Fleet or Tensaw Fleet on Riverview Lane, where they can see an armada of mothballed Liberty Ships and other Navy crafts parked on the Tensaw River after World War II. There were 347 ships in port during its peak, but now the last of them were given to state conservation departments or were sunk into building fishing reefs. The fleet was once part of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to recondition tugboats, tankers, and cargo ships so merchant marines would be ready for war. People can visit the site for free, which is also a popular place for ‘legend tripping’ and fishing.

3. Tour a Historic House

People can find the historic turn-of-the-century Kahalley House in downtown Bay Minette on 400 West 2nd Street. The charming home serves as the residence for a full-service florist and a gorgeous garden. During the holiday season, it is beautifully maintained and decorated. One can book a house tour or reserve the site for special events.

Fish in Bay Minette and beyond.