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Going to Alabama Orange Beach/perdido key for family vacation with another couple and their kids the week before memorial day. Anyone charter a fishing trip in that area? @Boogan1 ? We each have 10 year old boys that want to fish. So me and the other dad plus 2 boys.

The women and younger boys are going to do something else while we're out. 4-6 hours ish
 

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My 2 favorite guides are both a bit of a drive from there. One guy, Jay Gunn, is a retired fisheries biologist that does mostly inshore fishing and launches out of Ft. Morgan. Jayhook Guide Service is his business. Mostly Redfish, Speckled Trout, Whiting, Sheepshead. 251-752-8040.

The 2nd guide we like is Kenny Lewis out of Pensacola, Panhandle Charts and Guide Service. He's like the ultimate ******* that happens to live in FL. Great for about anything that swims in the Gulf including Red Snapper, Triggerfish, Kings, Spanish, Redfish, and Sharks. He's the only guide I've seen that brings the sharks in the boat for pics. My kids loved it. 850-712-2059

Both guides are great with kids, and both are about equally far away from Orange Beach.

We chartered a boat with Getaway Charters which is right in Orange Beach but you're chartering the whole boat which would be pretty pricey for 2 dads. I wanna say it was like $1500 for 6 hrs. Very big, nice boat and good fishing. Distraction Charters is another that has been highly recommended out of Orange Beach but I haven't personally fished with them.

Hope that helps!
 

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I don't personally know any Captains over that way. You can see reviews for charters on Trip Advisor and sites like that. There is a site called Fishing booker that is a service for the captains and has reviews and ratings. I would suggest you look at the reviews and ratings on there, then find the charter on facebook or their website and use that to book your trip. I know this seems a bit shady but fishingbooker takes a cut of the fee if you book through them. I used them last year and they decided to boot me off because I had to cancel some trips because they double booked me. If I had to decide to take a full price charter that I booked or a reduced price charter they booked, guess which one I chose! A lot of people use fishingbooker to find the charters then contact the captain direct to book.
Look at the Alabama fish and wildlife website to see what seasons are open during that time. They decided to close trigger fish early here in florida and not open up Amberjacks until August. Red Snapper doesn't open until a couple of weeks later in June. Still lots of fish to catch and you can and will catch fish that are closed,you just can't keep them. To me I would book an offshore trip because it is much more exciting that an inshore. Inshore feels like bass and crappie fishing to me and just doesn't hold much appeal when compared to offshore. You should also talk to the captain because he will know what is in season and what he has spots to catch successfully. This will also give you an idea of what to expect on your trip. There is nothing more disappointing to a captain than to have a client that has un-realistic expectations. It isn't realistic that you are going to book a six hour trip out of Orange Beach and catch a blue marlin or yellowfin tuna. This leads to an unhappy client and no tip for the Captain.
I would also suggest a six hour trip. On a four hour you will spend more time riding in the boat than actually fishing. At ten years old, specially if the captain is any good and keeps you on fish that are biting, the kids should stay interested for that time and not get too tired. Because a lot of people choose a four hour or can only afford a four hour trip the spots closest to the shore get fished much harder than the spots further out. A six hour gives the captain many more options of spots to get you on quality fish.
Another tip, sea sickness sucks but it can be avoided if you know how to do it. Any pill or medication you take for seasickness takes at least 4-6 hours to start working effectively. So if you wait until you are sick to take something, it starts working a couple of hours after you are back at the dock. The key to using Dramamine or Bonine (which we suggest) is to take it before you go to bed the night before your trip and again the morning of your trip. We suggest Bonine because it doesn't make you as sleepy as Dramamine. I would give it to the kids regardless. Also just because you have been on Lake of the Ozarks or Truman and didn't get sick, the gulf is a different situation. The motion out there is constant, not just when a boat wake comes by.
Also, and I mentioned it earlier, you should always tip the Captain and/or the mate if the captain has one. Mates usually just work for tips so if you don't tip him, he doesn't get paid. (If the client doesn't tip the captain usually pays the mate something, but then the captain doesn't make anything on the trip). I did a write up about doing charter trips and it has a lot of good information in it. People see what it costs to take a charter and think "wow, this captain is making a killing!" The costs of owning and maintaining a saltwater boat and equipment is at least four times higher that freshwater. My boat alone cost more than the average persons house and i have an inexpensive boat. The point I am trying to make is that the captain is not making a killing. Yes they make some money each trip because it is a business and it would be foolish if they didn't. At the special I run for MWT members I make nothing unless you tip me. So if the captain does a good job and puts you on fish and you have a good time, throw the guy a tip, 15-20% is the customary rate.
Get those kids on some fish and you will make memories that last a lifetime and they will be hooked. After my first saltwater fishing trip I lost all interest in freshwater fishing. The fish taste so much better too!!
 

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Good explanation of things and helpful Boog. If I may?,I would add that prospective clients always ask what their best options are of the Captain. Also, established fishy captains are booked often 6-18 months in advance during peak fishing season. Many guys specialize in boatrides for the tourists. Do you know of any split trip info sites?
 

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Watermen is spot on that a lot of the really good guides are booked months in advance. The ones that take you on expensive boat rides don't usually have a lot of good reviews on fishing booker or the travel sites. I don't know what is over in that area but search Facebook for fishing pages in that area. There is also a website called Pensacola fishing forum that has a lot of OB Perdido guys on it. We put together some split trips last year and I will probably do it again this year and we organized them by advertising we were doing a trip on the destin fort walton beach fishing page. Look and see if there is something like that for that area. I know there is a Facebook page called pensacola fishing fanatics that might help.
 
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