Alabama Charter Fleet Prepares for Start of Red Snapper Season for Charter
FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WALA) – Wednesday, June 1, 2022 is the day the Alabama charter fishing fleet has been waiting for. Red snapper season is starting for them. This year, rental boats will benefit from an additional 17 days. The newly rebuilt Fort Morgan Marina is looking for a great season with nearly 30 charter boats.
“I mean, we’ve been waiting for this for ten months. That’s what we expect,” said Captain Scott Luster of Stressed Out Charters, which is already nearly sold out for the 2022 red snapper season.
Fort Morgan Marina was significantly damaged by Hurricane Sally in 2020. Material shortages and costs, as well as permitting delays, have made it a long way back. With the new drydock, it will accommodate 75 more boats than before and there are now more than double the chartered boats.
“Two years ago we had twelve and we have twenty-eight now. They are all thrilled, said Tom Steber, marina manager and co-owner. “We have fuel, bait, ice and whatever they need and they’re all here all the time, so it’s not like they’re here just for the summer.”
Fort Morgan Marina now has a huge new yard and dry storage building. Moorings are filling with charter boats and expectations are high for the 2022 red snapper season. This year’s season begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday morning June 1 and ends August 19. Of the 28 chartered boats, 17 are doing offshore snapper trips and those captains are ready.
“I mean the offshore guys have two and a half months of you know go out there and get your snapper so this year the feds give us I think seventeen more days and I think that’s going to help us “, Chandelier said.
Most boats will make two six-hour trips a day. The boats can accommodate up to six anglers with varying levels of comfort. The Whittakers have their sights set on a red snapper trip, but were at the marina a day early to check out boat options first.
“Looking at the different boats and looking for comfort, you know, being a woman and all…feeling safe on the boat and just wanting to get my line in the water,” Flo Whittaker said.
This year, charter boat anglers will have 79 days to set that line. In case you were wondering, Captain Luster said the average cost for a six-hour trip on one of the six boats was around $1,500.
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