The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ permitted, managed shark fishing season at the Gulf State Park Pier reopens this Sunday. The first two managed shark fishing events will take place on the south end of the pier – called the octagon – from 7 p.m. Sunday, March 31, until 7 a.m. Monday, April 1, 2019, and from 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, until 7 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019. The remaining events take place on most Sundays and Tuesdays from April through September. A complete list of dates is online at www.alapark.com/shark-fishing. The angler registration process has been improved to provide both primary and alternate selection date options.
The octagon will close to routine use 30 minutes prior to these events and reopen to routine use 30 minutes following them. During the events, the octagon area of the pier will be designated for the exclusive use of the participating shark anglers and their designated assistants. The remainder of the pier will be open to anglers and other pier guests as normal.
The managed shark-fishing events will allow for 15 anglers per occasion, with no more than one rod and reel per angler in use. Each angler may have one assistant. This allows for a maximum of 30 individuals on the octagon area during each event. Anglers are encouraged to assist one another while fishing.
Existing pier rules remain the same; however, anglers will be allowed a larger reel size. Anglers are required to provide their own gear.
Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein said the reopening of the shark fishing season is in response to the popularity of this program among pier anglers. “We are pleased to be able to continue this program after the trial events we hosted in 2018. Feedback from our guests was overwhelmingly positive, and we are looking forward to the adaptations we have made for 2019 that address the comments and suggestions expressed by our pier anglers,” Lein said.
In 2019, anglers will continue to be provided first-come, first-served options for online registration of specific fishing dates, as well as a waiting list option should advance notice of participant cancellations occur.
In the new automated registration process, participants will also be able to identify their availability for short notice opportunities associated with participant cancellations. Park management reserves the authority to locate and place participating anglers based on daily circumstances and related adaptive management strategies.
To review the 2019 Shark Fishing Event Calendar or to register to participate as an angler for these managed shark fishing events, visit www.alapark.com/shark-fishing.
Additional information will be posted online. To stay current on the most up-to-date information for these events and other pier events, visit http://alapark.com/Gulf-State-Park-Fishing-and-Education-Pier.
Alabama State Parks is a Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Division relies on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. To learn more, visit www.alapark.com.