Observed each October, National Seafood Month is a great time to celebrate the fresh Gulf seafood you’ll find on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.

Many people choose to fish for the seafood themselves by booking a deep-sea fishing or an inshore fishing trip through Zeke’s Marina in Orange Beach.

Zeke’s Marina offers the largest charter fishing fleet in the area, with more than 50 boats comprising the inshore and offshore deep-sea fishing fleet.

While some vacationers choose to book a private charter – and Zeke’s has the fleet to make it happen -- there are other options to consider.

If you have a group of four or fewer people and don’t mind fishing with other small groups of anglers, a “shared expense” deep sea fishing trip may be the way to go. Excursions can be anywhere from six to 12 hours in duration and vary in cost per person accordingly.

There’s an even more affordable fishing option if it’s just you and maybe one or two others: a “party boat” with up to 50 people aboard. Fishing sessions last six hours and depart in the morning and again in the afternoon.

All trips include license, bait and tackle. A deckhand is on board for cleaning fish and will even filet your fish for cents per pound! So, once your trip is complete, you can return to your vacation rental to prepare your catch in your fully equipped kitchen.

Learn more about fishing excursions by calling Zeke’s Marina Charter Fishing at (251) 236-7445.

Also departing from Zeke’s Marina are adventure cruises such as private pontoon boat excursions, lunch cruises and sunset cruises.

If you want a laid-back fishing experience, try walking out on the Gulf State Park Fishing & Education Pier to fish. You can purchase your fishing license at the retail ship on the pier.

The pier is 1,540 feet long, 20 feet wide and features more than 2,400 feet of fishing space. It’s the only public pier on the Gulf of Mexico and offers covered seating for concessions, an indoor retail shop with tackle and souvenirs, and signs along the pier with information about native fish, birds and other area wildlife. Comfort stations are located at the midpoint of the pier, and there is also wheelchair accessible rail fishing.

Another unique way to experience fishing and wildlife in the area is to rent a waterfront vacation rental. There are a variety of properties available, ranging from quaint cottages to larger houses. There are also numerous condos with private fishing piers to consider.

If you’d rather purchase your seafood and cook it in the kitchen of your vacation rental, numerous fresh seafood shops are available throughout the area, including a locals’ favorite, Billy’s Seafood, located in Bon Secour, just north of Gulf Shores beaches. Well worth the short drive.

A night out to dine at one of the area’s seafood restaurants is also a must. Ranging from seafood shacks to white linen fine dining options, restaurants in the area cater to all tastes and budgets.