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McMillan Fort Morgan Fishing Pier

The McMillan Pier, situated near the historic site of Fort Morgan at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula in Alabama, is a lesser-known yet charming fishing locale that has recently been given a new lease on life. Its reopening in 2022 marked a significant milestone, reflecting both a respect for its historical heritage and a commitment to providing recreational opportunities for future generations.### Historical Context and RestorationFort Morgan itself is steeped in history, serving as a key military installation during the Civil War and later during both World Wars. Its strategic location at the entrance of Mobile Bay made it crucial for defense and has been a site of various historical events, including the famous Battle of Mobile Bay where Admiral Farragut uttered the legendary line, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”The original McMillan Pier, named after a local fishing enthusiast and community leader, James McMillan, was built in the mid-20th century. It became a popular spot for anglers and families to gather and enjoy the bounties of the Gulf. However, like many coastal structures, it suffered from the harsh marine environment and severe weather events, including hurricanes that periodically impact the Gulf Coast.After years of weathering storms and general wear, the pier was significantly damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It was deemed unsafe and was closed to the public, leaving a void in the local fishing community. The decision to rebuild the pier took several years of planning and securing funds, emphasizing the need to preserve its historical value while enhancing its durability and accessibility. Finally, in 2022, the new McMillan Pier was opened. This version was redesigned with modern materials and construction techniques aimed at withstanding future hurricanes and increasing its lifespan.The new pier extends 300 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, constructed with composite materials resistant to corrosion and wood decay. It features LED lighting for night fishing, safety railings, and environmentally friendly design elements to minimize its impact on the surrounding marine ecosystem.### Fish Types and TechniquesMcMillan Pier offers a diverse range of fish species, making it a favorite spot for both amateur and seasoned anglers. Here’s a detailed guide on what to expect:1. **Speckled Trout (Cynoscion nebulosus)** – These fish are a favorite target during cooler months. Effective baits include live shrimp or artificial baits like soft plastics.2. **Redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus)** – Available year-round, these are best caught using live bait such as mullet or crab, especially around the pier’s structure.3. **Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)** – These bottom-dwellers are mostly caught during their spring and fall migrations. Techniques include using minnows or jigging with artificial lures.4. **Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)** – These striped fish are known for their penchant for structure, making the pilings of McMillan Pier a perfect habitat. Baits such as small crabs, shrimp, or oysters are most effective.5. **White Trout (Cynoscion arenarius)** – Easier to catch and available year-round, they respond well to small pieces of shrimp or artificial jigs.6. **Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus)** – These are usually targeted in warmer months. Small jigs tipped with sand fleas or shrimp work best.7. **Black Drum (Pogonias cromis)** – These larger cousins of the redfish are typically caught in the spring and fall using baits like crab or cut bait laid on the bottom.8. **Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus)** – Available from spring to early fall, these fast-swimming fish are attracted to shiny lures or small live bait.### Fishing Calendar and Techniques**January to March**- **Redfish**: Live mullet or crab near pilings.- **Sheepshead**: Small crabs or oysters.**April to June**- **Spanish Mackerel**: Shiny lures or small live bait.- **Flounder**: Artificial lures jigged near the sandy bottom.**July to September**- **Pompano**: Small jigs or sand fleas.- **Speckled Trout**: Live shrimp or soft plastics.**October to December**- **Black Drum**: Crab or cut bait on the bottom.- **White Trout**: Small pieces of shrimp or artificial jigs.### Amenities and AccessibilityFollowing its 2022 reopening, the pier has been equipped with enhanced amenities including a new bait shop, restrooms, and a covered seating area. These facilities are designed to be accessible, ensuring that all visitors, regardless of mobility challenges, can enjoy a day at the pier. The design also includes environmental considerations such as runoff controls to protect the surrounding waters from pollution.McMillan Pier now stands as a modern facility enriched with historical significance, offering both local anglers and tourists a place to capture the essence of Gulf fishing while enjoying the serene beauty of the Fort Morgan area. With its rich array of fish species and user-friendly amenities, the pier is poised to remain a beloved fishing spot for many years to come.


453 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, USA


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453 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, USA

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