Venice Louisiana Fishing Report
Just a few pictures of customers that fished with me these past weeks. April 15th, 20014.
April 15 2014 Report.
One of my all time favorite movies is The Outlaw Jose Wells with Clint Eastwood. One scene had Jose telling a bounty hunter that “dying ain’t much of a living”. Well, I am glad I am not out fishing today with gale force winds and 8 to 10 foot seas, because if you get caught sideways in a boat today you would not make it. I also like the part where Eastwood spits in between the dogs eyes. It’s been windy for the last couple of weeks for the most part, and it has been making fishing a lot of work. We have had to fish where the seas are not coming in and rocking the boat all over the place, and the winds have been rotating directions, so forget about where you fished yesterday. We are on a new hunt everyday. It’s like that all the time really, but especially lately. Having clients that are proficient at casting helps locate fish as well. Many of my clients have more fishing experience than I do as far as fishing in different parts of the country using different techniques for different fish, but many just are not used to casting so much in the shallow water we are fishing. The dropping your lure straight down just does not cut it. The Bass fishing folks seem to fit right in. Though the fishing has been a lot of work, everyone that has fished with me has had a good time and understands that weather conditions have a big influence on the fish. We have actually had some nice catches the last couple of weeks on Redfish. Many Redfish have been over twenty pounds with the largest at 28 pounds. We have also stumbled onto some Speckled Trout using lures. We have done ok, but just have not had one of those days where Capt. Shawn can do no wrong. I like those days. Those days where the toughest thing I have to do is figure out which fish to net first because we are doubled and tripled up on fish. Things will calm down before long and the fishing will be more enjoyable.
I am pretty well booked up for May, but I still have a three day slot open. I also have some openings the second half of June. July I have some openings as well. Summer Redfish fishing is usually great, but if I don’t have much going on in August then that’s ok with me. September through mid December is my favorite time to fish and I am starting to fill those dates with my repeat clients who know what its like to fish then. Anyway, when it’s tough the tough get going. Have a good one.
25 March 2014 Report.
I fished with Gary and Roger Adams for three days last week. These guys were from out West in New Mexico and Arizona. It did not take long to figure out that they fished a lot. They fish out West, but also in Canada. Canada has some good fishing for Pike and Walleye during the summer months when its not freezing.
The first day we went out we caught some nice big Redfish, which is what we wanted. We also hit a piece a metal that was submerged under the water and busted my prop up, which is not what we wanted. We also had a lot of fog in the mornings, so we were not in a hurry to get started fishing all week. The warmer weather brings fog with the Mississippi water temperature being in the mid forties. The thick fog makes for a dangerous boat ride. We fished a couple more days with a new propeller on the Yamaha engine, and caught some nice big Redfish. The bite was not super, but it was consistent. We boated some Redfish up to 29 lbs. These fellows were not taking fish home, so they wanted big fish. We caught some smaller fish that we grilled in the evenings. We worked hard for our fish, and I wish we would have had an easier day as far as the Redfish bite, but we did a lot of casting. Saltwater fishing is just more difficult than fresh water fishing as far as physical effort. We are not just sitting in the boat dropping baits straight down. We are fishing big water. I wish we had 60 “Bull Red” days every day, but it is not like that every time. We have to find them on a daily basis. It’s a hunt. We start off with a hunch of where they are after we figure out where the weather will let us fish. Anyway, these guys were great to hang out with and fish with, and I hope they come back.
24 March 2014 report.
It has been a while since I took out some young kids fishing, but last week I fished with Patrick and Dominick (ages 8 and 10) with their father, Kevin Lee. They are from Missouri. These kids were really good for their age. They did not get bored and seemed really interested in their first Redfish fishing trip. Kevin and I hooked into some big Redfish and handed the rod over to them. The kids struggled to get them to the boat, but they eventually did. We also caught some small Redfish near the shallow cane lined bays that surround the Venice area. The kids said they learned a few things and had a blast. They said they would be back. I like it when I see kids willing to learn about fishing and putting into practice what they learn.
17 March 2014 Report
It’s the time of year when it helps if you time your fishing trips when the weather is descent. That is way easier said than done. I fished this last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with some gentlemen from Missouri in some weird weather conditions that tried to make it difficult for us. Hugh Wallace brought his good friends, Glen and Don down for some Redfishing. Day one we had heavy electrical storms heading toward us, so we stayed close until they hit. We headed back to the house to wait them out. In late afternoon we went back out close and fished churned up muddy water with no fish. The food was great though ( I have a French chef on hand: my wife!). Day two looked promising. I looked off the porch on the Mississippi River and there was no fog, and not much wind. We got in the Scoobie Doo van and headed to the marina. We launched the boat and headed down river where we were greeted with heavy fog. We made it to where I wanted to go start fishing in the fog. Glen hooked up with the first Redfish weighing 28lbs. The fog lifted and it turned out to be a pretty good day on the big Reds. Everyone hooked up on some 20 plus lb. Redfish. These guys were not used to all the casting involved with fishing for the Redfish. They were used to dropping their baits over the side of the boat Walleye fishing. They were not used to the power of the Reds either. All these guys were probably around 70. They were pretty worn out the evening of day two. They said the food was great. Day three looked promising. No fog. We went down to an area that I thought would be fishable and the swells coming in were big, but we kept moving down the beach and things calmed down. As we headed down the beach, pretty green water surrounded us as the incoming tide came in. As soon as we started fishing the dolphin moved in on us. There must have been sixty dolphin swimming everywhere. I knew we had to leave and try elsewhere, but I would have to go a long way due to the swells coming in. We ended up way up north fishing the canes. It was tough on my guys fishing the canes because of the precision casting involved. We caught about 10 nice Redfish, missed a few, and caught a lot of cane. These guys were real gentlemen, and they said they caught a lot more Redfish here than they would have in Misssouri. They said the food was great. They loved the Redfish on the grill, but still left their catch with me because they did not want to deal with the fish on their flight home. I hope they come back again, because they were fun.
15 March 2014 Report
The inshore fishing around the mouths of the passes of the Mississippi River has been holding some nice Redfish. If the weather conditions allow you to move around some, so much the better. Late last week and into the weekend I took some guys from Indiana fishing for Redfish. Greg Elsperman brought his friends, Jeff and Shane down to fish with me this time. They all fish a lot, and caught on to our way of fishing for Redfish around the cane lined bays and beaches. Cast, cast, cast. Mostly, popping corks with soft plastics underneath, and spinnerbaits. It was Jeff’s and Shane’s first time Redfishing, so they got a thrill out of their first strike by one. Shane’s first Redfish went 22lbs. The first two days we were out we had a limit of slot Reds by mid morning, and then tried for some bigger fish. The last day we did not do as well on slot fish, so after catching some nice box fish we ended up in an area holding the big “BULL” Redfish. Greg caught the heaviest fish weighing 28lbs, but most were between 18-22lbs. These guys had a ball. They said they would return in the Fall.
The water temperature is around 43 degrees in the main channel of the river, so the Reds are on the outside areas where the water is warmer and saltier. The water temperature on the outside can be from 49 degrees to 60 something, depending on the depth, sunlight and other things. The fish are on the outside areas, and will be there until the river falls again in late Spring or Summer. As everything warms up the fishing will only get more consistent. The Summer months offer Redfish on top water plugs more consistently, than cold weather. I still have openings for June and July….
6 March 2014 Report.
So far, so good in March this year. I am glad I have been off for the last couple of days, because of all this rainy, windy, foggy weather. This last weekend I took out David Camp and his friend, Brian. They are from Texas and wanted to catch some Redfish. We caught some nice eating size Redfish for them to take back home with them. We caught our limits quickly each day, and then started looking for the big ones to battle. We had to move around some to find the 20 plus pounders, but each day we found some in the 20lb. to 28lb. range. David and Brian’s arms were sore from fighting them. I told them that if we would have found the big ones earlier than they would have been worn out dogs. We have had to move around to find the big “BULL” Redfish. I think the cold water temperatures and the fluctuation in the air temperature from cold to warm has the larger Redfish moving around trying to find a comfortable place to hang out. Almost all the baitfish activity has been in the coves by the canes, whereas the outside beaches and bays have had no bait activity. The big fish we caught were in areas with almost no bait activity. We caught all our fish with soft plastics under popping corks and gold bladed big beetle spins. Brian liked the way the Reds crushed the spinners, because he Bass fishes and had never Redfished.
The Mississippi River water temperature has been around 43 degrees, so if we go in the river on our way to the area on the outside where we are fishing, it’s cold. We will be dressing in layers until May. The fish are definitely on the outside bays this time of year, because of all the fresh water that is super cold. That is a normal condition this time of year.
We still have some openings, but we are pretty booked through May. June and July are some good months to fish for the Redfish, as well as Speckled Trout. The Fish On Venice Lodge awaits you, along with those big Redfish. Give us a call if you want to get in on the fishing action. Have a good one.
26 February 2014, Report.
I had the pleasure to take my brother, Tad Lanier, and his son, Christopher Lanier, out fishing for a couple of days this week. Christopher is in the U.S. Navy and just graduated from diving school over in Panama City Beach Florida, so he was ready to get away from it all for a few days. He fishes over in Florida and has fun doing it, but says, “The Redfish fishing in Louisiana is much better”. With the big warm up down here in Venice this week, the fog set in every morning. It held us up in the morning, but we were not in a big hurry anyway. Fog never did disappear off the river all day, so we chose to play it safe and fish across the street from the house. We ended up doing pretty good. We decided to downsize our lures for Speckled Trout and hope some Redfish would hit it ass well. I figured with the warmer weather the Specks might decide to bite, and they did. These Trout were 14-16 inches. We also caught some Slot Redfish for the grill. We also stumbled across some big “BULL” Redfish with the largest going 28 pounds. The weather generally dictates where you can fish, and this time the thick fog forced us to stay out of the river and it worked out. Fog will be an issue until around May. I will be busy between now and May with bookings. I still have some openings between now and then, but only if our schedules can line up. June and July are usually outstanding months for the big Redfish here in Louisiana, especially here at the mouth of the Mississippi River around Venice. Come down and get in on the action. Later.
21 February 2014 Report.
We had some good Redfishing this last week around Venice. The warmer weather really seemed to help out, along with calmer winds. That being said, the fog was an issue. The Mississippi River water temperature is around 42 degrees, and when the air warms up it creates fog-thick fog. I have radar on the boat, but I try to wait until the fog thins out some before heading out to fish. When the fog starts forming in the afternoon while we are fishing, I have no choice but to navigate in it. It is dangerous even with the electronics. Fog will be an issue through May, like it or not.
We caught a good combination of slot (eating) Redfish, and big “BULL” Redfish this last week. The largest Redfish weighed 29 lbs. We fished the outside bays around the passes of the Mississippi River. The points of the bays were not holding any fish for us, so we tried fishing the coves that are shallow and lined with canes. The water in these coves was around 65 degrees, and that is where we started picking up the Reds. We were using a soft plastic under a cork to draw a strike from the Reds. The smaller fish were by the structure of the canes, and the larger Reds were off the bank. I had to drift with the wind in the shallow water, because my trolling motor was in the mud. We got stuck several times, so I asked everyone to get to the front of the boat to drift out of the mud. We could have boxed our limit of Redfish easily, but my guys just wanted some fish to eat for Supper. On our way back the fog was reforming, but we made it in before it got real thick.
All this really cold weather should be over with for this Winter, which should bring some consistant fishing. I have a lot of bookings in March, and look forward to some great action on the Redfish. We should be able to catch some 40 plus pound fish in March and through the Spring months. Contact me if you would like to get in on some great fishing. It’s just a matter of finding the fish on a daily basis. They are here, and I need your help finding them. I need a crew that will throw those lures out there and get the fish hooked up.
13 February 2014 report
February fishing is a month out of the year that can bring some great Redfish fishing, as well as some tougher days, where the Redfish bite is slow. It happens. This new year, with all the Arctic vortex’s cold windy fronts blowing through here in Venice, it has made getting an easy trip for the Redfish hard to come by. The Speckled Trout are not the ones to go after right now, with all the cold, ugly water. I guess that is why many guides don’t go out this time of year. Things should change for the better soon. These super cold fronts should start disappearing.
Since I don’t have much fishing to talk about right now, lets talk about backing our boats in at the landing-launch. First, I want to say that I am far from perfect, but I try not to hold everyone else up while I am launching my boat, or putting my boat back on the trailer. When you are going to launch your boat, you want to prepare your boat to launch before you pull up in front of the launch. That way you are not blocking the launch so no one else can use it. You have a plan. You pull up to the launch and back the boat into the water, and then get out of there and park. You already have your guy holding the rope when you are backing in, or someone in the boat ready to crank the engine and park the boat. If it is dark you have your headlights off so you are not blinding the other people that are backing their boats in at the launches next to you. I have seen it all. I have been waiting in line to launch when there might be 10 trucks and trailers long, and no one is taking advantage of their time while waiting. That is the time to prepare to launch, by unstraping your boat, icing your beer, getting stuff out of your truck for the boat ride, going to the bathroom, getting the bow rope ready, or whatever. You have a plan, because the dirt and gravel in front of the launch is valuable to everyone. I still don’t know what to say to the folks that don’t have a plan without pissing them off. I have said, “Can I give you a hand?” That still pissed them off. The last time I said something I said, “You need to get the show on the road.” I knew that was not a good comment, but I lost patience. Those guys pulled up to the first launch and stopped, and started pulling things out of their truck, and they were blocking the other two launches with their 28 foot boat and trailer. They had 15 minutes to do all that while we were waiting in line. We had a long line behind us as well. When you are at a red light with a vehicle in front of you, and the light turns green and the person doesn’t go, then you honk your horn after 3 or 4 seconds. So, I am still trying to figure out how to be diplomatic to the folks with no plan, and don’t want to get one. Now, if you are launching by yourself (like me) you have a plan that minimizes your time blocking the launch. If my clients are with me, I get them to hold the bow rope as I back the boat in, and tell them to let the boat drift back to the end of the dock so the next guy can launch. Then I park and get back to the boat as quickly as possible. I wish I were perfect.
Anyway, I will be fishing a bunch in March and I still have some openings in April. May is about booked, but I have some openings in the super good month of June. Call me if you want to go fishing.
February, 6 2014 Report.
Due to the really rough Winter weather, I have a non-fishing fishing report to report. I had some trips scheduled over the last couple of weeks that I canceled, because of all the windy, lousy, frozen weather. We can always expect some tough weather this time, but this winter has been particularly difficult. Sometimes it is tough to figure out if a fishing trip needs to be cancelled, but lately is has been easy to make the call. It is a shame too, because the fishing can be outstanding this time of year between the cold fronts. There is almost no in between this year. It is what it is. There is no use going out fishing with so much working against you. It will all get better here in a few weeks.
I still get asked a lot about when the best time to come down here fishing, and I still don’t know. Hurricane season is probably the best answer. Mayish through Novemberish. The other months can be great as well.
Football season is over. I thought the Superbowl was going to be a close game. The Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos. Seattle’s defense was great. I think the San Francisco 49rs. and the New Orleans Saints were better than the Broncos. I guess we can monitor the Winter Olympics over in Russia or something. Maybe I will wax my boat.
I have a trip scheduled this Saturday, so maybe I can give a report on it. Hopefully a good one. Otherwise, I have a lot of trips Scheduled in March with folks from all over the U.S. I have some openings for Spring trips if you would like to go. I can’t wait to get back out there. I look forward to some Summer fishing, instead of all this windy cold weather.
Give me a call to book your next trip!
January 11, 2014 report.
The Reds were around this last week, but I was not out there with them. I had a furlough this week and was not on the water, but I was able to help a friend out that wanted to know where some Redfish were, so I gave him some information to help him out. Although I was not out this week, I was looking at the marine forecast as if I were out fishing. I figured a certain area was fishable due to the wind not ruining it, and my friend caught some nice Redfish there, including two Reds that were just over 30 lbs. They also caught some other large Redfish, as well as some slot fish. I was glad I was able to help someone else catch some fish, even though I was not out.
One thing is for sure when fishing the Venice, Louisiana area: you have to monitor the weather, because no matter how well you did fishing yesterday, the conditions change quickly, so you may need to abandon your hot spot. Wind, fog, and whatever will force you to go find the fish on a daily basis. It is for real fishing.
Although January and February are some of our slower months, the fishing can be very good much of the time. I am starting to book trips for Spring and Summer, as well as a few for Fall 2014. If I were to say a particular month was better for Redfish, then I would not be telling the truth. I don’t know which month is the best, because they can all be good. Speckled Trout I would say May and June were the best for the big spawning Specks. I would say October, November, and December were best for numbers of trout, but who knows. Hurricane season has the most stable weather here, so what does that tell you. Being able to fish twelve months a year can be confusing. When we go out and catch fish the confusion disappears.
Call now to book your next trip!
January 6, 2014 Report.
I took out some fellows from Boston, Massachusetts this last weekend fishing for some Redfish. Neil and Mark took the last plane out of the airport up there last week before the airport shut down due to all the bad weather. They were scheduled to go out with me today, but I called them Friday and told them about all the heavy wind for this week, and we decided to go out Saturday. Good thing they were flexible with their schedule, because I sure would not have wanted to be out there today with the cold and wind.
We met at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice and headed down river to an area that was fishable, and most likely had some fish around. It had been 2 weeks since I had been fishing, but I planned the trip just as I always do: go where the weather will permit you to go and start looking for the fish. With the Mississippi River stage rising to around 10 feet in New Orleans, the Redfish are hanging around the outside bays and beaches- not in the river. It will be that way until sometime in the Summer. We got to the area where I wanted to start fishing for big Redfish. We drifted a beach in four feet of water using Popping corks with soft plastics under them. It did not take me long to realize that these guys fished a good bit. They caught on to what my strategy was for fishing pretty quick. The problem was that we did not get a bite for a half an hour. It was dead low tide with murky water. I cranked up and moved to an area about four miles away to give it another try. About five minutes at our new spot Neil missed one, then hooked another one that he got to the boat. It weighed 22 pounds. Mark started hooking up as well and the fishing was on for the rest of the trip. Mark’s first Redfish ever went 22 pounds. Neil caught a monster Redfish weighing 38 pounds. They had three Redfish at 29 pounds. They boated about thirty Redfish and all but three were over 20 pounds. They probably missed 20 more Reds. I was not fishing. We were in three feet of muddy water. The Redfish can find your lure in muddy water. Glad we found the spot earlier instead of later. These guys had a good time.
Come on down and get in on some Redfish fishing. January and February are the toughest months to fish here because of these cold fronts, but its still good fishing. A tough day here is better than a good day in many other places.
December 31, 2013 report
We have not been out fishing during the Christmas holiday, and the Venice area has been a ghost town with few people fishing. There has been some duck hunters out, but not many. Everyone is doing the Christmas thing, and laying low while getting ready for 2014. Folks are preparing to sign up for Obama Care, or whatever. I have been keeping up with Phil Robertson thing with the Duck Dynasty controversy. Glad that is done. Why there was a controversy to begin with is stupid. The man just gave his opinion. The Saints are in the playoffs. LSU plays Iowa tomorrow. The news said not many LSU fans are going to that game, because it is not one of the top bowl games. You can’t get spoiled every season. It will most likely be a good game. I will start back to fishing next week with some folks from Pennsylvania who want to target the big Redfish. Having not been on the water a few days does not affect my strategy for going after the fish. I will look at the weather starting a few days ahead of time, and figure out where I can fish. Go to the area and start looking for them, as usual. I bet the Redfish will hit the same lures in 2014 as they did in 2013. I will also bet that the Redfish will be roaming around and not staying in one spot in 2014, just as they did in 2013 and all the years before. I don’t plan on getting in a hurry to order new lures that electronically rattle and light up under water and work wonders on the fish.
2013 has been a good year for us at Fish On Guide Service and we thank you for it. I guided quite a bit this year and only had five days that we did not do good, at all. Some days we had slow mornings, but made up for them in the afternoons. Sometimes, I can have a tough day. I am sorry about a tough day and will try to correct the problem, to get the best of it and learn. I always recommend fishing multiple days if someone is traveling a long way to fish down here due to the fact the conditions might be tough, but also so that you can have so much fun catching fish day after day. We had a great fall in 2013 fishing for the Big Redfish (thousands of 15-25 lb. Redfish October through December ). We also caught many school Speckled Trout for the ice chest. The Spring and Summer months of 2013 were actually better for the big Redfish than the fall. We caught just as many fish earlier in the year, but we had more Bull Redfish over 30 lbs. and some over 40 lbs. It all changes all the time. Some people think the fishing in the fall is better because the water is generally clearer due to the Mississippi River being low. It is better for Specks, but the big Redfish don’t care what time of year it is, and they don’t leave the area. They are native to the area and due to the fact that there is plenty of bait for them to feed on. We just have to find out where they are located on a daily basis. I don’t know the best time to come down here fishing for the Redfish, because you can have a good day any month of the year. January and February are the toughest months due to cold strong winds, but 18 to 20 days out of these months can be some terrific fishing. If you have the time to come down these months, and can’t make it any other time, no reason not to come down. The fish are here. They bite in cold water. Sometimes, the afternoon Sun helps with that bite as the water temperature goes up a couple of degrees.
I have been getting calls for 2014 bookings from some folks that have been out with me in the past and from some that have not, so it looks like it will be a solid year for us at the Fish On Venice Lodge. More fun times. Fortunately, all I have to do is concentrate on putting my clients on fish. My wife, Leila, takes care of the cooking and lodge stuff. She is a great cook. Probably the best down here as far as any lodges go. She is reliable as well. Thank God I don’t have to look elsewhere for help to keep up with that part of our fishing package. It must be a nightmare for some of these other places down here to try to keep things running smooth. My clients don’t have to lift a finger when they stay at my place. It’s like a family atmosphere. I did not have anyone down this year that I would not have back. This type of business draws good people. Give me a call if you would like to discuss a fishing trip. May we all have a great year. Later.
December 19th 2013 REPORT
I had a last minute 3 days / 4 nights package deal and we have absolutely, positively been catching the daylights out of the Redfish this week. Words can’t describe the Redfish bite this week. I am asked a bunch about when the best time to fish Venice Louisiana is, and I still do not know after fishing here for a long time. No kidding around. I fish 12 months out of the year, and don’t know when the best time is, because the fishing here can come together anytime. Although the winter weather conditions can be difficult at times, the fish are around the area. Tough weather conditions can present themselves any time of the year here, and we can have a good day of fishing even when the weather seems terrible.
Anyway, a friend of mine told me where some Redfish were. The big Redfish were in an area that I had not fished in about six months. It’s a big area down here. I like the area, but I just had not been there lately. I was too busy somewhere else. So, I had some guys from Illinois and Wyoming fishing with me this week, and I wanted to take them down to where my buddy’s fish were. I had been catching in some other places down river, but my friend had told me that the weather conditions would allow my party to fish the area where the Redfish were for a day or two.
Ben, Doug, and Deek had fished with me before, and we had some great trips, so, naturally, we had to outdo the past trips. Well, we pulled up to spot number one and saw the Redfish my friend was telling me about. The back fins of the Redfish were out of the water showing themselves in shallow water . I had spinnerbaits on two of my rods, so Deek and Ben grabbed them and cast to where the fish were.. They were hooked up immediatly.They brought in a 23lb. and a 20 lb. Redfish after a few minutes of fighting the fish all around the boat. Doug grabbed one of the rods rigged with a topwater plug. As soon as his plug hit the water a big explosion made his lure disappear with his rod bent over. A few minutes later we netted his 23 pound Redfish. It was on all morning and then some. Half the time we cast our lures out we got strikes from the Reds. Schools of Redfish showed up all day long in the area we were fishing. We were fishing there because mother nature gave us an opportunity to fish the area because of the wind direction. I would not hesitate to quit fishing the area if the conditions were unfavorable for fishing that spot. We are constantly changing locations to fish, and must find them every time we go out fishing. We fished another day in that area with super success using different lures. On day number three we changed locations due to the wind , and found the fish again. They were not showing themselves, but they were there. As usual, with targeting the big Redfish, we lost some due to them spitting the hook, but my guys were experienced anglers, and played the fish without giving them slack in their line. Everything played out good for the fishing this week.
The guys said they had a great time again. They said the food was great at the lodge. We had the Redfish on the grill, Shrimp stew, baked fish, and we had a steak night as well. I have the best cook in the area (my wife, Leila, she is my French chef). I help with the grilling meals, but she just tells me what to do. Its all good. Have a Merry Christmas. See you next year!
December 12, 2013 Report.
I had some folks that called me up last week that wanted to go out for some Redfish on a short notice fishing trip. They wanted to give the Redfishing a try, because they had heard how hard these fish fight. Jack, Aubrey, and Chuck were from Oklahoma, and they freshwater fished up there. They had something to do with the Sugar Bowl. The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oklahoma Sooners are playing in New Orleans in a few weeks, so that’s good. Anyway, we loaded up in the boat and headed down river to an area that would give us some protection from the wind direction. I had told them that the windy conditions could make the conditions tough for fishing, but you never know unless we go. They agreed and said that they would have a good time, and that if they caught some fish that it would just be a bonus. We got down to the area I wanted to try and started drifting in a cane lined bay. We were using popping corks with a soft plastic underneath. We had low water conditions and the water was off colored. It was cold as well. I told them that Redfish were a tough fish, and that they bite in those conditions. It’s usually just a matter of whether the Reds were around. The Reds needed to be around, because with the windy conditions we could not try many places. It was slow fishing for several hours, then it happened. Chuck and Aubrey hooked up at the same time. The drags on their reels were screaming. This was in three feet of water. These guys were forced to walk around the boat while they were fighting these fish. Chuck’s big Red spit the hook at the boat, but Aubrey boated his. It weighed 24 lbs. Sometimes the big Redfish roam around in packs of 2 or three or more and you stumble on them and get them. We kept on drifting around the area and picked up more here and there. The fishing was not on fire, but we steadily found Redfish, with several more double hook ups. By noon we had boated about 18 or twenty Reds. We saw some Pelicans diving in an area, so we changed our strategy and motored up wind of where they were diving and drifted toward them. The Redfish were under the birds. We anchored upwind of the action. I did not want to get on top of them. We hooked into about fifteen more Reds, and we boated nine of them. The largest of the day went 29 lbs. and the smallest was 17 lbs. So, after a slow morning the fishing picked up. The conditions did not look good, but we never know what is going to happen on a fishing trip. You can have some tough days fishing the Venice area, but most of the time you eventually find fish. Winter fishing for Redfish around the Venice area sure beats sitting around reading a book all winter. If you want in on a chance at some winter fishing just give me a call. I have been booking some trips for January and February, but I have plenty of days open as well. The winter months are the slowest time of year for bookings, and I am only targeting the big Redfish. The big Redfish feed in the cold water-much of the time.’
December 5, 2013 Report.
The Mississippi River stage, down here at Venice, has jumped up about a foot and the water color has turned from clear green to a brownish murky color, and the water temperature has dropped to around 56 degrees. What does that mean? I am not exactly sure. It’s just an observation. We are still catching fish in the river, but as everything gets colder the bite in the river will slow down, and eventually the Redfish and the Speckled Trout will all be in the outside waters surrounding the river. The colder water temperature has also brought some foggy conditions at times. The Venice area can be one of the foggiest places you will ever be around between December and May. This week I had one of my clients ask me if the fish bite in the fog. I said “yes, but we have to get to the fish-alive.” I have my Garmin gps and my Furuno radar, but even so your chances of running aground or worse, running into something, goes way up when you cannot see what is ahead of you. You don’t want to go out in it to start your day, but if the fog moves in on you during your trip you need your electronics to get you back to the dock.
The big “Bull” Redfish have not disappointed us here lately. I had Neil and Hulen Ford come fishing with me this last weekend. They are from Texas, and they fish with me several times a year. They want to catch those big Redfish, and the weather conditions allowed us to fish one of the areas that has been holding some big Reds lately. We had to work for them, but they were there. We caught 20 plus fish each day. The largest was 29 pounds. None of them were under 18 pounds. We did not catch huge numbers of fish, but it was steady. We also missed just as many fish as we boated, so the action was not bad. We were using a soft plastic on a lead head under a popping cork. The big Redfish wore Hulen out the first two days, so on the third day they wanted to target smaller fish in the river, so we set up in an area where some Speckled Trout usually are. Due to murky water conditions we used lead heads tipped with frozen shrimp. It worked. We caught about 50 Specks, four Sheepshead, one fresh water catfish, four hardhead catfish, two slot Redfish, two under sized Redfish that we released, and Hulen caught a 22 pound Redfish that decided to come by. We never moved the boat. Just what the doctor ordered. They had to catch a flight, so we went in early. We left the fish biting.
These guys said they had a great time. They said the food was great at the Fish On Venice Lodge. They enjoyed the football games in the evening. They are coming back in February for some winter Redfishing in Venice.
Call now to book your next fishing trip. Come discover the Redfish Fishing capital of the world : Venice , Louisiana!
November 25th 2013 report
It has been a while since I have had a chance to give a fishing report for the Venice area, because I have been busy fishing with few days off, but I am happy to report that the fish are still around. The windy weather has made it difficult at times, but we have caught some really nice Redfish in the areas that were calm enough to fish. Every month of the year can have some windy days, and you cannot fish in areas with heavy seas rolling in on you, so we are constantly fishing in different areas almost daily. The Mississippi River has been low, as it usually is this time of year, so we have had the option of fishing inside the river where you get protection from the wind. The Mississippi River has been holding the smaller slot Redfish and Speckled Trout. There has also been an occasional “Bull” Redfish caught in the river as well. However, many of my clients want to catch the big Redfish, which are usually on the outside beaches and bays surrounding the river when it dumps into the Gulf of Mexico. These larger Redfish are constantly on the move, so they are not in the same spot everyday, even if you could get to the same area daily (which you cannot due to wind the shifting). So, we have to find them on a daily basis. The sooner we find them the better. We have been using Soft plastics under a cork, large beetlespins, and hard plastic run baits ( as usual) to find the fish.
Everyone seems to have enjoyed staying at the Fish On Venice Lodge. My wife, Leila, has been keeping us well fed and keeping the living quarters clean and comfortable. Everyone has been tired in the evenings and have been getting some rest for the next day out on the water. After all, fishing and catching is fairly hard work when you are doing it a lot.
Now is a good time to book a trip with us for next year, so if you are interested just give us a call. The winter months can be very productive for catching Redfish. The big Redfish are a hardy fish, and bite in the cold months.
Give me a call to book your Spring trip. When you call early you get the best choice dates.
November 5th 2013 report
The big bad “BULL” Redfish have been running for my clients from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Maine. We also had some Speckled Trout for some folks from Mississippi. As usual, the 20-35 lb. Redfish hit the artificial lures we were throwing at them. It is fun to catch them on lures, and it is most effective as well. Once the big Redfish hit the lures, more times than not, we see them running with it. These big Redfish are notorious for spitting the hook, particularly when they come right at the boat swimming 25 mph. If you caught them 100% of the time it would not be as fun. You will most likely miss 40-50% of them. The main thing I tell people is to not get mad at themselves for missing the fish. Much of the time the hook is set in the white part of their mouths between their lips and their crushers. If the hook is set just in their skin layer here, instead of the “boney” part, then they shake their head, or charge you, and get off. They were not born yesterday. They are a worthy opponent. Gather yourself, and keep fishing for another one. Don’t blame my equipment. Clients quickly get over it when they get one to the boat.
Strong winds at times have made fishing more difficult. This is the case any time of the year. I try to put the boat where we can fish without the boat flipping over, no matter how good we did the day before somewhere. Forget about yesterday 75% of the time. I am used to that. Some people do not understand it though. We have to find them every day. I know different areas to try.
The Speckled Trout are in the Mississippi River. We boxed 106 of them the other day with my Mississippi guests. We caught them on lead heads with soft plastics on drop offs in the river. This is the time of year I tell folks to come fish for Trout. They are predictable and you don’t have to run all over the Gulf looking for them. Best of all, they hit artificial lures, so you do not have to be dependent on live bait (which you cant get half the time ). You can do things the easy way, or the hard way. Sometimes, one is better than the other. Wish I always knew the best way. No risk-no reward.
The Fish On Venice lodge has been busy. Everyone has been having a good time. My clients from Florida this week were flexible with their schedule, so they are coming down in December after me telling them that we were going to have 20-25 knot winds all week. It looked tougher than usual, or I would not have postponed the four days they were fishing. I needed a break. I love what I do, but even Mickey Mouse needs some time off, or else he wont be grinning all the time. If you would like to come down and get in on some great fishing action, then give me a call. I honestly do not know the best time off the year to come. I have had great trips any month of the year, as well as some tough days any month. Fortunately, many more good days than bad.
Give me a call, leave a message if I cannot answer.
October 17th Report.
I have had clients from Florida, Delaware, Hawaii, and Georgia over the last couple of weeks, and we have really been on the Redfish. We have also caught some nice numbers of Speckled Trout, but the trout bite should only get better later this month through December. We have had some days the last couple a weeks where we got 60 plus Big Redfish in the boat. I am talking about 12lbs to 25lbs Redfish. Not the small ones. That means we lost just as many that did not make it to the boat. Lots of good action. The biggest Redfish the last week has been 35lbs. Caught in three feet of water. All the fish have been caught on different lures. The Redfish action should be great through to the new year. January can be great too. All year for Redfish.
My landing net finally wore out. I had about 15 cable ties holding it together. It is more difficult to find a good net for these big Redfish than you might realize. You might find the right rubber netting on one, but the handle is cheap. You may find one with the right handle, but the netting is the kind that the eye of your hooks get tangled in when the fish spins around in the net. It is simple turned complicated when you try to find the right net. The net I had was great, but I could not find the same one. I tried Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops, and finally Cabella’s. I bought one at Cabella’s that I hope will last a while.
What can I say. The fishing has been good to great all year. I had maybe four days all year that were really tough days. I don’t depend on luck, but I will take any I can get.
I have some openings in December if anyone wants to get in on some good inshore action down here around Venice. Have a good one.
September 30, 2013 Report