Tuna Fishing in the Gulf

tuna fishing in louisiana

Fishing out of Venice La

The Gulf Coast of Louisiana offers some of the best fishing in the country all year long. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are host to many species of sport fish. A favorite among professional charter fishermen is the Yellowfin Tuna. They travel in large schools and swim fast and hard making them an exciting challenge for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned angler. They can be caught in open waters but, the best places to catch Yellowfin Tuna are close to the floating oil rigs. There are plenty of oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico for everyone to fish around. Most fishing is done in the early hours or late hours of the day when the fish are feeding. But, the best time to catch Yellowfin Tuna is at night.

Catching Tuna in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico Fishing

The oil and gas rigs range from 1 or 2 miles off shore to out past 100 miles from shore. The deep-water floating rigs offer the best potential for filling the ice chest. The first thing to do is stop early for some bait fish. Depending on when and where you stop for bait you may end up fighting with sharks and losing a couple of bait fish. Some of the bait fish will be used as chum and some as live bait. Once filled up with a nice supply of bait it’s on to the deep water.

Deep Water Fishing for Tuna

Once at the deep-water rigs it’s time to start chumming up the waters to attract the schools of Yellowfin Tuna. This is also going to attract other fish and more sharks. The important thing is to attract the tuna. Once things get rolling it is possible to fish for tuna and replenish the bait supply at the same time. Live bait is best for catching the big ones while the dead bait is best for chumming the waters. Most people fish for tuna in two ways. The first is trolling where live bait is slowly towed behind the boat and passed by the school of tuna. The second is floating or drifting past the schools of tuna. Since the tuna are close to the top of the water many anglers will also use a top water popper bait in combination with the live bait.

Tuna Fishing in the Gulf

Tuna Fishing Limits

With a limit of 3 fish per person and an average size of over 40lbs. a good trip has the potential to fill the freezer for a long time. Yellowfin Tuna can be caught in the daylight hours but the best time to catch them is at night. Trolling and drifting with live baits, chum, and top water popper baits are tried and true methods to catch a limit. Stick to the deep-water platforms and bring plenty of live bait.

Speckled Trout Out of Venice LA

speckled trout out of venice

Specks are Running

We are just into May and the speckled trout are running. May, June and July are by far the best time to fish for specks in Louisiana. They began entering our estuaries in April like invading mongols on a mission to EAT. This is their spawning season and they are looking to build up some energy by feasting on crustaceans and small fish. Schools of speckled trout (also known as spotted sea trout, spots, specks, yellow-mouths, and paper-mouths) will chase food from the barrier islands south of Cocodrie up throughout all of the coastal bays and bayous from now through the summer.  If you like catching fish, this is the time of year to catch your limit on this fun and tasty game fish.

Our Trip

On Wednesday, we put in at Venice, LA.  As many of the real fishermen in Louisiana already know, Venice is considered one of the best destinations for fishing in the country.  We went down to the place called “the rocks” at the end of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO or Mister Go as it is often called). The moment the first shrimp hit the water, the cork followed it straight down and I landed a beautiful 16″ trout. I caught six more that were generally the same size just about as fast as I could catch them. After back-to-back catches for about 15 minutes, they stopped biting. It was nothing gradual either. One moment it seemed like the fish were lining up for shrimp, and the next moment, if those fish had noses, they would most assuredly have been turned upwards because they did not like my shrimp any longer.

specked trout out of venice laOnce the specks stopped marauding my shrimp, I finally got a moment to pop open a cold drink and watch what was going on around me. I had been fishing close to the rocks, but about 30 feet out from the pile of rip rap, I could see the faint rippling of the water telling me that the bait fish were moving in with the tide. Using the trolling motor, we idled out along the rocks and put about 20 yards between the rocks and the boat and began drifting with the current of the incoming tide. Drifting for speckled trout is a time-worn method where you let your boat move with the current or breeze and slowly “troll” across the point that you have determined to be the ground zero for specks.  Some people argue that you should only drift fish on a cloudy day so that the fish are not spooked by the shadow of the boat passing across their school. I have been told that even if the speckled trout are spooked and dart away that they will regroup quickly enough and continue feeding. Monday was a beautiful sunny day. Any shadow the fish might have seen did not hurt our catch at all.

When we were positioned and cut the motor, I switched over to my jig setup with an artificial shad. Casting into the bait pod and reeling it back through the schools of minnows did not work at all, so I tried to tease the fish with a bit of a “drop and pop” motion. This did the trick because it drove them crazy. Over the next two hours, I caught my limit…twenty-five beautiful, delicious specks.  Several were  between 18” and 19’ long, and the biggest at 20 inches was right at three pounds.

What To Use To Catch Speckled Trout

speckled troutThis time of year, you usually only have to present a small assortment of bait to find what they are biting. They may not want the first bait you present, but the motivation to eat during the spawning season is imprinted on their DNA, so try the next bait until they bite.  Good choices for live bait are shrimp, small crabs, cacahoe minnows, bull minnows, croaker, pinfish, mullet, pogie or any similar sized fish. Shrimp is the most widely used and available, by far. I usually choose about a 2/0 hook and 12 pound test line just in case I hook into a “gator trout” which is what you call one of those “toothy” specks that over 25 inches long, about 8 or 9 years old and beginning to resemble an alligator.  I keep a variety of lures in my tackle box for bringing home speckled trout. These are made up of an assortment of plastic minnows and jig heads, split-tail beetles with spinners, crank baits, spoons and a few popping corks.

Besides being a haven for speckled trout, the rocks at the end of MRGO are home to jacks, redfish, drum, sheepshead, ladyfish, and sharks.  Most anglers launch in Venice to make the run of just over twenty miles to the rocks. While fishermen can be seen at the rocks at all times of the year, the fishing this month is the highlight of the year for specks.

Spring Fishing in Venice, LA

Capt Troy

Venice, LA Fishing Heats Up

Year round fishing in Venice, LA is what makes this spot so appealing to sportsman from around the globe.  Those trophy Swordfish and Marlin are there for the taking, but know that the Spring months bring a vast migration of even more large game fish.

If you are looking for Charter fishing out of New Orleans, Venice Charters are the place to go during the early Spring months is one of the best due to the migration of the large schools of tuna and wahoo.  If you enjoy reeling in that supersized tuna, you can land yellowfin, some weighing up to 200lbs as they invade our gulf waters in early Spring.

Tuna Tuna Tuna

The yellowfin tuna is a strong fish, that is built for speed and to put up a good fight for any angler. The yellowfin is identified easily by it’s beautiful, metallic dark blue color on it’s back  that blends to a pretty yellowish-silver color on it’s belly.  You will notice a golden stripe on each side of it’s body and two dorsal fins, an anal fin, and two pectoral fins.  Using the services of an experienced Charter Captain in Venice, LA will help you identify each species of large game fish you reel in.

Historic “Midnight Lump”

Your trip should include a stop at the famous Midnight Lump.  The Midnight Lump is a vast mountain of salt under water that rises up to 200 ft at it’s surface peak.  You will find large numbers of big game fish lurking below, such as a variety of yellowfin, blackfin, and bluefin tuna.   This hot spot also provides large amberjacks, shark and mahi mahi, all searching for food.  The Spring and Summer months are best for fishing this well known spot, the Midnight Lump, but year round, you can land some of your largest gamefish at this location.

Trophy Fish

With Venice being one of the best destinations for fishing charters in the US, Our Charter Fishing Captains who fish out of Venice, LA will tell you more large trophy fish are caught off Venice, LA than anyplace else in the United States.  Family trips, corporate trips and even bachelor/bachelorette trips will provide a day, or even two of an experience you will cherish.

Book your New Orleans fishing charter trip today with an experienced Charter Fishing Captain out of Venice, LA and remember to bring your camera.