Fishing Reports

Venice Offshore- Cajun Yellowfin- Pelagic Charters

Temps have warmed up, trees are blooming and the fish are biting. The tuna have really taken over the spotlight over the past few days. It seems the “right” bunch finally moved in along with some really nice water that is right at 71degrees to be exact. Fish were fought and killed and some were lost. Oh well, “the one that gets away, gives you another shot on another day.”

Thursday 3/1

J. Beaux and usual cronies. These guys always come with a full complement of nasty jabs and sarcasm and a horse shoe. Fog is thick enough to film a Steven King movie and never leave the marina. Get everybody in and situated. We tip-toe out the marina and make our way in the pea soup that stands in the way of much needed sun shine. Make it about a couple of miles and a shark boat blows between me and the canes. Nice. I said under my breath as I fumbled for a smoke. Slowed it down a bit and eventually we made our way offshore. We ran radar right up to 9 miles from our destination. Pulled the reigns back and quickly got set up. Running solo on this one, no worries got two big, able willing boys on-board that have been here before. Started chunking three set-ups and made our first drift a blank. Got re-set and Bryce gets smoked. Saddle up and he handles the fish perfectly. The fish didn’t settle in for almost thirty minutes and after that, straight up and down. Twenty minutes later, I stick the gaff in a very healthy and thick fish. Over she goes and Bryce can’t be happier. That fish would later weigh 168lbs. So happy in fact, that he almost broke three of my ribs with a bear-hug. I get us re-set while the guys take care of the fish. Went back to same mark and on the next drift Brady comes tight. Same deal and thirty minutes later we look down and another solid fish. Stuck him with two gaffs and wallaaahhh, Brady was stoked to say the least. All they could talk about at this point was eating them! We stuck around for a couple more hours and donated a few hooks and pulled the hooks on two tuna. We made one last drift and picked up a 40lber and called it real. Made our way back in and no fog. Nice day indeed, with good company.

Friday 3/2

The evening before, my buddy Capt. Scott Leger with Paradise outfitters called me and was in a bind with no hand for the next day. Me being the nice guy I am, and not having a trip on the books, decided to make a “cameo” appearance on the Sea Legs. The forecast was calling for fog, heavy seas, tornado’s lightning, hail and a slight chance of an earthquake. Despite all of that, we made our way down-river in the pea-soup and eventually cleared South-west pass in not so pretty seas. Oh well, we just took our time. We slowly made our way to the “secret spot” and got the guys acclimated to what we were doing. It was kind of rough standing up but we made do. I think we had made two drifts and had three bone-heads and a king slimey to show for it, when Capt. Scott decided to quit messing around and moved the boat over to his “double super secret spot,” We got started again and got smoked. Fish was digging hard and dumping a lot of line. We past the hour mark and the fish showed no signs of letting up. We had drifted three miles in the heavy seas at this time. Capt. Scott did an awesome job keeping the fish on the corner and us out of the heavy beam seas. At this point we had gone thru a few angler rotations and I set-up and fought the fish for 20-30 minutes and made a little head-way palming the spool. Angler number 1 decides he is ready again and after drifting another mile and coming close to a platform, the fish eventually gave us an opportunity to stick him. Gaff number one goes in and Capt. Scott ran down and placed another one in his head and we opened the door and the fish and a lot of water came in the door. High fives ensued and we iced down the fish and proceeded to “get out of dodge” in the now, heavier seas. Once back at the dock, he weighed 170lbs on the dot and mad at the world. Good time aboard the Sea Legs indeed.

Saturday and Sunday was no-go due to weather. Sunday evening the winds died down to nothing and even the gnats came out.

Monday 3/5

Front came thru on Saturday, cooled down nicely and no fog. The forecast is calling for “go fishing”. Nice ride down river this morning, hot coffee, cool breeze slipping behind the isinglass, the remnants of this past winter’s migration of ducks enjoying their morning without getting shot at and Tom Petty on the I-pod. Good stuff. Had Dr. Jeff along with his son Jeff and their friend Mike. Make our way in calm seas just fast enough to keep it smooth. We arrive at the “super secret spot” and I could make out about twenty boats. Haven’t seen this in awhile, I murmured under my breath as we got set-up. Gave the guys the run down on what we were doing and got started. Water was very stained with little surface current and lots of sub-current. We made two drifts with a couple of bite-offs and four Bonita’s to show for it. I moved around a bit and settled into an area that was marking a lot of fish. Got re-set and Jeff Jr. got hammered. Fish was pulling hard to the north east and kept going that direction. I started following the fish at a steady rate in an attempt to gain back quite a bit of braid that was now stretched out in the middle of a lot of boats. 45 minutes later I realized I was screwed. The fish was heading right at a boat that was anchored. 10 Minutes later and the rod tip told the tale. Capt. Hunter came over the radio and offered his assistance. We eventually got the guy on the radio and after a rod pass off to Hunter and a loop over the anchor line and a few "Our Fathers," we came clear of the line. The fish stayed the course for another 45 minutes and eventually he settled in his circles. It was not to be, the fish bit thru the floro less than 12 ft from the boat. What do you do? Get back in the game. Jeff was pretty bummed about it and I told him, “You just missed a big deer,” in an effort to make him feel a little better. I told him to blow it off and we will get another one. Two drifts later we stick a 70lb yellow fin. I go back and we get bit again. King slimey that looks like 50lbs, we release him back to slimey land and re-set on the same mark. Bit again, another yellow fin around 70lbs. Cool. I was making my way back and looked down at the sounder and there were three big marks shallow, I stopped, turned the boat broadside and ran three chunk lines. Jeff Jr. got hammered 30ft. from the boat. He was intent on getting this one. A little over an hour later a large tail popped out of the murk and we stuck two gaffs into a large, no-so-nice, tail-wrapped tuna. He was speechless. Cool. We kept at it for another hour or so and got another small yellow-fin before calling it a day. Jeff’s fish would later weigh 186.7lbs back at the dock. Smooth ride in following seas and no tabs or fog. We were scheduled to fish the next day but bowed out because of the forecast, should have went. Capt. Hunter had nine up to 180lbs and Capt. Eddie had 7 up to 130lbs. I hate when that happens. Oh well. With that being said, I have this Friday open again, if anyone would like to go, please call me or e-mail me. Thanks. Enjoy the pics from the past few weeks.

Captain William Wall
Pelagic Charters
Venice, La
F/V ‘ALL IN’
captwill1@cox.net
1.225.454.5365


Pelagic Charters-Venice Monster Wahoo

Port long, Starboard short and center bait in the wash. I have been repeating this process over and over for the past two weeks looking for the “right one”, and boy did I find it. Had Jimmie C, Eric and big Ken down from South Florida for a week. The guys made it in on the 21rst after a short flight, the only problem was, their boat which was supposed to be there, was two days behind due to truck malfunctions. Oh well, into my boat we go for the next three days or so until theirs arrives. Prior to this trip Jimmy told me I want two things; a 100lb Wahoo and a yellow fin over 100lbs. He fishes primarily in the Bahamas and hasn’t been able to reach that mark. My initial reply was the tuna shouldn’t be a problem but the Wahoo might be a stretch. Little did I know what was in the cards? The short version is we fished all week and did not get the tuna, there were a few caught here and there but it just wasn’t meant to be. The Wahoo stole the show. 1/24 we placed two gaffs in a Wahoo that would later measure 73 in long and 33 in girth. We had a 100lb certified scale at the marina that was a floor scale. She stopped at 98lbs with the tail touching the ground. Measurements gave her 104-111lbs. We called it 102lbs and stopped there. We pulled the flying gaff out of a 600-650 lb mako that day as well. That’s another story in itself. 1/27 another Wahoo hit the deck which later went 71.5 in long and 32 in girth. This fish bottomed out the scale and we called her 101lbs. Throw in a lot more Wahoo, a bonus Warsaw and a bunch of other goodies and you have about 350lbs of fillet and a full week. I didn’t get the yellow fin but hit it out of the park on the Wahoo. Both fish were caught on Bombers, Bubblegum and blue chrome with owner 200lb split rings and Owner 4/0 trebles. The tuna fishing should improve shortly; Capt. Eddie found big open fish yesterday that were hitting live pogies. It’s only a matter of time before they turn on. The Wahoo fishing this year has been outstanding on size and numbers. We have some really big fish in the area right now. We still have plenty of dates available, so give me a call to book your “winter” trip here in Venice. The big fish season should continue thru the end of March. I will be back on the water Tuesday looking for yellow fin and Wahoo. Report to follow. See ya on the dock or on the water.

Captain William Wall
Pelagic Charters
F/v ALL IN
Venice, La
1.225.454.5365
captwill1@cox.net


Venice Offshore – Off the hook and into the Ziploc

End of the day and the marina is just coming to life. Tuna are coming off the boats in piles and there seems to be a good sense of karma in the air. People gather in groups enjoying a cold one and swapping stories of their day. Fish are cleaned and packed into ice chests, heading for parts unknown. Once again the docks are silent. It’s our turn to reflect on the day, and make mine a double. It’s amazing how fishing can bring total strangers together. Life is good in Venice.

On 10/12 I had Larry G. and his gang from Alabama. After a few Bama/Tiger jokes in the morning we headed downriver with high expectations. The seas were nice and everything looked good. We moved around for a little bit and found a few boats working in 200ft or so. I gave the guys the skinny on what we were doing and got after it. The big blacks were everywhere. We tried bigger baits and even bigger baits to get past them but their appetite was bigger. Oh well, we kept at it all day looking for the right one and in the process filled the forward coffin with more than enough black fin tuna to feed a small village in God knows where. Despite no yellows it was a good indication of things to come being the Shrimp boats had just gotten set up the day before after a nasty blow. Life was starting to show. We must have timed it just right because the boys pulled the last cold one out of the Yeti right as we pulled up to the dock. That was a close one. No fear, I told them. Turn around, walk 40 ft. and replenish your stocks. We packed the fish for them in coolers and they left Venice in a cloud of dust headed north, to New Orleans for part deaux of Larry’s bachelor party. Good times indeed.

10/13 I woke up early that morning and walked outside with a cup of Joe. Immediately I was hit with a brisk wind. “That’s not good” I murmured under my breath. Despite the prospects of getting my teeth kicked in, I was still pumped up just thinking about the distinct possibilities of the big yellows showing up. Made my way downriver and was just about to clear the pass when we slowed down for a moored shrimp boat that was nestled up in the canes that were laid over from the wind. Rut roe, Put the nose down and once we cleared the 200ft break the seas were definitely angry. We were catching spray badly and despite conditions that called for a film crew and a crab fleet, we pressed on. Only to find the fleet had shagged you know what for different parts other than ours. We picked up a hand full of big blacks and it seemed the rest of the fishing fleet had the same ideas that morning. Only catch, no boats. We bounced around looking for them but no such luck was to be had. We ended up the day catching mangroves and picking up a few jacks on butterfly jigs.

10/14 I eased out the door in the pre-dawn darkness as the morning before. No wind. Thank you. Enjoyed my coffee and headed down to the marina. I had Michael B. down and just himself. Repeated the same route as the day before, hell bent on fishing the boats. Cleared the shelf and was able to scoot along comfortably at 40mph. Found a couple of boats and went to work. We picked up 6 or 7 big blacks and stayed on them in open water. The sounder was lit up and the tuna were underneath me but refused to come up. The current had gone slack and they just didn’t want to come up. We bounced around for most of the afternoon but the fleet had anchored up for better shrimping during the night. We continued east in hopes of finding other boats and decided to make a pit stop for scamps. We picked up two and lost five or so and one nice jack before heading back to an anchored boat and picking up two more big blacks.

10/15 Spent the better part of the morning cleaning the boat and trying to figure out where the big yellows were. A friend of mine had some business clients down and had left earlier only to come right back. Seems a high pressure filter had gone bad. It was 10:30 in the morning when he approached me. Dude, you gotta help me, he said. No problem. Let me put my boat back together and we will go. We left at 11:00 and headed down river. Not a breath of wind. Nice. We changed gears once we cleared the pass and headed offshore at a quick pace. First stop we made a few deep drops but no luck. Capt. Eddie had just put a nice yellow in the box right next to us. We pulled up current and dropped a few butterfly jigs and picked up two big blacks. Hit another rig and pulled baits for wahoo and had one knock down but no connect. Headed back north and dropped more jigs and picked up a few more blacks. Okay, what next. Made our way toward east bay and spotted a shrimp boat and made a bee-line for him. I pulled up behind him and the sounder was lit-up. Backed off it and set up. First drift we picked two jumbo blacks and went back to do it again. Scott was running a line off the bow and he got nailed. The drag was coming off the 50w quick and I backed off the boat. The fish was going north and wasn’t slowing down. Cool, cool, cool. Got angler strapped in and went up on the drag. Heavy gear, so I wasn’t worried. After awhile, the fish settled up and down and tail beats at the end of the rod indicated a tuna. Shortly after he popped up from the murk and we stuck him. High fives ensued. I was 6.3 miles from south pass at that point. 30 minutes later we put him on the scales. 150lbs on the nose. Back at the dock it seemed that the rest of the boys slayed them. Capt. Eddie had a giant and so did everyone else. They were back.

10/16 No wind and no charter. Good grief Charlie brown! It was killing me to know that they were there and I wasn’t. Bumped into a friend and said lets go. Left the dock at 11:00, see a pattern here? Made 40 miles quick and found the fleet. Plenty of boats. Second boat we spotted a big yellow on the first drift and went back. Armed with a 3lb white trout and a Godzilla 18/0 Eagle claw we bombed the water with chum goodies and I got picked up deep. Came tight and fish on. Fought the fish ala “rod holder style” for about twenty minutes and Kyle stuck the gaff in a not so happy 140lb plus fish. Neat. We bounced around a few more boats and saw probably five or more big yellow before being broke off on 200lb floro and a 135lb mono top shot. Too much drag I suppose. We hauled butt back to the dock, cleaned our tuna and passed out steaks. Capt. One Eye came in with a 221lb and a 150 plus blacks. Several other big fish were brought in.

Everything seems to falling into place. Our mullet run this year should be much better than the years previous given the amount of large roe mullet in the river and the passes. Capt. Hunter has been killing them at the floater along with a few other guys. The Wahoo have shown up as well. We had a nice 70lber from the other day on an exploratory trip. The next month or so should be awesome and big tuna will be hitting our docks. Floaters, boats, open water fish on mullets or pogie schools. Should be stellar, I am having my site worked on right now. If anyone needs to get in touch with me, I will list my contact info. I have some primo dates available in November. If you would like to book a trip in Venice, Please give me a call and thanks for reading my reports. See ya.

Captain William Wall
Pelagic Charters
1.225.454.5365
captwill1@cox.net

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