May 7, 2019
As the host of my own fishing show (“Reel Bragging Rights”, Saturdays at 9pm EST on the Sportsman Channel) I have the incredible ability to fish anywhere in the world. I’ve been to Indonesia and caught Giant Trevally, I’ve been to Guatemala and wrestled the biggest Sailfish in the world, but the only place I’ve been more than once, the only place I fish 4 times a year, is Venice, Louisiana. Venice is a special place. And I’m going to tell you why Venice is your next fishing charter destination.
I made my first trip to Venice at the advice of Ryan McCullough from Eagle Claw. Ryan told me he’d been going to Venice for years, and that he had a contact there that was the best guide for redfish in the entire state of Louisiana. Ryan gave me the number for Captain Jon P Lemle of Run N Gun Outfitters, and I booked a two-day trip with Jon. I’d never caught a Red, so I had no idea what to expect, but I was really excited to see that part of the states.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that Ryan was right about Jon. Our first day we had to stay tucked inside because the wind was really bad. We caught our limit of keepers by 11am, and we never saw another boat. We heard other captains on the radio struggling that morning to find fish, we could’ve caught 100 or better. But we left them biting, and went in to clean our catch and eat a true Venice-style meal of Redfish on the halfshell, prepared by Jon at his camp.
The second day the weather let up and we went after bigger fish. We landed a total of 15 bulls, all between 35-39 inches long. I can’t tell you how many we hooked. My ribcage was bruised from top to bottom from the butt end of the rod rubbing against my side all day fighting those Redfish. On light tackle, pound for pound, these are the hardest fighting fish I’ve ever encountered.
In my most recent trip, I spent 3 days offshore targeting Tuna, Wahoo, and Swordfish. We landed giant Yellowfin, over 50 Blackfin, Amberjacks, Sharks, Mahi Mahi, and my body physically hurt so bad I don’t know if I could’ve fished a fourth day. What I really liked about the offshore trips is how close the fishing grounds are compared to where I’m used to fishing in the Northeast. We were reeling in Tuna within 3 hours of leaving the dock. If rough seas are a concern you can generally bank on calm seas out of Venice, as the Gulf of Mexico is not typically known for the kind of swells we get on the East Coast.
At the dock, Venice Marina is an angler’s paradise. I’m surrounded by people who love to fish, and who generally LIVE the fishing life. The food is amazing, and for $7 the chef will prepare your Tuna for you however you want it (highly recommend the grilled Tuna, but the blackened is ok, too). The whole menu is delicious though, and you can rent cabins there for less than $200/night that sleep up to 7.
I usually stay at Jon’s place. It’s about 10 minutes from the marina, but it’s quiet, it feels like home, and Jon’s an incredible host. Just take a look at these pics of the Tuna plate and Crawfish boil we had last time. It was a feast fit for a king. I’ve been fishing in Venice in every season, and I don’t think there’s a bad time to go there. I think it just depends on what you want to target, or how bad you want to escape the weather where you are. For me, a couple weeks of NY winter and I’m ready to head back.
I have always said that every time I leave Venice I leave a piece of me there, and it’s like the more I leave, the less of me I have left when I go. If you love to fish, book yourself a Venice fishing charter, you’ll love it!
Author: Jim Root, Reel Bragging Rights
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