Venice Back in the Game!!

Posted by Colin on Mar 15, 2011

 

March Madness - Venice Going Off!
by Capt. Woody Woods

Wow, what a wild year 2011 has been so far! It started off with a bang with my precious Auburn University, where I am currently finishing up my degree at, winning the National Championship and finishing the season undefeated. War Eagle! I surely thought with this being the high point of my year so early in the year, that the rest of the year was heading downhill fast. Well, the verdict is still out on that, but the fishing has been steady, to say the very least.

Below : Woody taking care of some early 'hoo' business...

 

When the second week of February came around, Captain Hunter Caballero's 32 Twin Vee found its home once again in Venice, Lousiana-surely happy to be back fishing again instead of doing oil cleanup work. On the morning of February 11th, after 8 long months of various oil cleanup work related activities, Hunter and I found ourselves reunited on the decks of the "TailWhipped," and despite the frigid ride down the Mississippi River, we had a warm feeling and a good aura about the boat that day; visions of big 200 pound tuna that we had caught last year filled our heads. The morale was good, the anticipation was high. We were back at it again baby!!

Below : A lit-up Wahoo hits the deck...

If I had to use a single word to describe the fishing since February lump season opened up, I would have to use "weird." Over the next few weeks, the seasonably cold temperatures were pushed aside by very warm, summerlike conditions. This was no fluke either; we have seen highs in the mid 70's for over a month now!! Well with the warm temperatures also came the summertime baits consisting of small hardtails and cigar-sized tinker mackeral. As the old phrase goes, "when in Rome," we shifted our techniques and altered our areas of fishing and started laying the smackdown on some smaller, yet more readily abundant yellowfin fishing. While the big ones have certainly still been in their normal areas, it has often taken all day to get them to bite; and most people would rather have steady action on smaller fish than chunk away all day hoping for the jumbo cows. I personally have never seen anything like this before; we are live-baiting in deep water just as if it was the middle of June. The fish appear to be very healthy and hungry, no doubt due to the lack of commercial fishing this past year. Most days we are throwing the towel in at 12 yellowfin before switching up strategies and focusing on the wahoo.

Below : A solid Wahoo at the business end of the gaff...

Below : Posing with a huge early spring Wahoo...

I cannot describe how full of life our waters have been lately. Saturday, March 12 marks one of our more memorable trips of the year. We had some of my favorite customers in from Tampa and we opted to run deep to try to get on the steady action of 60-90 pound tunas. As soon as we pulled up to the first rig, tuna were going bezerk on the surface, launching a full on surface attack on the seemingly helpless flying fish. While our guys started throwing poppers to the busting fish, Hunter and I were quick to get out two live baits-neither of which lasted more than a few seconds. Absolute mayhem followed in the next couple of hours, with double and triple hookups being not the exception, but the norm. Our guys cried mercy after three fish apiece, so we headed inshore for wahoo. Considering how far these guys had driven to fish with us for two days, I couldn't be more pleased with the way the fish cooperated that day. The wahoo were just as quick to commit themselves to an icy ride in the fisbox back to the marina, as we put a few in the box before there just wasn't any more room in the box nor reason to kill anymore fish. Both the fish, as well as our customers, had had enough for one day.

Below : A nice Yellowfin is along side the boat...

After cleaning fish and enjoying a few nice Cubans that our guys brought up from south Florida, and a brief siesta back at the condo, we joined them for a dinner fit for kings consisting of fresh gulf shrimp, seared tuna, yellowin poki, filet mignons, and all the fixin's. It was a perfect end to a perfect day. If these weather patterns continue, and the warm water (it is already 77 degrees!) continues to move in, I believe we should see our dorado move in the next couple of weeks, about a month and a half early than in previous years. The warm water is in, there are large mats of sargasso floating everywhere, and bait is prevalent. I believe we are seeing the foundations for an absolute epic summer. Stay tuned, as I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks will hold fur us. And that's just another day at the office...

- Captain Woody Woods

For more information on fishing with Captains Hunter Caballero and Woody Woods of Paradise Outfitters, visit www.paradise-outfitters.com or call 504-610-1686.

Click HERE for a YOUTUBE link to Woody's latest video