Been a while since reporting mainly because most of my trips have been for other companies I work with. That being said, I did happen to get on some of the shrimp boat action we all been waiting for. We started out last Friday with a crew of regulars who didn’t need much advice when it’s come to filling the boxes. We managed to fill the board with Yellowfin tuna, AJs, snappers. Saturday we decided to race everyone else to the shrimp boats and won. We pulled up to the Lucky Tommy and immediately pulled a few fish off her stern. With just our cut bait it was difficult to get the big ones to eat. That first drift we managed three Yellowfin after about 45 minutes of drifting watching fish swim around the boat the whole time. Eventually we decided to run up to a boat that had its nets up to get us some better bait. We immediately turned the boat back towards our Lucky Tommy and squeezed our way in there. We began by hooking a monster on one of our choice baits recently acquired. We stuffed a 170 into our boat and finished strong. Early enough to finish watching the early game. Sunday, with our leftover bait and a confident feeling we left the dock with great expectations. No tuna on boats, but plenty to be found around where the boats should have been. We started fishing next to some birds and a few hours later we were headed in early again with a boat load of fish and tired anglers.
Capt. Andy Cook
After two days of horrible rain and cancelations I was happy to see Monday come along. Most people hate Mondays. Quite the contrary for fisherman though. Especially in Venice or anywhere else the fishing is phenomenal. I guess it’s the nature of the beast though. We all know you have to take the good with the bad. This Monday was a perfect example of the good. Unfortunately though the bad showed up early as we traveled through the river and then probably 15 miles in open water. The bad happened to be some really heavy raindrops. As that wasn’t bad enough, the seas were an easy 4 to 6 foot head sea. Can you imagine how much fun that was? We managed 15 to 20 mph for about 15 miles and the finally got the speed safely to 29mph. Good enough, and happy to be through the horror. Finally to the fishing. It started out slow with the bait. While fishing for bait we hooked up on topwater. Who needs bait? Funny huh? We eventually caught about six baits and decided we couldn’t wait any longer. The whole while bait fishing it was non stop busting. Immediately doubled up and the again. Quickly we were out of bait. So second verse, same as the first. By 11 am we had 11 yellowfin tuna. One was close to ninety pounds. So we picked up and decided to go jack fish. As we were leaving the only boat other than is to venture out showed up. The captain’s first question was ‘ were you’ll on and overnight trip? I guess he couldn’t believe we made it through that crap. As we drove away he was already doubled up as well. I guess they were starving. Anyway, first bait down for amberjack was crushed 15ft below the boat. I foolishly called out shark, because that’s usually the case. Then I noticed the velocity and angle of its run and that’s when I had no idea what it could have been. Suddenly a fifty to Sixty pound wahoo showed it face on the surface. Put a gaff in it and tried again. Immediately crashed it again, but this time no hook left. Oh well, we were all thrilled to have such a surprise on such a wonderful day. We took the good and the bad all on one day. Nothing good comes easy, and when it does it’s hard to appreciate it.
Friday I had the pleasure of fishing a crew that pretty much knew everything needed to know about Venice and all its pleasures. Only on this day the pleasure was hard to see as the day started out. We traveled through heavy rain the whole way down river and then probably twenty miles out as well. As we broke through, the site in our rearview mirror was intimidating for sure. In case you are wondering, Fountains now come with mirrors. The looks on our faces was scary too…all of us dreading the ride back. While trying to avoid thinking of storms to the north we decided to fish. We kept telling ourselves it has to be worth it. We put some baits out and immediately hooked up. I love when that happens. Too bad it didn’t last long. This fish was pissed and once he realized he was hooked he decided to unhook himself. I hate when that happens. Can’t really explain it but have some theories. Next bait out nice yellowfin tuna. Then nothing for at least three hours. We tried numerous tricks and just were repeatedly punished by big yellowfin tuna crashing everything but our baits. After too long they decided to quit torturing us. That’s when we decided to put it on em. Instead of trying to fool em, we decided to feed em. Hooked up right away. I love when that happens. Next bait out, hooked up again. This is where it gets interesting. It started out a typical tuna fight. Sounded quickly then a run straight back up. The line all of sudden went slack, then the water just seemed to explode a big blue marlin. We took our time and had the 60 pound leader three times before we got the bill. Nice fish by anyone’s standard.
Friday the 19th we set off with thunder and lightning on the horizon. Our group decided on this date for an overnight trip back in march. After some bad weather back then we all were praying for better fishing conditions. The seas were high all day due to the numerous boomers just off the coast. We procrastinated as long as we could. We finally shoved off to go check it out. As we approached the pass into the gulf we were delighted to see the storms moving off, and our opportunity was knocking. We made good speed in a good 2 to 3 foot head sea to the bait stop. We worked about thirty minutes collecting feed for our hungry yellow fellows. We were just about to move on to where I believed we had to be for our best shot at getting on them. As I was setting a course I noticed it was storming once again on our parade. We then decided to stay at bait spot which actually turned out to be only place we needed to go. We put out some baits and immediately doubled up. This process repeated itself numerous times as the evening wore on. We finished with 11 yellowfin tuna and took it in early as we watched the weather slowly regress the throughout the night.
On Friday after a long week of family commitments I finally made it out. Started early as usual. Being a Friday during the summer it was a must. Our bait came relatively easy, then we took off south only to find six boats already fishing where we expected success. We followed another captain to the spot, all the while thinking how the cat could have escaped the bag. Anyway, we figured we would stick it out knowing the fish were there. Obviously we weren’t the only ones that believed them to be there as well. We seen plenty fish skyrocketing and continuously crashing on something we didn’t have in our live well. We did however present our precious baits to them all day with no luck. All our tricks proved to be no tricks at all. After what seemed like a lifetime waiting for any action, the crew seemed ready for snapper. When everyone else had the same idea after a slow period we found ourselves almost alone. The fish changed their ways and I noticed. We then pulled out the trick bag and made it happen. After four yellowfin we took it north for our snapper. This was a day where patience paid off.
Capt Andy Cook
Took my son, Gray, and three of his friends from Fort Smith, Arkansas, fishing with Capt. Andy for their senior trip. The winds and seas were high and rough, but once again, Capt. Andy came through. He picked the right rig, and we limited out on red snapper in 30 minutes. The boys really enjoyed the experience of being in the Gulf and riding the surf with Capt. Andy. He is an extremely savvy and safe boat captain. We appreciate him starting the day with a prayer and ending the day by cleaning a limit of fish — no matter what the weather does. Gray has had two memorable trips with Capt. Andy. Now his buddies — Mason Fowler, Kolby LaBorn and John Spradlin — will have their own memories of catching fish and living the experience of fishing out of Venice — Sport Fishing Capital of the World!
I fished the 3rd and 4th with the same crew. Fished hard in the morning for bait then landed a nice haul of snapper then took off for the tuna. Hit a few rigs on the way to where I knew they would be just in case I miss something the day before. No encouraging signs so we continued to move on. I figured it to be a late bite anyway. Sure enough, first bait out we hooked up. Good yellowfin, 60 to 80 class. Then as we were clearing baits to reset on the fish, a mahi came in charging on our bait. So we immediately pitched another bait out and we were on once again. What a evening we to remember. We arrived at the spot at 4:30 and caught fish until we left at 7pm. We had some good sunset pics as we traveled into south pass and were home safe for 8:45. Cleaned fish for and hour and then cleaned up and did the same thing the next day. Only difference is we were headed in by 6pm.
On Monday the 27th of may, we had the starting guard from TCU who happens to be the first team on our beloved Tigers schedule. This wasnt a problem for us today. If it were an Alabama player, well lets just say the report might be a little different. This biggest problem for us today was the 5 to 7 foot seas out of the south. After watching the eyes of our crew as we attempted to travel to the hotspot, I decided to take a beam sea to a place I knew would produce a good time for out crew from the lonestar state. Immediately landed a cobia then a few more jacks. To try to settle stomachs we moved north and hid behind a rig for some mangrove and snapper. Our crew was happy and so were we. Everyone caught some fish and we made some new friends.
Friday took off with a group of local guys to chase the yellowfin tuna. Blasted off from marina with the fountain early since the moon was making fish stop biting early. We left all hopes of catching live bait at home. We decided it wouldn’t be wise since the fish would quit eating early. Instead we made our way to the hotspot to see three boats already there. We decided to pass them up for greener pastures. Turns out though it was blue. Really blue. Our decisions paid off today, we landed three nice yellowfin tuna with a few more small ones as well as nice marlin hookup on a popper. It made for a great show as the fish tried over and over to shake the popper. We finished with a bunch of snapper and took off for the barn. I love it when a plan comes together.
Wednesday was the first of a two day trip with a wonderful crew from the east coast. We left early, believe it or not we left too early. We arrived to the open water so early that the bait we were looking for didn’t wake up yet. We tried to procrastinate as long as we could, but patience wore thin and we were off. We traveled to our first spot and the current was horrible. We did however manage a large blackfin and something else that didn’t stop pulling. Eventually we lost it in the structure with no clue of what it could have been. Could have been anything considering we lost a few mongo tuna there the week before. Also could have been a record AJ. Who knows? Not us for sure. After moving to another spot we were fortunate enough to catch bait, then the yellow fellow came in. Somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds. Landed two there and after the sharks found us they wouldn’t give our bait a chance to attract the targeted species. Once again we strapped in and hauled *** to deep water. After our run, we heard of some good ones caught over the radio, but unfortunately they slowed up a bit. We had to wait em out and managed a couple more schoolies to finish the day. We ended up with 4 yellows and 4 blacks. Second day the weather changed dramatically and made it a challenge to go anywhere. Back at the same spot as the day before we had no luck on this day. With a crew that had no desire for small fish or blackfin, we tried and tried over and over again to land that big one. We all know we can’t always get what we want, and traveled home with a lot to be desired.
Capt. Andy Cook