By Heather Smith
Venice, Louisiana is the last community along the Mississippi River accessible by a vehicle, earning it the name “The end of the world.” Located where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico, the thriving fishing community is referred to as the Sportsman’s Paradise. From inshore fishing in the marsh and flats, to the spectacular offshore fishing in the canyons and around oil platforms, this is a species rich environment and a bucket list location for any avid angler.
Venice is consistently ranked as one of the top destinations in the world for yellowfin tuna. On both of my trips there this year (February and July) I limited out on yellowfin with Super Strike Charters. We caught a couple of blackfin tuna as well and an oceanic triggerfish that rivaled the current state record. While the three of us were tripled up on tuna, we had the delight of watching a marlin shoot across the water giving us an unexpected and jaw dropping aerial display. If Poseidon had a chosen playground, surely this was it.
This trip we were in luck and it was red snapper season. The limit in Louisiana is 5 per person, and we were all very eager to pack our freezers with this bottom dwelling delicacy. After limiting out on tuna and seeing a few tripletail, we changed out the tackle and dropped lines. Within seconds we hooked up and to everyone’s surprise there was not one, but two snappers on the first line. These fortuitous circumstances seem to be a common every day occurrence for Captain Willy of Super Strike. Within 30 minutes our group had limited out on Snapper as well. At this point, I was starting to believe I had died and landed in Angler’s heaven.
As the day wrapped we headed back to our lodge, The Sportsman’s Lodge SWC. It is located adjacent to the marina and conveniently has a dock on the back for your charters to pick you up and drop you off. Richard Young is the amazing chef there, and he never fails to impress with the amazing creations he concocts using the day’s fresh catch. Our suite was on the front with a balcony that overlooked the marina. We sat out and watched the sunset paint the sky pink and coral as I edited the film from the day’s adventures for Heather Smith Outdoors on Huntchannel.tv, YouTube and Facebook.
The next morning Damon Mcknight, the owner of Super Strike picked us up on a Barker 26. I was so fascinated with the boat I almost missed the magnificent sunrise as we glided into the marsh. Throwing popping corks with Highwater Get em shad crystal minnows started a bull red fishing frenzy. Double ups and triple ups were a constant, even yielding a 43” bull red, a new personal best. Not only was the offshore fishing phenomenal, the inshore fishing had me breaking my own records.
Upon returning to the Sportsman’s Lodge SWC we had our fish cleaned and vacuum sealed at the marina and loaded up in our ice chests to bring home. The memories I shared with my friends will never be forgotten, but the fishing had me wanting to go back before I even left. I stood out on the pier, looked out on the water and whispered thank you. A day of fishing is always good, but a day of fishing in Venice is an experience of a lifetime.