Offshore - Venice, LA... 4/28 and 4/29

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  1. #1
    Moderator Panhandler80's Avatar
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    Offshore - Venice, LA... 4/28 and 4/29

    Well, the report is a bit late, but better late than never. It has taken the 7 of us a while to email and upload all of the photos to each other. Unfortunately, a lot of the pics have been reduced and are not of the best quality, but you'll get the point.

    The trip was for my bachelor party, and here was the game plan, which… believe it or not, we actually stuck to.

    Itinerary:

    Thursday - 6 of us to meet late afternoon in New Orleans and enjoy some debauchery there for the night.

    Friday – Buy groceries and drive down to Venice

    Sat – Fish Venice with Capt. Eddie Burger

    Sunday – Fish with Eddie again.

    Mon – Drop one guy off at New Orleans airport and then drive back to Panama City.


    Thursday at lunch loading two cars into one at my house.


    Thursday at lunch, loading the contents of two trucks into one at another guy’s house


    On the road


    Then we passed some weirdos… look like a couple of you-know-whats if you ask me.


    On we go… It’s not like any of us have never driven from FL to LA, but it’s still fun to document. ESPECIALLY when the guys with the cameras have a sober driver!


    Gettin’ Close


    Time for a night out in NOLA


    After this, there is about a 12 hour period where the cameras were put away.

    Our next stop was the little store there at the Venice marina. Here’s what I like… they stock more Ziplocs than they do food. Looks promising!




    After this it was time for some real tough living on the house boat. Life’s rough!




    Time to get a little practice in… as it turned out… we ALL could have used a little MORE practice, but more on that later.


    After several beers later, we all hit the sack with visions of tuna dancing through our soaked brains.

    5:45 came pretty quickly and we all pretty much ran down the dock to meet Capt. Eddie and to get the party started.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"

  2. #2
    Moderator Panhandler80's Avatar
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    DAY 1………..

    On our way out…


    Hard to believe that it was going to bumpy when the biggest part of the river was this slick…


    Sun a bit higher and almost bait time…



    We made bait fairly easily and headed out the S. Pass to fish a rig well on the shelf. We tossed out some live baits and it was game on almost instantly. We figured we’d have close to a limit of fish in no time. Unfortunately, they shut down just as quickly as the turned on. This is not to say that we didn’t have a blast catching them in such short order.

    We cleared the pass and it was a bit bumpy, but nothing terrible. The biggest adjustment was getting used to fishing out of cat, as most of us never had before.

    The first fish came on a jig by the jig master. Apparently he’s really good a jerking on things repeatedly.


    Fish number 2… also on a jig


    Fish #3 was mine… on a live menhaden up top.


    Gettin’ stuck



    Another live baiter


    The next one also came on live bait. After that things cooled down despite the jig-masters efforts. So, we made a run to a different rig that was pretty much dead. This run had us a bit farther offshore, so we decided to move in a little more and play with AJs for a while. After we had our jacks, we went back to the rig that was holding hungry tuna earlier in the day, but we had no luck on jigs or chunk.

    A few shots of the AJ action…

    Hey… you need a belt, Sally? More on this later… we’ve got a video of Sally in action



    Me pulling on a reef donkey with my 60# wind-on. Some people on board said that you pull a jack of the reef with 60#, but I was able to.




    After boating this, the biggest jack of the day and probably 35 pounds…


    Our Capt had this to say about of it, “Well, some fish are cooperative and some aren’t.” He followed that with a big smile and a fully extended middle finger… which I have a picture of, but I’m not sure how he’d feel about that being posted.

    Day one wrapped up and we headed back in. Once in the river, we all relaxed a bit and started jabbering about the next day. Speaking of jabbering… Capt Eddie was AWESOME about putting up with all of our bull. He took it in stride and dished it out pretty well too. What a great Capt and a great time.



    Back at the dock on Day 1


    Day 1 group photo – 5 tuna, 1 giant rainbow runner, 6 jacks and 1 bar jack


    Same catch


    One more shot of our 5 tuna and jacks
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"

  3. #3
    Moderator Panhandler80's Avatar
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    DAY 2….

    So on the first day, the tuna were not all that thick, but we made the most of them. 2/4 on the jigs and 3/3 on live bait. I lost one on a jig… I’ve never jigged for prolonged periods of time, and I learned that if you’re going to do that with 60# leader, then you need to re-tie your knot more often because that wire eye will eat through your line. Still not a bad batting average for day 1. On Day 2 we caught more live bait out of a different pass, but it took quite a bit longer and Eddie busted his butt throwing his net in much deeper water than on Day 1.

    After making bait we went a much different direction and our first stop was set to be a bit farther out than the day before.

    Stop 1, nothing but a super dead rig. So we continued on. Turns out the boat we left there ended up catching a few fish, but we decided to try something with a bit more action. We left green water and before long we were in cobalt stuff and our baits died. Not to worry, the sun was getting high and the plan the whole time was to chunk.

    Now, if you guys have actually been reading all of this, you would have seen the caption above the picture of me pulling on a rod inside the house boat. WELL… we make one drift and loose a fish. The next drift and it’s fish on!!! We boat that in short order and set up for another drift…



    The next drift results in another tuna about the same size.

    The next drift and we’re hooked up! Looks a lot like Sally from that other pic when she was doing battle with a 20 pound amberjack, doesn’t it?



    Well, in case you weren’t sure, here’s a video for you…



    Good news is that after tag teaming this guy we were able to ice him…


    After this drift we had a little bit of a shark issue. We saw on pretty good sized one and kept loosing hooks. We all hoped it was all the same shark. Shortly after getting a visual on him I hooked up about a 9’ on the chunk and not being the worlds greatest tuna fisherman I winched that sucker to the boat into the boat in no time. A bit disappointed that was not yellow and shiny, but after “releasing” him, we no longer had a shark problem.

    Back to the drifts….

    Probably 10 more total. During those 10 drifts ol’ Jig-master boated one on a jig, and we caught a mere TWO additional fish.

    Why do I say a MERE TWO?

    Because probably had 5 or 6 more fish take the bait these monkey boat SOBs managed to blow about half those opportunities. Three were just unlucky pulled hooks, but three others were a result of not engaging the reel, one was a wrapped tip on the chunk that damn near broke a rod, and the last was a big fish that a certain somebody pushed the drag to FULL on and almost cost Capt Eddie a nice Star rod and a Torsa. Thankfully we had 60# leader or we’d have been buying Eddie a new rig.

    It was funny though, the guy on that chunk rod says, “Oh s***, there’s a big fish” We’d seen at least one 60-80# fish swirl a couple times at the stern. Pretty sure our angler had seen one of those, and no sooner did he say that, then.. zzzzzzzinngggg…

    Such is life, though.

    We ended up with our only 4 tuna at that rig, but by all accounts should have had at least 6 if not 7, and I’m certain that a couple were 50+ pound fish. Can’t blame anybody but yourself in a case like that.

    Good news is that we had so much fun we didn’t give a rat’s, and I don’t think Eddie was too terribly frustrated either. Fortunately, on our way home we put some more fish in the box in order to add some tonnage to the haul.

    We stopped at one rig to hopefully pull some blackfins, but it was jack central again. We put about a 20# in the boat and then I hooked up what I knew was a good fish.

    I guessed it at 65# and back at the dock it went 64.5#. Was the biggest jack I’ve ever caught on a jig and I hear it put up a pretty good fight. I gave the rod to Sally in order to give her a shot at redemption and she got it almost all the way to the boat.

    Not bad for a jig! Oh, and I agree, it does not look like 65, but I'm telling you, this thing had the head of a freakin' mule on it. Just a different build over there I guess. Length wise this fish would have gone maybe 55 over here.



    Day 2 catch on the board…




    All in all both days were great. It was relaxed and just plain fun. A little more action on Day 1, and a shot at some decent fish on Day 2. Capt. Eddie absolutely did his job. Unfortunately, no matter how well he set it up for us, the lousy fishermen were not able to capitalize on far too many occasions.

    Two of our guys left for Panama City before we went fishing on Day 2, and they were replaced by one new guy. So 6 fished on Sat, and 5 on Sunday. When the two guys left on Sunday, they took their fish with them. Once back in Panama City, the four two-day fishermen were left with this…

    We may have caught “only 9” tuna, but that’s a lot of dang meat.


    Of course not all was frozen. Monday it was 9:00 pm (after NOLA, Venice night 1, Venice night 2, Venice night 3, and probably 324 beers), but by Tuesday we were ready to put together a real meal…


    Eddie, thanks for a great time!
    Last edited by Panhandler80; 05-04-2012 at 09:56 PM.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"

  4. #4
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    Looks like a great time was had by all!!
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams

  5. #5
    Senior Member fins4me's Avatar
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    Venice is one of my all time favorite places to we a line.. Congrats on the fun trip,,, good luck on the upcoming marriage.
    ALLISON XB 21,, MERCURY 300 Opti Max Pro Series (Slightly Modified) You can't catch me!!!
    "Today is MINE"

  6. #6
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    Im not sure if you know the captain or what your situatin was but.....If u wouldnt mind sending me a pm with whet a weekend like that runs you 2 days on a charter and 2 nights stay I would appreciate it...I have never been there never caught a yft. i go to the keys every yr, and now have moved to atlanta and will need another fishing trip since I cant fish on the weekends anynmore

  7. #7
    Senior Member ledslinger29's Avatar
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    Awesome story man! We made that trip last year and smoked em. I've done it once, but somehow it didn't fall off the bucket list like it was supposed to...

  8. #8
    Senior Member TROUTLOOKOUT's Avatar
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    Awesome trip

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fly Hooker's Avatar
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    Great trip and report, we gotta get back down there soon.................

  10. #10
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    That had to be an awesome trip!

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