Skip to main content
Home Southeast General Fishing & The Outdoors

Lucaya or Venice?

I have a weeks vacation the 2 nd week of August. I am on a 2 yr mission to catch a YFT. I am considering either spending 4 days in Lucaya, or towing the boat a 23 ft Bluewater up to
Venice for a couple of days. I figure the price of the 2 trips is similar, as I can get a free hotel in New Orleans for as long as I need, so the room and dockage in Lucaya would make up for the cost of fuel to tow up to La. The Bahamas cruising permit is probably about the same as out of state fishing licenses in La.
What is everyone's thoughts? This would be a fishing trip, not a drinking trip, as I don't drink and if I do, I just hang around the pool at home.
Thanks. Kevin.


  • islandboy41islandboy41 Posts: 56 Deckhand
    I'm not an expert on the gulf but i did just return from Fourchon, LA. You probably saw the post in the SE Fishing Report Section. The problem with LA is that the run you will have to make this time of year is really far. Probably a minimum of 70 miles or so and possibly all the way out to 130+ miles. When we ran out to do our tuna trip we burned just about 400 gallons of fuel. I do not know the range on your boat but that is the only issue i could see. The tuna fishing is better in my opinion over there than in the bahamas also.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Islandboy41. Thanks for that info. I knew it was a run, but wasn't thinking quite that far. Awesome job on your trip. I was hoping to stay within 40 or so of land. 80 would be about the edge of my comfort zone considering fuel burn, knowing that your probably going to burn a fair bit while fishing.
  • ChadJ55ChadJ55 Posts: 172 Officer
    Are you set on fishing your own boat? Of not maybe consider getting in touch with Relentless about a charter on his boat out of Venice? The tuna fishery there seems to be more consistent than off Lucaya. Mike is a really nice guy too. If you are definitely fishing your boat though, I'd lean towards Lucaya. Trailering all the way to Venice does not sound fun. Also, look into the distance between New Orleans and Venice. May not be as close and convenient as you think. We have a place to stay in New Orleans as well but would stay in Venice te night before and after a fishing trip out of Venice due to the drive.
  • BeermanBeerman Posts: 697 Officer
    Venice to just hit ocean is about 30 miles down the Miss River, then on out to wherever... Is your boat single engine?, if so Id say go to the islands! It is a long tow to Venice as well, longer than you Its almost worth it to just Charter Relentless or whoever, they are up on where the tunas are and shoudl be able to put you on one, and save you the aggrivation of trailering and having to figure it out in a few days!! Good luck wherever you go!!
    Words of Wisdom: Many a problem will solve itself, if we forget it and go fishing or hunting!!

  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Thanks guys. I think Venice would be a heck of a tow, and honestly a 23 ft is a bit small for that kind of run, in my eyes. Unfortunately I am a do it yourself kind of guy. Just don't think a charter would be nearly as rewarding to me, but believe me it is being considered. May just have to charter and find a few others to go. That is another prob with my 23, it comfortably handles 3 guys but 4 and it becomes a bit less fishable. The other thing with a charter in my eyes is, if your going that far, may as well fish 2 days, which is great, but gets pricey real quick. It makes gas in my boat seem pretty cheep, and the tow mileage drops a bit but honestly my diesel doesn't care much that the boat is behind it. Too many options and just not enough fishing time, no matter what!
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,570 Admiral
    Since your in PSL why not just hit the corner and pop the YFT cherry? EZPZ.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Triple, sounds great and easy, just have to seen any decent reports this year, and I am getting impatient....
  • fishknutfishknut Posts: 3,921 Captain
    Do both, pick one this year and do the other later. Myself and three friends are going to Venice in Sept and chartering a capt, and staying on a house boat. Getting there and staying there is part of the adventure, we are hoping to minimize our cost by having four of us and keeping each other in check. Good luck in your decision.
    Fail to plan, plan to fail.......
  • Boo's CruiseBoo's Cruise Posts: 63 Deckhand
    Call Relentless! I was not disipointed with my trip when I fished with him. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Relentless will be my first call, if I decide to go the Venice route. No doubt that will happen eventually, but for now Lucaya is winning, cause it is more user friendly for my boat. I just think Venice requires more boat than I have, so Lucaya is the better option for now.
    Thanks everyone for the feedback, this is exactly the info I was needing.
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,392 Captain
    Lucaya, but ASAP! Just left you a voicemail.

    Your Southeast Florida Real Estate Resource !

    Search for homes on any mobile device with my FREE MLS SEARCH App !
  • Lazy BonesLazy Bones Posts: 941 Officer
    do you have radar?

    I would chose Lucaya, but only b/c it is such a hassle to drive, much less tow to LA.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    I wish I had radar. However I will return with bruises around each eye, from looking through poor man's radar (binoculars). I'll bet my girlfriend will have matching bruises. She better.....
  • Greg_BGreg_B Posts: 121 Deckhand
    Fall in Hatteras NC
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Hatters NC.... I have thought about that one in the past and need to do some more homework there. Would depend hugely on timing vs hunting season. Probably end up doing a head boat on that one, but like I said more homework needed..
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    Sure bet to achieve your goal of getting a YFT..Go to LA!

    Trying to find birds with radar sometimes is a long hunt! If you plan to tuna fish you will cover ALOT of ground whether you like it of not. You have to bear in mind that you are up and off plane quite a lot.(You will burn more fuel than you think) This is because sometimes you lose the pack and have to run 1-5 miles to get back to them. I lose sight of them rather easily and have to use the radar to find them again. It can be done without radar ,but I would prefer to use it. You could hook one fish fight him for a while and get sharked and lose the pack. Then you are stuck trying to find the pack again with binoculars. I hope you get em whichever you chose..
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    GT. appreciate the info. I know it is a long shot, but something I really want to do. Since adding radar to my boat right now is not an option. There is probably an upgrade in the future I don't want to put 10 grand into a boat that I won't get any of back in a sale. There is no doubt radar is a major key to success, so I am planning to fish 3-4 days and hopefully even this blind squirrel will find a nut. Sure catching multiple fish would be awesome, but if I only get one I still get to scratch a new species off my long list.
    Plus maybe getting over there and learning a little, there will be a connection made for futre trips with others. I know sitting on my butt won't lead to catching anything, so going to run with my best option and hope it may shape the future for something more. Can only do what I can do.
  • Dave MeyerDave Meyer Posts: 275 Deckhand
    We have been to Venice 4 times to fish with Mike Ellis. He is a very good Capt and will work hard to put you on fish. Of the 4 trips we were successful catching yellowfins 1 time. The 1st time we went we did a night trip and limited on yellowfins. The 2nd time we booked 2 days and fished once due to weather. The 1 day we fished was a waste of time, it was very rough and we didn't even catch a bait. 3rd time never left the dock but we new it was iffy that time of year(November) but we were going to be in the area so we booked. 4th time was last year in June and again we booked 2 days. Day one was a blow out and we never left the dock. Day 2 we got out but the tuna did not cooperate. We settled for a limit of red snapper and a couple other small bottom fish. Thats fishing. I will add that it is not cheap to fish Venice. We paid I think $1300 for the charter and an additional $800 for fuel. Add a decent tip and we were into 8 red snapper filets for $2400, or $600 apiece not counting the trip out or lodging, meals etc. If you wanna chase yellowfin in Venice you better bring your wallet. This is NOT a knock on Mike, he is a great host and will work hard to put you on fish. I know many folks on this forum have gone out and tore em up like we did the first time but like I said it is very expensive and for me I have decided that I have most likely fished for the last time in Venice.

    Chasing them in your boat is fun but you will burn lots of fuel and it is a challenge. You will need lots of patience, determination and some stout tackle. We have done it and had some success but I am pretty much over that kind of fishing too. It is terribly expensive and in a 23ft boat you will be tested.

    Good luck, I hope you catch a bunch.
  • Buccanr1Buccanr1 Posts: 437 Deckhand
    If you go to Lucaya, the sooner the better. Fishing starts to suck the later in August you get. Going over to put the storm shutters up this weekend.
  • BarracudaBarracuda Posts: 767 Officer
    I just got back from Venice yesterday and the YFT bite is off the charts. I wouldn't do it in a small boat though. Lucaya is the way to go... More challenging and the tuna get really spooky but you can find them if you work it...good luck!
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Thanks for the info. I know it is a long shot, but it is called fishing. I have little doubt Lucaya will be a good time even if we don't find the YFT. I would love to do Venice, but trying to get 6 guys together with a similar schedule is a bigger. Hallenge than any fish. Plus the drive and location makes it tougher. Someday, just not today, or this year.
  • Dave MeyerDave Meyer Posts: 275 Deckhand
    A couple years ago I watched George Poveromo's show and he and Allan Winchel were chunking for tuna off Lucaya. They used threadfin(greenies) for chum and bait. I think they used fresh but I have heard of folks using frozen. You have to be on the water in place before first light. The tuna schools are busting all over the place in tuna canyon over there. They started a chum/chunk line and just waited until the tuna came to them. They burried circle hooks in the chunks of bait and kinda freespooled it out with the chum. I hear you can get sharked alot that way but you dont burn up gobs of fuel. If I were to try that, I would try and catch as much fresh bait as I could a day or two before I went and maybe mix it with some frozen stuff. Use some heavy tackle with some 80-100lb braid and give it a try. I believe they skipped the terminal tackle and used about 50ft topshot of flourocarbon. The water is crystal clear and tuna are finicky sometimes. We found that the skippies and blacks seem closer to the suface and the yellows were down a little deeper.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Great info, that is very similar to what I have heard. I plan to go out and load p on Sardines and bag and freeze them a week or so before going. I also want to load the live well with love before departing psl. I am hoping to use live bait, but chum with chunks probably put a hook in a chunk as well and see which produces. Flours is a requirement and I am planning to use 80 lb tackle as tha is what I have right now. Will have 3 conventionals and a spinner with 80. Spinner is to my first choice but why not try it. Beating the sharks is the key. I was ver a few years ago and we hooked a 30+ BFT to only retrieve the head. Needless to say after that we said drags to full and don't stop cranking till it hits the boat.
    We will see what happens. Planning to go over on a Sunday, and maybe learn a thing or two off the docks as others are leaving. My girlfriend is great at being nosey and guys will tell her a lot of things they won't tell me. They figure she is no threat, little do they know she will out fish most guys. She is also very observant, so plan to use her as a tool to get any inside info.
  • BarracudaBarracuda Posts: 767 Officer
    Check out Venturesomes report the SE report section... He did real well on YFT 2 days ago and he doesn't have radar...
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    I saw Venturesome's report. Amazing. For sure gives me hope. I could only wish to have half the skill he and his wife have. They always do AMAZING.. I would say it is a lot of luck, but they are way too consistent.
    Time will tell.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    Ok, chose Lucaya, as for ease. We headed over on Sunday morning, cleared at West end, then headed to Bell Channel. We booked a room and dock space at Flamingo hotel and Marina, 4 nights for $348.00. Monday morning headed out for the search, found a nice flock of birds working, so we began the chase. Trying to figure out which way they are going, not so easy, but set up chunking several times and obviously never got it right, as no hits, this went on for over 2 hrs. Finally 2 other boats moved in and the flock broke up, guessing fish headed deep. Decided to try for the afternoon bite on Tuesday, we found lots of loaner birds doing exactly what we were doing, looking, none that were catching. They seemed to be working one rip really hard, so we dropped in 2 cedar plugs and a feather, dropped them way back and decided to give trolling blind a try, since the birds were not sharing their secrets. Needless to say Tue ended as another swing and miss. At this point frustration was going to get the best of me and although this was a fishing trip, it was also vacation. We decided that Wednesday we were going to leave the rods in the room, and do some snorkeling, so we would not come home Thursday more frustrated than when we left for vacation. Had a great afternoon on the water, saw some great life, lots of lobster, but since the Fla season was not open it isn't legal to bring them home, we left them be. I forgot to add that on Tuesdays venture out we ran into a school of small Phins in 2300 ft of water, my girlfriend Annette decided she wanted to get some underwater pictures of them, so she dove in and took some. They are pretty cool, but none as clear as we expected. Always nice to see your girlfriend is willing to jump into the Abyss, and count on you to stick around and pull her back out.
    All in all a great trip, no YFT, but learned a lot and had fun doing it, so that is what matters.

    Some of the things learned.

    When doing a trp like this look at the moon phase first, was a full moon, and never done well on Pelagics when they feed at night
    Customs really is no big deal, just $$$$ ( was made easy by the 4 guys in front of me who were totally unprepared and pissed off the customs guy), thankfully I had everything filled out and ready.
    Local Boaters Option is for sure worth the afternoon drive down to West Palm for the "interview".
    When things aren't working, look around and think about it, we should have switched gears and at least pulled on some bottom fish for a bit while we were there. Did try some speed jigging with a few hits and fed the tax man a few times doing it.

    Oh and for those of you wondering, I just finished installing a 6 kw Furuno radar on the boat, so no I did not have one, but I do now. There will be a return, and I will scratch the YFT off my list of fish to catch. Just not today......
    Thank you to everyone above who gave some great advice, it was listened to. There will also be a Venice trp someday, watch out Mike, that is your warning.
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    Kevin - glad you made it back and forth safely... and sorry you didn't find them THIS time.

    Sent from my Droid on "THIS side"
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now