We are beginning to offer trips to the Louisiana Marsh and Chandeleur Islands beginning this fall and winter. For those of you that have never fished the LA marsh before, it is one of the best fisheries on the planet. All of the nutrients travels down the Mississippi River from the Midwest and gets deposited in the marsh where the river meets the gulf. What it creates is the best redfishing known to man. The speckled trout and tripletail fishing is world class too, but make no mistake the reason for going is the redfish.
The lower LA Marsh around Venice has more redfish than anywhere on the planet, and better yet, they grow faster there than anywhere else. I’ve never fished anywhere that the redfish weighed as much per inch. This is evidenced by the number of Redfish tournaments that are won around Venice. By that I mean tournaments held in the panhandle of Florida or Mobile Alabama are frequently won by teams that run across the open gulf to Venice, fish for one hour and run all the way back. Many have broken their hulls doing this, but if you talk to them they all say they would rather have one hour to fish in Venice than 10 hours anywhere else. It’s that good!
The other item of note for our clients is that this is practically a virgin fishery for fly fishermen. Nearly all of the guides in the area fish spin and live bait trips out of 24-foot bay boats and trolling motors. No one is poling the shallows and catering to fly fishermen, so those fish are completely unmolested. These redfish are so unpressured and they eat incredibly well when sight fishing. A couple of years ago I took my cousin there, who is a novice fisherman, to explore around. We were up in one of the ponds of the marsh and he was blind casting gold spoons. We spotted a redfish right by the boat. I told him to pitch the spoon to him and he walked midway down the boat and dropped the spoon right on the fishes head. I just dropped my head but then I hear his drag screaming with a 12 pound redfish. The challenge is usually seeing the fish, not feeding them. On another trip we caught so many redfish on jig heads with soft plastics that we ran out of soft plastic bodies for our jigs. People never believe this, but we caught another 30 big redfish on unpainted jigheads with no plastic bodies on it…they were literally eating a bare hook! Imagine what these fish do with a fly in their face.
With our new 74-foot mothership we can move to the places in the marsh with the best fishing. During the early fall we can offer trips to the remote Chandeleur Islands, which can only be accessed by a large mothership like ours, or a sea plane. These islands are 50 miles long with no inhabitants other than massive flocks of sea birds. The water on the back sides of the islands is usually very clear with vast grass flats. There is outstanding redfish and speckled trout on these flats. On the outside of the islands there are great wading opportunities for bull redfish and trout right in the surf. And you will rarely see another boat!
In the late fall and winter the fish pull back into the ponds in the marsh, and we can offer trips from the mothership in the top areas. This is classic sight fishing in very protected waters as the water in the ponds can get quite clear during the winter months.
The offshore fishing is world class at the end of the big river as well. Blue Moon will also be able to offer offshore trips on our 35-foot Cabo, Half Moon. Fall and winter in Venice offers a great opportunity for yellowfin tuna well over 100 pounds, along with a great variety of species that hang around the many oil rigs of the gulf. Thus, doing a few days in the marsh and a day or two offshore is a very real possibility, offering incredible variety.
If you are interested in learning more about our new offerings in Venice or our traditional Everglades/Keys trips in the early spring through summer, give Captain Shafter a call.