Venice, LA Redfishing Charters

The Ultimate Guide - Brought To You By the Ultimate Charter Captain

We get a lot of questions from customers before they come down to chase redfish here in Venice, Louisiana on an inshore fishing trip.

They’re all good questions, especially if you’re not from here.

What time of year is the best?
Where exactly do we fish?
Will we catch a limit?
Are they all trophy redfish?
How many redfish can we keep & what sizes do you expect?
How long do trips last?
What size redfish is best for eating?
What do I need to bring?
Do you have lodging?

Now, some redfish captains like to keep things secretive. They’re worried if you find out enough information, maybe you’ll just try to go fishing yourself and not hire them.

I’m not that kind of fishing guide. In fact, I want you to have your questions answered.

Why?

It’s pretty simple. Even if I give you as much knowledge as I have about fishing the area, it’s still incredibly difficult to put customers on fish day after day.

You can research all you want, show up with the right boat and right equipment, have the perfect spot planned out. But if the wind, the weather, the river or the fish have other plans, it’s off to Plan B.

That’s what good charter captains do. We use our local knowledge gained from spending years on the water to make sure YOU have a great day fishing on the EXACT day you come down. Regardless of whatever else is going on.

Where is Venice, Louisiana?

You might read other towns calling themselves the fishing capital of the world, but I’ll put Venice up against any of them. Located at the very end of Louisiana Hwy 23, Venice sts on the tip of Louisiana, roughly 90 minutes south of New Orleans.

There’s just one road in and one road out. It ends at the 2 major marina’s in Venice:

Cypress Cove Marina and Venice Marina

Our operation fishes out of Venice Marina. It’s a great marina run by people who love fishing. There’s a nice dock, a convenience store, restaurant and a well-stocked bar complete with friendly servers.

Venice Marina also has over 100 first-class cabins you can rent for the night at a super-reasonable rate. We love picking clients up right from their cabin since it’s so easy.

Redfishing in Venice

People fish in Venice for just about anything that swims. Bass fisherman work the fresh water sections around the river.

Big boats head out offshore fishing to chase tuna, wahoo, marlin, snapper and all kinds of offshore species.

Venice hosts sport fishing tournaments throughout the year. But I think redfish is Venice’s best fishery. It’s world class.

The mix of salty water from the Gulf with fresh water from the Mississippi River inside of the delta area makes the perfect breeding grounds for redfish.

And not just any redfish. Giant, trophy redfish. Bull redfish as we call them. Once they get big enough, they leave the safety of the marsh and head into the shallower parts of the gulf to hunt the rocks along the river or the nearshore rigs and wellheads.

The giant ones will give you everything you ever wanted in terms of a fishing fight.

But once you catch one of these giants, we’ll probably snap a few pictures, weigh and measure it, revive it and let it go. There are a few reasons for this:

The larger redfish are our best breeders, so releasing them back into the population helps ensure a strong fishery for years to come

The larger redfish aren’t as good to eat. The meat can be tough and doesn’t have the sweet, tender feel of smaller redfish

The Mississippi River Delta

The mighty Mississippi is the reason we have such great fishing in Venice. It’s also the reason why charter captains like us exist.

The river splits off a few miles past Venice at what the locals call Head of Passes. It also gets VERY shallow in different parts of the river and bayous which split off from the river, making it incredibly treacherous to navigate unless you were there recently.

Throughout the year, the river rises and falls as snow or rains make their way downriver from the midwest where it mixes with the saltwater in the Gulf of Mexico. The changing river levels and salinity make knowing where to fish on a daily basis challenging at best.

Also, the wind plays a huge factor in our fishery. The wind shifts around from all directions in Venice and impacts where you can fish on a given day. The good news though is that no matter which way the wind is blowing in Venice, most guides have a few good holes they can work on the leeward side of a wind.

Best Times of the Year?

Fall is often considered the best time of year for redfish because they spawn in October. But the truth is we catch plenty of redfish of all sizes year round.

Just like most places, it’s a little chillier and windier in the winter months, but the redfish also stack up a bit making them easy to find.

Spring is generally mild weather-wise. And we strive to hit the water early in summer to catch fish before the sun heats up in the afternoon when most people are ready for some shade.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you come fishing though. A good charter captain will know what areas to fish depending on the time of year.

Fishing Tactics

The fun thing about redfishing is you can catch redfish on top with a cork or on the bottom with a sinker. Again, it just depends on the area we’re fishing that day.

Typically speaking, when we fish shallow ponds or canals near shore, we’ll use live or dead shrimp under a cork.

When we fish the well heads or the rocks, we’ll usually use a carolina-style rig setup on the bottom.

But those are “usual”.

We catch redfish on top-water baits, with live shrimp, dead shrimp and on plastics. There’s even a little sight fishing involved. It just depends on the time of year and conditions.

What Can We Expect to Catch?

It’s easy to think every day you’ll catch a limit when you see the pictures posted on marina and guide websites. Fishing reports can be a little deceptive.

Yes, we always wind up catching fish. But how many and how big greatly depends on the day as well as your fishing skill.

Current Louisiana regulations limit each angler to 5 redfish per day, with a 16” limit per fish. You are also limited to 1 redfish per person over 27” total length. Those are the big ones mentioned earlier.

What’s a Typical Day On a Redfish Charter?

Most charters leave the dock at sunrise. Depending on where we fish, it’s anywhere from a 15 – 45 minute boat ride to the fishing grounds across a combination of marsh, canals and a little open water. You’ll see Louisiana’s wildlife on full display – egrets, ducks, alligators and sometimes dolphins, nutria and deer. We typically pick an area and fish different spots in that area until we find fish. Some days it’s “one stop shopping”. Other days it takes a bit of moving around to find them. During our charter trips targeting redfish, we’ll sometimes catch:
  • Sheepshead
  • Flounder
  • Speckled trout
  • Black drum
  • Jack crevalle
  • Sharks
  • Tripletail
  • Lemonfish (also called cobia)

Depending on the time of year, we can also target nearshore red snapper for an extra charge.

The bottom line is you never know what you’re going to catch on a Venice fishing trip, but you’re almost always guaranteed to come home with something yummy to eat and some great memories to cherish.

What Do I Need To Bring?

You don’t need much. A Louisiana fishing license is required for everyone over 16. If you’re from out of town, you can purchase a non-resident license for a small fee.

All licenses must be purchased through Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. Your guide cannot give you a fishing license.

Bring sunscreen, a hat, your favorite drinks, a sandwich or snacks and some sunscreen. Anything you’d need for a day on the water.

Otherwise, we supply the rest including poles, tackle, live bait, market bait and ice.

Also remember to bring your phone because you’ll definitely want to take pictures or a video fishing the redfish of a lifetime.