They don’t call us “Tuna Town” for nothing! Yellowfin tuna is one of the most abundant fish off the coast of Louisiana and definitely a common fish you’ll see year-round on one of our offshore chartered fishing trips. Thanks to the speed and agility of this large species (Yellowfins can reach weights over 400 pounds!), offshore fishing in our part of the world is nothing short of exciting and one of the best adventures you’ll have. Here we take a closer look at some of the tricks of the trade on how to get one hooked and on the boat. Check it out…
Tip #1: Find Clean water
Yellowfin tuna off the coast of Venice can be caught from 100ft to 10000ft if you can find the correct color water. In Venice we sometimes deal with dirty water coming out of the Mississippi river this can cause a problem when tuna fishing. Many time you will see dirty water on top but it will be clean a few feet down this is fine to fish. One thing to look at to tell if the water is clean after the top layer is to look at the crew boats prop wash. If they are turning up clean water you there is a chance they will be fish there. Dirty water can send the fish deeper into the clean water but they are still able to be caught you might just have to try different tactics to get them to bite.
Tip #2: Live baiting
Live baiting can be tricky at times. One of the most important things when live baiting is to match the hook size with your bait. If you put a hook that is too big or too heavy in a fragile bait it will cause it to not swim natural which will result in a lot less bites. In Venice we use many different types of live bait depending on the time of the year and what is available, so it is very important to know what the tuna are biting on. Once they key in on a certain bait it can be difficult to get them to bite other baits. One important thing to remember when live baiting is you want your bait to act natural, dragging your bait around will cause it to not swim proper. The best way to put them out is into the current while just bumping them in and out of gear. This will allow your baits to swim and not be dragged. Make sure you put your baits out a nice distance behind the boat which will allow for more hook ups. The gear we use when live baiting will be Mustad demons hooks from size 5/0-8/0 3x and 60-130lb high seas fluorocarbon.
Tip #3: Go Chumming
Chumming is an effective fishing technique when fish have gone down deeper or do not want to eat live bait. For chum we pretty much use whatever we have at the time depending on the time of year. During the winter we will use pogies, and cut Bonita. One of the biggest things you see people do is chum too much. This will cause the fish to go down and fill up. If we are fishing the lumps during the winter, we like to have a steady flow of red meat and pogies going out. On the days that the water is cleaner, watch your chum slick once the chum gets out of your sight you can throw a couple more pieces in the water. During this time of year, we use big hooks 7/0-11/0 and heavy leader anywhere from 80-150 because of the size of the fish. Now let’s talk about chumming at the floaters this is where people run into
During this time of year, we use big hooks 7/0-11/0 and heavy leader anywhere from 80-150 because of the size of the fish. Now let’s talk about chumming at the floaters this is where people run into problem by chumming to much especially at our shelf rigs. When you chum heavy at our fixed rigs on the shelf it can cause a couple things to happen, first it could bring up the sharks, and second it could cause the fish to go down hurting everyone else chances to catch them. Now let’s talk about chumming on the shelf and at the floaters. First for bait you want to use cut bait. You should cut all your bait in small pieces but big enough where you are able to hide a 7/0 hook in the inside. Next you want to take a couple of extra pieces and toss them in the water 4 to 8 pieces will work. Let those piece sink down a little and then begin running your lines. The key is to make sure the pieces on your line float natural like the pieces you just tossed in the water. It is important that you continue to pull the line out at a steady pace, you will do this to you either get a bite or you are tired of pulling line out. If you are marking the fish down deep make sure you pull the line out for a while so the bait is able to get down to them. If you would like to see the different methods, we use to catch tuna or just want to come fish in one of the most productive places in the world please give us a call. I promise you will not be disappointed.
If you would like to see the different methods, we use to catch tuna or just want to come fish in one of the most productive places in the world please give us a call. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Ready to catch some Yellowfin? Call us today at (504) 909-TUNA for more information on our offshore fishing charters in beautiful Venice, LA!