When you’re inshore or offshore fishing in Venice, LA, strategy is just as important as pure luck. So how do you strategize? Well, you’ve got a few variables – using the right rod and reel, finding the right location at the right time of day, using the appropriate hook, tracking the currents, and of course one of the most important – using the right type of bait.
Here we look closer at some of our favorite live baits and the most effective ways to put them on the hook.
Blue Runner: There are several ways to hook a blue runner that will minimize harm to the fish.
Pin a snelled 8/0 Mustad Ultra-Point Demon circle hook through the soft spot under the lower jaw and then out through a soft spot in the cheek. When offshore fishing, pin the hook through the back of the blue runner just forward of its dorsal fin. To make the bait easier to catch when targeting amberjack, clip the blue runner’s tail fins.
On the flip side, when fishing for yellowfin tuna, do not clip the tail fins. By keeping the tail fins intact, the blue runner will be more active and attract more tuna.
Croaker: The most ideal croakers range in size from three to five inches and are great baits to use when oil rig fishing for mangrove snapper and inshore fishing for spotted seatrout.
Here are the most effective ways to attach a croaker to the hook:
Pass a snelled 3/0 to 4/0 Mustad Ultra-Point Demon circle through the soft spot under the jaw, into the mouth, and out of the soft spot in the croaker’s cheek. When the water is calm and there is no current, pin the hook through the back just ahead of the dorsal fin as this will make the bait swim away from the boat. When targeting spotted seatrout, pin one hook of a snelled No. 3 Mustad KVD light-wire treble hook in front of the dorsal, and drift the croaker on a sliding cork rig. You’ll want to set the bait about 2 ½ feet off the bottom.
Shrimp: Live shrimp are another great option when fishing for spotted seatrout.
Just as you would a croaker, use a sliding cork rig set to drift the bait 2 ½ feet off the bottom.
Pin one hook of a snelled No. 3 Mustad KVD light-wire treble hook in the shell just before the tail and avoid hooking too much of the meat. You can also pin the same No. 3 Mustad KVD light-wire treble hook through the shell near the smallest black spot between the horns. You never want to puncture the shrimp too deeply or pierce the meat. Do your best to keep the hook in the shell.
Threadfin Herring: These fragile bait are perfect when offshore fishing for yellowfin tuna. Here are the best ways to hook them:
Pin a snelled 6/0 Mustad Ultra-Point Demon circle hook through the eye socket. While it sounds cruel, this is actually one of the most harmless ways to hook the bait. It will also allow you to slow-troll and drift the herring. If you want to have the threadfin herring swim away from the boat, hook the fish lightly under the skin in the middle of the back. Quickly replace the herring if the one on hook doesn’t get bit right away.
Ready to take a trip to Venice, LA, home of the greatest inshore, offshore, and oil rig fishing? Give us a call at (504) 909-TUNA to schedule your next chartered fishing trip. Our expert captains will provide the knowledge and know how you need for a home run catch!